After a touchdown drive to start the game, and 137 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Green Bay Packers offense stalls for a few reasons. First, DE Julius Peppers took advantage of LT T.J. Lang during LT Chad Clifton's injury absence. Second, the Packers drove into Bears territory (or within 3 yards of it) and punted three times due in part by their poor short yardage unit (where was FB John Kuhn?). Third, that bizarre interception that bounced off WR Donald Driver's shoe and right into the arms of LB Lance Briggs.
The Packers ran the ball very well (where did all that run blocking go in the second half?). And Rodgers did a great job at finding receivers open in-between spots in the Bears's zone coverage scheme. The defense gave up a couple plays around 20 yards, but the Bears couldn't sustain those drives and were usually forced to punt. Overall, a dominant performance by the Packers in this half.
|First Half||Total Offensive Plays||Total Yards||Points Scored||TOP|
Starting out the game with a touchdown drive is always a good sign. It looked like the Bears were expecting the Packers to run on the first couple plays, but instead Rodgers hit WR Greg Jennings on two passes for 48 yards. Only one running play, and a couple completions later, and Rodgers runs it in himself on a naked bootleg when the defender can't outrun him to the pylon. It looks like the Bears might be able to respond after a long pass to RB Matt Forte, but the drive stalls at the Packers 34 yard line, and Lovie Smith doesn't risk any long field goals in this game. The next drive starts out just as well, though without Clifton, who suffered a stinger on the touchdown run, but ends after three incompletions (both Jennings and WR Jordy Nelson almost had big receptions). The next two drives end after each quarterback takes a sack on third down.
The Bears start out the quarter pinned down at their 2 yard line, and they can't move it any further. This came after one of P Tim Masthay's five punts that pinned them inside their own 20 yard line. The Packers start out with great field position. They get down inside the five after RB Brandon Jackson makes a great run around LB Brian Urlacher on 2nd and long, and Nelson catches a crossing route behind S Major Wright after the defender moves up too far in run support. Starks punches it in for his first career touchdown after Briggs gives him an unintentional lift over the goal line. The Bears look as if they're going to respond with a scoring drive after QB Jay Cutler connects with WR Johnny Knox for 24 yards. But again the drive stalls, and again Lovie Smith doesn't attempt a long field goal. A long scramble moves the Packers again into Bears territory, but a failed run on 3rd and 1 forces another punt. The Bears move out of bad field position with a run by Forte and a penalty, but a sack on 3rd down leads to a punt. Then the Packers drive, and Briggs ends it with that lucky interception off Driver's foot. The Bears get something going after a nice pass to Forte, but then Cutler forces it deep and CB Sam Shields picks it off.