Lots of give and take as Packers go up 13-7 over Bears at half

By
Updated: December 29, 2013

Neither offensive line was particularly impressive in the first half, as both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers struggled to put points on the board.

The Green Bay Packers rolled into Week 17 knowing they faced a winner-take-all tilt agains division-rival Chicago Bears, and they did their share of taking.

Unfortunately, in the spirit of the holidays, they also did their share of taking.

In what turned out to be one of the strangest halves of Packers football of the 2013 season, Green Bay took a 13-7 lead to the locker room.

Recap

The tenor of the action was established early. The defense made a stand on the Bears’ first drive, holding them to a three-and-out.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, fresh off a seven-week hiatus, lead the offense offense deep into Chicago territory. On third and five from the five-yard line, Rodgers uncorked a pass for wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, who seemed confused and gave up on his route, resulting in a rare red-zone interception.

The Bears responded by marching down the field on a drive highlighted by a 37-yard pass from quarterback Jay Cutler to wide receiver Brandon Marshall and capped off by a four-yard touchdown pass to running back Matt Forte.

Under pressure on the ensuing drive, Rodgers stepped up and rainbowed deep downfield to wide receiver Jordy Nelson for 32 yards. The big play went for naught, however, as on the next play, Rodgers threw high and behind Nelson, who tipped the ball into the hands of cornerback Tim Jennings at the 17-yard line.

Unable to capitalize on the turnover, Chicago was forced to settle for a punt, which nearly ended in disaster for Green Bay as returner Micah Hyde fumbled. Green Bay did manage to recover.

Although he looked rusty and indecisive at times, Rodgers was able to move the ball down the field. Over 30 of the Packers’ plays occurred inside Bears territory.

Still, Rodgers had a hard time gutting rid of the ball on time. On one third-down play in particular, he took a brutal hit despite having a man open beyond the first-down marker. Instead of uncorking the pass, he double-clutched and simply ran out of time.

That would have been the end of the drive, but defensive end Shea McClellin made a crucial mistake, piling on Rodgers after he was already down. An unnecessary roughness call bailed out Rodgers to extended the drive. After he yet again he failed to connect with Nelson in the end zone, Green Bay was forced to settle for a field goal.

Later, in what was one of the most bizarre plays of the year so far, Rodgers was hit by defensive end Julius Peppers and lost the ball. In real time, it seemed as though he had thrown an incomplete pass. Defensive players stood around idly as Jarrett Boykin casually picked the rolling ball off the turf.

Suddenly, realizing that the officials had not blown the whistle and that the ball was still live, Rodgers signaled Boykin to advance the ball. Boykin jogged into the end zone for an easy touchdown. The replay official challenged the call, which was upheld on review.

The following drive held more surprises. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery fumbled the ball, which was recovered by cornerback Tramon Williams. After a brief return, Williams lateraled to cornerback Sam Shields, who took the ball to the 28-yard line.

Green Bay followed up with a field goal.

Studs

His numbers didn’t look particularly impressive (seven rushes for 37 yards), but running back James Starks made the most of his limited opportunities. He ran with aggression, decisively hitting the holes and sprinting to the second level.

Duds

The offensive line gave up three sacks, four knockdowns, and four quarterback hits in 23 drop backs. Although one of the sacks was arguably Rodgers’ fault, that is still an unacceptable amount of pressure.

They also failed to open holes for running back Eddie Lacy against a defense that had been giving up 5.4 yards per carry coming into this game — the most by any team since the 1961 Minnesota Vikings. Lacy finished with 11 carries for 34 yards.

Injuries

Bears cornerback Tim Jennings took a knee to the head from Eddie Lacy, who was vaulting over an attempted tackle.

What’s next

The Packers get the ball to start the second half. It is imperative that they not rest on their laurels. Just as quickly as the fluky plays can go in their favor, they can also go against them. They must protect Aaron Rodgers and put some points on the board.

No one will be angry if they lose the NFC North crown to a superior team, but no one wants to see them throw it away with stupid mistakes.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

1007 comments
natesweet
natesweet moderator

Somehow I am not surprised to hear Woody's wifey is pissed.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

So, if Cutler stays on the Bears they better work really hard on first half offense. First half offensive woes killed the Bears this season.

Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

Megatron has the same luck that Barry Sanders had on the Lions.

LaCW
LaCW

Alright. I'm out. Good game Bears. Packers will be right there watching with you next week. (But hopefully not)

Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

Everybody's laughing at Detroit, what was the score? (Too lazy to check.)

I wish I had a D like Carolina's
I wish I had a D like Carolina's moderator

wifey is pissed, so I have to run.

GB outplayed CHI today.  Bears blew too many chances, both early and late.

But Cutler outplayed Rodgers today, for what that's worth.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Also, what the fuck is with Marshall and Jeffery not making the key grabs when we needed them to? Quite frustrating.

LambeauOrWrigley
LambeauOrWrigley

Later gents.  Fucking 9ers.  We get the shit pick and I can't even get Saints at home!

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Well. Napping is not happening but me going to get more booze is.

redzonejones
redzonejones

chargers make the playoffs and they interview manti teo. wtf? for what reason

-A Reggie So Cold-
-A Reggie So Cold- moderator

I sat Carolina's DST for Miami's.


I will cost me the FF title vs. my brother.



DAMN IT ATL!!!!!!!!!!

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

Alright, I'm out for now. Congrats again GB, you played the slightly better game today. I can't be too upset anyway. I found out I'm having a son. 

-A Reggie So Cold-
-A Reggie So Cold- moderator

Congrats to the Saints, Packers, and Panthers on repping the WCS in the playoffs this year.


Yes. They are repping US. Screw the NFL.

LaCW
LaCW

Next week is going to be like the Red Wedding with the King of the North getting murdered. 

redzonejones
redzonejones

gave up a 1st rounder for a guy that was almost never on the field and might not even play in the playoffs. was it worth it seattle?

cd me
cd me

The best thing cutler did was hand off the ball to Forte lol 

Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

They were hoping to interview his girlfriend but couldn't find her.

Tyga
Tyga

I played Andre Brown over Roddy White/CJ Spiller, it may cost me my money league title. I need 11+ points from Dez to win.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

Unfortunately Ladrew Karourke is taken...

LaCW
LaCW

 Don't make the same mistake your parents made. Raise him a Packer fan

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

well, you prophesized it, so fuck you

LaCW
LaCW

 But they were missing their entire team(Megatron)

niemerg1
niemerg1

that, and you know, that 67 yard pass. in stride

-A Reggie So Cold-
-A Reggie So Cold- moderator

 It was MIA vs. the Jets. I was banking on Geno INTs.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

The  Bears were long out of the playoffs 5 months ago.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

 He already has several Bears onsies.

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

now I cant use my packers gifs/imgs anymore

-A Reggie So Cold-
-A Reggie So Cold- moderator

 And one TD was by the Jets DEF. Idk why that counts against me.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

The Lions' are called one-and-donesies.

LaCW
LaCW

 I guess it could be worse. He could have a ton of Lion onsies. 

LaCW
LaCW

 Give it a week

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck