Packers-Bears post-game notes & quotes

Posted by Duke Bobber on September 14, 2012 – 1:02 am

Cedric Benson

– Green Bay beat Chicago, 23-10, on Thursday night at Lambeau Field to improve to 1-1 on the season.
– It marked the fifth straight win for the Packers over the Bears (including playoffs), their longest winning streak against Chicago since a seven-game streak from 2000-03.
– Green Bay has now won eight consecutive regular-season NFC North games, which matches the longest divisional winning streak in team history (since league went to a divisional format in 1967). The Packers also had eight-game winning streaks in the division in 1996-97 and 2001-02.
– The Packers are now 16-3 in regular-season NFC North games at Lambeau Field under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, an .842 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in the league at home since 2006.
– Green Bay has won 20 of its last 22 regular-season games at Lambeau Field and 18 of its last 20 regular-season games overall.
– With the win tonight, the Packers improved to 9-3 (.750) in prime-time games since 2009.
– Next up for Green Bay is another prime-time contest. The Packers travel to Seattle for their road opener on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. (CDT), the 20th straight season that Green Bay will appear on Monday Night Football.

– Tonight’s paid attendance was 70,543. It was the 304th consecutive sellout (287 regular season, 17 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
– Green Bay’s 168 total yards allowed were the fewest given up vs. Chicago since the Packers allowed 132 yards vs. the Bears on Nov. 30, 1975.
– The Packers’ seven sacks were the most in a regular-season game since they posted nine at Chicago on Jan. 2, 2005.
– The Packers posted at least 300 yards of total offense (321 yards) in their 18th straight regular-season game, extending the longest streak in franchise history. It is also the longest current streak in the league.
– P Tim Masthay posted his first career TD pass on Green Bay’s fake field goal in the second quarter, connecting with TE Tom Crabtree for a 27-yard score.
– According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first TD pass by a Green Bay punter since Ron Widby threw a 68-yard touchdown to WR Dave Davis at Houston on Nov. 19, 1972.
– LB Clay Matthews posted a career-high 31⁄2 sacks. With six sacks in the opening two games, he matches his career high for the most over a two-game span (Weeks 1-2, 2010).
– It was the most sacks in a game by a Packer since DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila recorded four at Chicago on Jan. 2, 2005.
– K Mason Crosby’s 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was the longest by a Packer in Lambeau Field history. The previous long was 53 yards (several times).
– QB Aaron Rodgers threw a TD pass in his 31st consecutive regular-season game at home, further extending his franchise record. It is also the longest current streak in the league.
– CB Tramon Williams matched his regular-season career high with two interceptions. He also had two last season vs. Tampa Bay on Nov. 20, 2011.
– LB D.J. Smith posted his first career sack when he brought down QB Jay Cutler for a 13-yard loss in the first quarter.
– WR Randall Cobb’s 28-yard run in the second quarter was his career long.
– S Jerron McMillian posted his first career interception in the fourth quarter.
– DE Jerel Worthy started his first career game.
– Cutler has thrown four or more interceptions in a game just four times in 80 career starts. Two of those games have been against Green Bay, tonight and on Sept. 13, 2009, at Lambeau Field (four INTs).
– This was the seventh time that the Packers have posted four-plus INTs in a regular-season game under McCarthy. Green Bay has a perfect 7-0 mark in those contests.

(on what it means for the defense to play like they did tonight) “Well, we want to play great defense, obviously. I had a conversation with B.J. Raji at the hotel last night, and we’re talking about playing defense. He’s a Pro Bowl player and the team is noted for offense. I said well, ‘frankly, I’d rather be known for defense.’ And I’ve always stated that. I mean, we have a great quarterback and we have a very good offense. We feel like we’re building, we’re building something special with this defense. I thought our younger players that got an opportunity to play today we were very productive. I thought Clay was off the charts, just with the energy and the production he brought. That defense really flew around tonight. Like all of us, we got kicked in the butt four days ago and we were motivated to improve as a team. I felt like we did that today. It’s one win. It’s a division win, especially not playing division games until later in the season, we feel good about ourselves. Until midnight.”

(on the fake field goal) “Frankly, fourth and 26 was not the plan. I really called that for different reasons. It’s a play fake. We’ve been working on that for two or three years and we were looking for a certain look from the Bears. They gave it to us and it was a great execution on our players’ part. I was trying to send a message when I made the call and I was fine with the field position. Then our guys executed and I thought it really lifted our sideline up and our defense just kept going. Offensively we were able to put some points on the board. It was a big play in the game.”

(on rotating the outside linebackers) “This is the first time we felt like we had four outside linebackers we could rotate in. That was really the plan going into the season once we picked the roster. Obviously, Erik Walden wasn’t available last week. That’s just part of our plan.”

(on the play of RB Cedric Benson) “I thought Cedric is starting to look a lot more comfortable in our offense. I thought it was important to get him back with his toes at seven (yards) and play where he’s played his whole life. Cedric Benson is one of those men that was put on this earth to run the football. We’ve been doing some things with him out of shotgun that he doesn’t have a ton of experience with. We’ll continue to get better. I definitely felt we made a step forward tonight against a very active, disciplined defensive front that presents a lot of challenges with their line movements. They definitely can be hard to run against because when you have a defensive line that is active and disciplined as they are, especially with the linebackers, the experience of their linebackers. That was a big challenge for us.”

