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Simply Favre-ulous

Packers' passing game, defense subdue Bears 20-12

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Posted: Sunday November 11, 2001 4:34 PM
Updated: Monday November 12, 2001 7:54 PM
  Ahman Green Ahman Green breaks through three defenders during a 24-yard run.

CHICAGO (AP) -- Not this time for the Chicago Bears.

For two consecutive weeks, the Bears had pulled off fantastic finishes to win when it didn't seem possible. Against Green Bay on Sunday, the luck ran out.

Brett Favre and the Packers' defense were too good to let it happen again.

"I would have preferred to be up by 30. They got close and they had my attention," Favre said after a final Bears' drive fizzled in the closing seconds and the Packers had a 20-12 victory.

"I was watching a week ago, the end of that game and I was amazed like everyone else," Favre said.

Favre, dancing away from Bears' defenders all day, threw touchdown passes to Bill Schroeder and Antonio Freeman and Green Bay held the Bears without a touchdown.

Video
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Darren Sharper and others comment on the Bears’ luck running out.
Ahman Green discusses the mystique of playing at Soldier Field.
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  • Insider: If you're looking for the No. 1 factor that decided Green Bay's 20-12 victory against Chicago, look no further than No. 4.
  • What We Learned: On the surface, the Bears and Packers are 6-2, tied for first place and dead-even at the season's midway point. But now Green Bay is sitting pretty and Chicago suddenly looks vulnerable.  
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    After dramatic comeback wins against the 49ers and Browns on overtime interceptions by Mike Brown in each game, Chicago's six-game winning streak was over.

    "We still believed all the way until the last pass hit the ground," Bears defensive end Phillip Daniels said.

    The Packers (6-2) moved into a first-place tie with the Bears (6-2) in the NFC Central. All Chicago had to show offensively was four field goals by Paul Edinger, even though the Bears moved inside the Packers 25 four times.

    Trailing by eight, the Bears did move from their 20 to the Packers 15 in the closing minutes, but Jim Miller's fourth-down pass to James Allen was off target with 34 seconds remaining.

    "That's one throw I'd like to have back. You want to make a perfect throw and it didn't happen," said Miller, who'd been injured the last two weeks while Shane Matthews engineered the comeback wins.

    "We always got a chance. Down by eight, we get that fourth down, who knows?" said Bears rookie David Terrell.

    But the Packers and their aggressive defense were determined to keep the Bears out of the end zone in the first of two meetings between the NFL's oldest rivals who began playing in 1921.

    "That's what I was saying on the field, 'No TDs, no TDs,'" Packers linebacker Bernardo Harris said. "We couldn't let them score a touchdown and then get a two-point conversion and go to overtime again.

      Click on the above graphic for a larger version. CNNSI.com

    "I knew if we kept playing physical up front and didn't give up the big play, we'd be OK."

    Green Bay's Ahman Green gained 93 yards on 18 carries, while the Packers held Chicago rookie Anthony Thomas to 45 yards on 22 carries -- 22 of those yards coming on the first two plays of the game.

    "The A-Train came out on the first drive and had some 10-yard plus runs. The fact that he had just 45 yards rushing is a huge credit to our defense," Green Bay's Vonnie Holiday said. "It's difficult to get 11 guys on one accord but right now we're doing it."

    Favre, with little pressure from the Bears' pass rush, rolled left and drilled a 9-yard TD pass to Freeman to give the Packers a 17-9 lead in the third quarter.

    It capped a 74-yard drive in just eight plays as Favre also hit Schroeder with back-to-back passes of 23 and 19 yards.

    After Edinger kicked a 41-yarder to get the Bears within five late in the third, Favre started another drive in the fourth. He hit Freeman with a 31-yarder and William Henderson on a 24-yarder to the Bears 14.

    On second down, Favre passed to Schroeder, who apparently caught the ball and lost it after a hit by Walt Harris, but officials ruled an incomplete pass. Two plays later, Ryan Longwell's 31-yard field goal gave the Packers a 20-12 lead with 9:10 left.

    Schroeder, who'd missed the previous two games with a sprained ankle, got behind Harris and safety Tony Parrish to catch a 41-yard TD pass with 45 seconds in the half as the Packers took their first lead at 10-6.

    Edinger kicked a 38-yarder on the final play of the half to cut the lead to one.

    Chicago moved to the Packers 16 on its first possession behind the running of Thomas, but had to call on Edinger for a 37-yarder.

    After a scrambling Favre was intercepted by Brown, Edinger made a 47-yarder when his kick hit the cross bar and bounced over for a 6-0 lead.

    Bernardo Harris recovered a fumble by Daimon Shelton after a pass reception and Longwell, who had six misses entering the game, hit a 40-yarder.

    The Packers moved into scoring position again, reaching the Bears 15, before Green fumbled and Ted Washington recovered.

    Favre, 15-4 against the Bears, including 9-1 at Soldier Field, completed 19 of 32 passes for 268 yards. Miller was 28-of-47 for 201.

    Notes: Brown, the hero of wins against the 49ers and Browns, left the game in the fourth quarter with a slight concussion. ... Favre extended his league record for a quarterback to 149 consecutive starts. He now has 272 career TD passes, one behind Joe Montana for No. 6 on the career list.


     
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