In 1980, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers met in a game that featured the oddest finish in NFL history.
Chester Marcol, the Packers kicker, picked up his own blocked field goal and ran it in for the deciding score in a 12-6 Green Bay victory.
That one is pretty tough to beat.
But Monday night's penalty-ridden clash between rivals exceeded the 1980 overtime finish.
- The losing quarterback went 34 of 45 for 316 yards
- Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver caught 18 passes for 176 yards
- The Packers outgained the Bears 379 to 276
- The Packers stopped the Bears at the one yard line, giving up no points
- The Packers out-possessed the Bears 36 to 24 minutes.
And the Packers lost....Why? It's simple:
- 18 penalties for 152 yards
- Destroyed on special teams: Field goal blocked, allowed punt return for TD...yielding a net punting average of 19 yards.
- The Bears turned the ball over only once
It was an odd game that the Bears deserved to lose...but in the NFL, they only measure performance by wins and losses. The Packers lost...meaning the Bears won. (I know, thank you Captain Obvious)
Here's the Ditka, the Spellman, and the Mirer (The Good, the bad, the ugly)
Jay Cutler: Cutler didn't make the big mistakes, and threw some absolute lasers. My eyes never saw the pass to Greg Olson. I haven't seen a Bears qb throw a ball like that
since...well, since never.
Aaron Rodgers: Give credit where credit is due. Rodgers disected the Bears defense throughout the game. His confidence in the pocket is amazing...but what really stunned me was watching how quick he can be on his feet. It's still baffling to me that Green Bay only scored 17 points. How is that even possible?
Devin Hester: Welcome back. He was one man away from breaking his first punt for a TD; then, he let loose on the second. If he can stay away from his one-drop-ball-per-game average, he can be one fine football player...instead of a solid one. (By the way, 'fine' supersedes 'solid' in my book.)
John Kuhn: This guy is like Rick Casares in Packer green.
White Football Players (jokingly, of course): When was the last time you watched a game where 4 of the 5 most memorable plays featured white people? Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Greg Olson's TD catch, Brian Urlacher leaping over a group of players to bat down a pass, John Kuhn dragging people for 15 yards. Last night was a victory for the white man! Haha! Joking, of course. (I'd say Robbie Gould's game-winner, but you know...kickers.)
The Bears offensive line: The line wasn't putrid. They did, however, allow three sacks and multiple qb hurries. Jay Cutler was found on his back quite a bit. Why aren't they in our 'Mirer' section? Well, it's a new left tackle and a new right tackle...sometimes you can only do so much.
The Bears pass rush: So much for the great Chicago Bears pass rush that was being talked about all week. Rodgers was able to sit back and pick apart the Bears defense with regularity. Given a second chance at Lambeau, the Pack will roll if given that much time.
Jon Gruden: If this post was critiqued by Jon Gruden, it might say: "This post might be one of the best posts...in the history of the blog world. When you watch John Dooley operate under these circumstances, you get a new appreciation for blogging. This is a guy who does it the right way, year after year." Thanks for the kind words, Jon.
Green Bay discipline: My old offensive line coach at Libertyville, Karl Jennrich (a former
Marine who once threatened to kick me in the nuts when I practiced with the defense my sophomore year) pulled me to the sideline after a 45 yard penalty against Mundelein in 1997.
After the play, I was promptly put on the bench for the remainder of the game. (However, let it be known that all three 15 yard penalties for clipping, unnecessary taunting, and roughness were ALL incorrect.)
Jennrich demanded accountability after stupid plays...unfortunately, if Jennrich ran the Packers today, he may have finished the game with only 4 players.
Desmond Clark: You can't drop that. You just can't. Go back to being injured every other week.
Tim Masthay: Sit down, kid...maybe you shouldn't punt for awhile.
The Bears go to the new Meadowlands, next week. The enigma that is the New York Giants are awaiting. 4-0 is within grasp.