(on taking Brandon Marshall out of the game) “I thought they did an excellent job. He was the focus. I think that was definitely obvious to everybody watching the game and I know our DB’s were excited and we’re fired up to play this game. Once again, it’s one game. It’s an excellent game to start building off of. We still have a lot of work to do. We don’t feel like we really solved any big things. We’re two games into this, we’re a new team. I’m actually looking forward to watching the tape of the younger players because we definitely need some growth. I think we definitely got that tonight.”

(on the fake field goal touchdown pass) “It was a big play for us. I was watching up on the Jumbotron and something just looked a little off at first. I thought … somebody got bowled over right away, or it was going to get blocked, or we didn’t catch it right. Then I saw ‘Crabby’ [Tom Crabtree] running out the backside, I couldn’t believe it. That’s a gutsy call. You’ve got to score on that, 4th and 26 from the 27.”

(on what message that fake field goal sent to the team) “I’m just going to stick with gutsy. That’s quite a call. I’m glad it worked.”

(on what the running game did for the offense) “They were probably about 90 percent two-high [safeties]. There’s been times where they’ve played that way. In 2007 they had a string of like 48 straight plays playing Tampa 2. Same thing in 2009, we saw a lot of the same defenses. We played them down there in 2010 and they wanted to play a lot of two-shell, which means we had to run the ball. We ran it better tonight. Cedric (Benson) did a good job of making plays when there was a hole and making plays when there wasn’t. It was good to have him out there, good to get him 20 carries tonight. He did a good job and a good job finishing the game for us.”

(on whether everyone will be play a two-shell defense against them) “We’ll see. I don’t think anybody’s going to play us the way Chicago does. They’re very soft in the secondary, it’s two-shell and the safeties are high. They try to prevent the big play and keep everything in front of them. They do a good job rallying to the football and making plays on the ball. You’ve got to give them credit, they’re a solid defense. But still, we’d like to move the ball a little more effectively.”

(on if there was any anxiety or panic this week after losing to San Francisco) “You guys had some worry and we were kind of feeling some of the panic. We showed a clip in one of our meetings of the scene from Semi-Pro when Will Ferrell is fighting the bear and the bear gets out of the cage and it’s the scene where he’s yelling ‘Everybody panic!’ That’s kind of a joke, just because inside of the facility there wasn’t any panic. Outside I think people were (thinking), lose to Chicago and you’re kind of putting yourself behind the eight ball a little bit. But (this was a) good win for us, we’re 1-1. Again it’s one game. We’ve got to get better on offense. The defense played incredible.”

(on the late interception play call) “I liked the play call but just was not on the same page with James (Jones) there. I was expecting him to come out flat. He started out flat and then he kind of took it up. That’s about as frustrating as it gets right there.”

(on how good it feels to get this win) “It feels good to win the game. The interviews this week had a lot of worry in them in the questions that were asked. Not necessarily my weekly at my locker, but a couple of the other interviews were, shall we say, a little negative about our team. We played a real good team week one, we played a good team week two, so we’re going to keep trying to improve and it’s good to be 1-1.”

(on bouncing back from last week’s loss) “The week couldn’t have gone by any slower for me. I was ready to get back on the field and get things on the right track. Last week was tough. We didn’t run it like we wanted to, so it feels good to come out here today and do some things well.”

(on playing against the team that drafted him) “I kind of already had a chance to get at them when I was in Cincinnati. The most important thing that was going through my mind this week was getting off to a good start and getting the run game going.”

(on whether he knew he’d get more carries than in the season opener) “No, I had no idea. Being here you never know. All I could relate to is last week so I didn’t know what it would be like. I was just ready to get the ball in my hands and get the chains moving.”

(on the fake field goal touchdown) “The guys did a great job blocking. Tim (Masthay) had a great pitch and I just ran a straight line and that was about it.”

(on what the touchdown did for the team’s energy) “Everybody was pumped up. The guys that weren’t really in on it – the offensive or defensive guys on the sideline – it kind of caught them off guard and they were wondering what happened. We were all pumped and it kind of got the juice going.”

(on the call to attempt the fake field goal) “The element of surprise was the biggest thing on that play. It’s a gutsy call and the guys up front executed just like we practiced it.”

(on what he saw before the snap) “We’ve been practicing it for awhile and watching film. When I got out there and kind of looked at their alignment I kind of knew we had them outnumbered. All it came down to was catching the pitch and just turning and running down field.”

(on scoring a touchdown after seeing limited playing time last week) “I said last week when the opportunity presents itself you have to make the best of it. I got the opportunity tonight to make some plays. It was one straight down the middle. I guess they decided not to cover me – left me wide open.”

(on his touchdown dance) “That’s the dance that won Dancing with the Stars, so I had to bring it out.”

(on the win) “It was just relaxing. Mike (McCarthy) said in the second half that we just have to relax and finish, and we did that. We relaxed and just started playing our style of football. Once you start doing that you start to make some plays, and that’s what happened.”

