GREEN BAY, Wis. – On a night when defenses dominated the NFL’s most storied rivalry, the Packers got creative – and it worked.
Punter Tim Masthay and backup tight end Tom Crabtree combined for a touchdown on a fake field goal in the second quarter, and the Green Bay Packers rattled and robbed Jay Cutler in a 23-10 victory over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Thursday.
Cutler threw four interceptions, including a pair to Tramon Williams. Facing a fierce Packers pass rush all night, Cutler was sacked seven times, including 31/2 for Clay Matthews. New Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was held to two catches for 24 yards.
“Clay was incredible,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Defense causing turnovers, if they play like that we’re going to be tough to beat.”
The Bears also lost running back Matt Forte to an ankle injury.
The Packers rebounded from a season-opening loss to San Francisco.
“We got kicked in the (rear end) four days ago,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “And we were motivated.”
After Williams collected his second interception, Rodgers finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter, hitting Donald Driver for a 26-yard touchdown and a 23-3 lead.
Driver, who barely played in the loss to San Francisco, did a celebratory dance in the end zone, recalling his stint on the “Dancing With the Stars” reality television show.
But Rodgers threw an interception to Tim Jennings and the Bears finally cashed in. Facing fourth-and-7 at the Green Bay 21, Cutler threw a touchdown to Kellen Davis, cutting the lead to 23-10 with 6:49 remaining. But the Bears couldn’t mount a comeback as Matthews and the Packers kept turning up the heat.
Rodgers finished the game 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
He got roughed up, too, getting sacked five times. Green Bay got a scare when the NFL MVP appeared to hurt his right arm early in the game, but he stayed in.
Cutler was 11 for 27 for 126 yards, and visibly expressed his frustration throughout the game.
“If they want a quarterback that doesn’t care, they can find somebody else,” Cutler said.
Earlier in the week, a confident Cutler wished the Packers’ defensive backs “good luck” in trying to match up physically with a new-look wide receiver corps led by Marshall. Stalked by Williams for much of the night, Marshall didn’t see much of the ball. And he couldn’t convert his one big opportunity, dropping a potential touchdown in the third quarter.
“Well, we got to get better,” Rodgers said. “But our defense took a lot of trash in the media this week. They played incredible.”