Packers hold off Bears, snap losing streak
CHICAGO — Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels felt like he was in paradise at Soldier Field.
The temperature was falling, and a cold drizzle pelted his skin. The field conditions were ugly to say the least.
“These are the type of games you live for,” said Daniels, who finished with a sack and two tackles for losses. “The weather was excellent. It was overcast sky, it was raining, the grass was torn up. It was ground and pound, and that’s essentially what football comes down to. It was definitely fun to play in this type of game.”
Daniels’ mood was lifted even further by the Packers’ 23-16 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
Green Bay (5-4) snapped a three-game losing streak and earned its first victory since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. The Packers have won 14 of their past 16 games against Chicago.
Packers quarterback Brett Hundley threw for 212 yards and one touchdown to earn his first win under center. Hundley posted a 110.8 passer rating and did not commit a turnover.
“It feels amazing,” said Hundley, who tweaked his hamstring but stayed in the game. “It’s truly a blessing, especially in a rivalry game. I just thanked the team. Not only the offensive line, receivers (and) running backs, but the defense played their butts off, too. I was able to do what I do because of them.”
Packers linebacker Nick Perry led the effort on defense with a career-high three sacks to go with six tackles. The Packers stuffed the Bears on 10 of 14 third-down conversion attempts.
Chicago (3-6) lost its second consecutive game and fell to 2-3 at home.
“We’re definitely disappointed as a team,” Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “But we’re not discouraged, by no means. A lot of the stuff was self-inflicted on ourselves. That’s been the theme this year.”
Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played the best game of his brief career. He completed 21 of 35 passes for 297 yards and one touchdown to finish with a 97.0 passer rating.
Perry prevented Trubisky from doing more. He notched two sacks in the first half and one in the second half.
“He’s so powerful,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said of Perry. “He’s so heavy handed, and he’s able to set all those rushes up with the bull rush. Nick had a big day today.”
The Packers built a 10-6 halftime lead behind a 37-yard rushing touchdown by running back Ty Montgomery.
Green Bay increased its lead to 16-6 on back-to-back field goals by Mason Crosby. He made a 24-yard field goal on the opening possession of the third quarter, and he drilled a 50-yard field-goal early in the fourth quarter.
The Bears pulled within 16-13 with 10:39 to go in the fourth quarter. Trubisky lofted a pass down the left sideline for wide receiver Josh Bellamy, who caught the ball in stride for a 46-yard touchdown reception.
Hundley found wide receiver Davante Adams for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 5:29 remaining to make it 23-13.
Bears kicker Connor Barth made a 49-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 23-16 with 3:19 to go.
An odd sequence spoiled a scoring opportunity for Chicago in the second quarter. The Bears would have had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but head coach John Fox challenged a ruling that running back Benny Cunningham went out of bounds before reaching the pylon. The challenge backfired as officials ruled that Cunningham fumbled the ball before it hit the pylon, which resulted in a turnover and a touchback.
“Honestly, I thought I was in, until I looked up at the review,” Cunningham said. “Just competing, trying to make a play for my team. It was unfortunate, probably a bad decision now looking back on it.”
Daniels said he hoped the nature of the win would silence critics of the Packers’ defense.
“To continuously hear how much we’re not showing up — we stepped up today,” Daniels said. “That was a tough offensive front that we did it against.”
NOTES: Packers RBs Aaron Jones (knee) and Ty Montgomery (ribs) both left the game because of injuries and did not return. Head coach Mike McCarthy did not elaborate on their injuries after the game. ... Bears RB Jordan Howard became the fastest player in franchise history to compile 2,000 career rushing yards. ... Packers QB Brett Hundley became the first signal-caller other than Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers to start against the Bears since 1991. ... Bears LB Danny Trevathan (calf) did not play. ... Packers RT Justin McCray started for RT Bryan Bulaga, who tore his ACL last week. ... Bears WR Dontrelle Inman made his team debut and caught six passes for 88 yards. Chicago acquired Inman from the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 26.