Packers Defense Looks like Playoff Team : Packers Insider

Packers Defense Looks like Playoff Team

December 14, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Dec 14, 2009 ~ By Mike Vandermause, Green Bay Press-Gazette

The Green Bay Packers were not going to allow a much-needed victory slip away against the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

The Packers had blown a 13-point first-half lead, were scuffling mightily on offense for much of the game and found themselves trailing against the mediocre Bears early in the fourth quarter.

“It got a little hairy there,” linebacker Nick Barnett said. “They were playing hard. Any time you play the Bears at Soldier Field they’re going to play hard, especially against the Packers. It was a battle.”

Packers cornerback Tramon Williams sacks Bears quarterback Jay Cutler late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Soldier Field in Chicago

Packers cornerback Tramon Williams sacks Bears quarterback Jay Cutler late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Soldier Field in Chicago

But the Packers had no intention of losing, especially with an NFC playoff berth potentially hanging in the balance.

“We talked about it on the sideline,” Barnett said. “This is one of those games, everything is on the line, we had everything to lose and their defense was playing well. We knew we had to come up with a big play.”

On a day when the Packers’ offense struggled on nearly every possession, you knew the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense needed to come to the rescue.

The big play the Packers were looking for arrived less than 2 minutes into the fourth quarter when a blitz forced Bears quarterback Jay Cutler into a terrible pass. Nick Collins was waiting for the errant throw and returned the interception 31 yards to the Chicago 11. Two plays later, the Packers scored a touchdown, regained the lead for good and never looked back.

The Packers’ 21-14 victory and season sweep over the Bears puts them in prime position to claim an NFC wild-card berth heading into the final three games.

In boosting their winning streak to five games, the Packers (9-4) showed what bona fide playoff contenders must do late in the season: Find a way to win games when not playing their best football.

On this relatively balmy 38-degree day, it was the Packers’ offense that was misfiring.

“We like to put points on the board. Today we couldn’t get anything going,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “We just never got into a rhythm on offense.”
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