(The Sports Xchange) - The Green Bay Packers honored Brett Favre on Thursday, but Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears’ defense ruined the celebration.
Cutler, who was 1-11 against the Packers as Chicago’s quarterback, led the Bears to a big upset of first-place Green Bay, 17-13 at rainy Lambeau Field.
At halftime, the Packers unveiled Favre’s name beneath the north end-zone scoreboard alongside the other five players whose numbers were retired.
Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr, who has battled severe health issues, also appeared to a thunderous ovation.
However, for the first time in 13 games against the Packers as the Bears’ quarterback, Cutler did not throw an interception.
“It’s huge,” Cutler said. “It’s been a fun week for me. The Sunday game, and having a baby on Monday and turning around and playing on Thursday, I think that everyone is looking forward to going home and spending some time with family.”
Chicago’s defense had two takeaways, and they were both huge. The first set up a first-half touchdown. The second came with 3:19 remaining in the game.
With the Packers trailing 17-13 and having reached midfield, Rodgers fired a slant to Davante Adams. The wide receiver, however, was knocked off his route by safety Chris Prosinski, and cornerback Tracy Porter grabbed the interception.
Green Bay (7-4) got one more chance, taking over at their 20-yard line with 2:45 remaining. Running back James Starks gained 18 yards on a screen and ran for seven more to get the ball to the Green Bay 49 at the two-minute warning.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers then hit Randall Cobb on a crossing route, with the wide receiver breaking cornerback Bryce Callahan’s tackle and taking it 32 yards to the 19.
On third-and-7, Rodgers connected with Adams for eight yards, setting up first-and-goal at the eight.
Two throwaways made it third-and-goal with 36 seconds to play. As he was being hauled down, Rodgers threw into the corner of the end zone to receiver James Jones, but Porter knocked the ball away. That set up the all-or-nothing fourth down.
Rodgers bought time by moving to his left and fired to Adams against tight coverage from Callahan. The ball hit off Adams’ hand and fell incomplete.
“I think we had great communication and everyone was just focused on their job,” Prosinski said, praising defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
“For me, he is a genius. A lot of credit goes to him.”
Cutler was 19-for-31 for 200 yards and one touchdown for Chicago (5-6), who won for the third time in four games. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught seven passes for 90 yards.
Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy had 105 rushing yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game. Rodgers finished 22-for-43 for 202 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception, unable to prevent the Packers from losing back-to-back home games against division rivals.
”This is a disappointing loss,“ Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ”It’s versus an archrival. It’s a game we expect to win, but we didn’t play well enough to win.
The preparation on the field, I was very pleased with it, but we’re not getting it done in the classroom.”
The Packers had a huge scare during the third quarter when Rodgers injured his left wrist.
On third-and-long with the Packers in scoring position, Rodgers had to retrieve a bad shotgun snap from backup center J.C. Tretter.
As Rodgers got the ball and tried to survey the field, he was hit from behind by Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston. Rodgers got up holding his left wrist, and backup quarterback Scott Tolzien immediately started warming up on the sideline.
The play knocked the Packers out of field-goal range, and Chicago took advantage with a long scoring drive that resulted in kicker Robbie Gould’s 21-yard field goal for a 17-13 lead with 12:15 remaining.
“I‘m waiting to get (feeling) back in a couple fingers, but it’s OK in the first three,” Rodgers said after the game.
Editing by Peter Rutherford