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Chicago Bears Lose to Green Bay Packers for Second Time This Season; Packers Clinch NFC North

December 17th, 2012 at 8:19 AM
By PJ Foti

'James Jones' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license:

Aaron Rodgers connected with James Jones three times for scores to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 21-13 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Sunday.

It marks the second time this season that the Packers beat the Bears, and this win clinched them the NFC North Division. The Packers started slow — 2-3 out of the gate — but have turned it on as of late and now stand at 10-4. Chicago, on the other hand is moving the opposite direction.

The Bears were red hot to start the year, jumping out to a 7-1 record, and now sit at 8-6, currently out of the playoff picture.

Chicago receiver Brandon Marshall took the loss the hardest.

"Everybody involved in this offense should be held accountable, even if that means jobs," said Brandon Marshall, who struggled to compose himself as he spoke before cutting short his post-game interview. "It's been this way all year. There's no excuse. We still have two games left. There's still hope, but at the same time, we need to be held accountable."

He did his part early on, scoring the first touchdown of the game on a 15-yard pass from Jay Cutler, but like the rest of the Bears offense, stalled out as the game went on.

Chicago as a team had just 67 yards in the second half, and quarterback Jay Cutler continued to struggle against the division rival. It was his second sub -10.0 QBR performance against Green Bay in as many games this year, and since arriving in Chicago, four of his worst six games in terms of QBR have come against the Packers.

He was sacked four times in the contest. Surprise, surprise, Clay Matthews was in on two of them. He has now sacked Cutler eight times in his career, and six times this season.

A few pass interference calls on rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery changed the complexion of the game, as three receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown were taken off the board. Jeffery was flagged three times in the game. Entering Sunday, only Kenny Britt has been flagged as many times for offensive pass interference, but that's been throughout the course of the season.

Chicago's defense didn't play bad, sacking Rodgers three times as well as forcing and recovering two fumbles, but their effort wasn't enough. The team's offense couldn't move the ball, and Chicago was caught settling for short field goals rather than punching the ball into the end zone.

There are still two games left for Chicago to jump back into the playoff picture, but they will both be on the road. Marshall was visibly down after Sunday's game, and it's easy to assume the rest of the team is in the same state. We'll have to look ahead to next Sunday to see whether or not this Chicago team is mentally tough enough to earn its playoff spot.

Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Chicago, Chicago Bears, Clay Matthews, Football, Green Bay Packers, James Jones, Jay Cutler, Kenny Britt, NFL

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