(on the fake field goal for a touchdown) “That was amazing. I think (special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum) picked the perfect time to do it. We haven’t done any trick plays on special teams and that was one tonight that took us up.”

(on the fake field goal touchdown) “We’ve been practicing that for a while. To be honest, I was surprised when the call came in because it was fourth-and-26. That was a really gutsy call by Coach. I had to basically make sure a certain look was there and it was, so we kept it on and Tom (Crabtree) made a great run and the guys blocked well.”

(on having a perfect passer rating) “I’ll close the passing books for myself for the rest of my career on that. I had the smallest part of anybody on that whole thing. I just had to shuttle pass it to Tom (Crabtree), those guys blocked and he made a great run.”

(on the defense’s performance) “I thought these guys did a good job today as far as getting after the quarterback. It comes down to individual matchups sometimes and we were able to exploit that.”

(on getting pressure on QB Jay Cutler) “If anything sometimes he likes to force throws in there and let his receivers go up and make (the play), especially with receivers like Brandon Marshall, so for us to get after him was nice. With any good quarterback they’re going to be smart as far as taking their sacks.”

(on the win) “We’re 1-1, and that’s the reality of it. We feel good about this victory. We have some time off here to kind of go back and watch this film and make the necessary corrections that we need. Ultimately, we played some good ball tonight so hopefully we’ll keep that moving forward.”

(on what went into forcing turnovers tonight) “Jay (Cutler) is a guy that he’ll give you a chance. You just have to be in position. Up front was unbelievable, headed by Clay (Matthews), and a lot of other guys got in on the action and forced him to get the ball out of his hands, forced him into some bad throws and we were there to capitalize on it…They had no answers for our guys up front. They were in the backfield constantly, and it started early. That really makes it tough on any quarterback.”

(on whether the defense took it personal that Cutler said ‘good luck’ covering the Bears’ receivers) “I don’t know if we took it personal, but we thought it was kind of funny that all of a sudden they’re the team to beat because they’ve got a couple new guys.”

(on the 23-10 outcome of the game) “Disappointing effort. I thought we would play better in a lot of different areas. We know it’s always tough coming up here (Lambeau Field). We are better than what we showed tonight. All three phases … we didn’t play well enough. As disappointed as we are, we are 1-1. This counts as one loss.”

(on whether QB Jay Cutler’s problems were due to the protection or his own mistakes) “I think it’s hard to get to that next step until you have enough time to see if you making the right decision. He didn’t have a lot of time tonight; I think it’s safe to say that.”

(on Bears receivers not getting enough separation downfield) “It’s a combination of everything tonight. We didn’t have good enough protection. We probably made a couple bad decisions and the receivers didn’t get open as much as we needed to. We didn’t get the running game going to help the passing game. You have to give them a lot of credit. They didn’t play as well as they wanted last week and they came back this week.”

(on fake field goal in first half) “It was a good play by them. They executed the play to perfection. What else can I say? Normally when a fake works, it’s a heck of a job by the opponent.”

(on Jay Cutler’s public challenge of “good luck” to Packers’ defensive backs) “Publicly challenging … he was asked a question, ‘If they did this, this is what we have to do.’ Our receivers, if they are pressing, we have to win the battle on the field.”

(on establishing consistent identity on offense early in the season) “Important, yes. That is the mindset with all teams to establish who they are. I thought we did that last week. In the NFL, some weeks things just don’t go your way. We are 1-1 right now and we have to find a way to get to 2-1.”

(on wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s impact) “When I look at having an impact, you have to see how much he was involved to have an impact. We didn’t get him in enough positions. We had plays called to Brandon that we couldn’t get off.”

(on what frustrated him the most) “They played exclusively two-man and not a lot of holes out there. We got down early and got into a passing game. It is tough sledding out there.”

(on being upset with his offensive lineman) “I care about this. This isn’t a hobby for me; I am not doing this for my health. I am trying to win football games and trying to get first downs. When we are not doing the little things, doing things the right way consistently, I am going to say something. If they want a quarterback that doesn’t care, they can find someone else.”

(on offensive line getting better as game went on) “We got into a passing game, so it was hard on them. They were playing two-man behind it, so it’s going to be tough.”

(on running back Matt Forte going out with injury) “Anytime you lose one of the key guys it’s hard. I thought (Michael) Bush came in and did a good job.”

(on slow start for second straight week) “There is a lot of football left. I don’t think we can just hang our hat on this game. We are going to have to go back to the drawing board and clean stuff up. We have a lot of time before that next game.”

(on getting other guys involved and get running game going) “Both, absolutely both. We have to. They played two-man 90 percent of the game, so we have to get other guys involved and get them out of it. We never challenged them in that and they never had to get out of it, so it was an easy game for them.”

(on the outcome of the game reflecting the difference between the two teams) “I don’t think so. I think if you play it on the cards, and look at our team versus their team, we have just as good a players as they do.”

(on the team performance tonight) “Can’t really play any worse than we did tonight and expect to win games. We know that we have to take care of the ball, be sharp and move the ball and get it into the end zone and we’ll have a chance.”

(on frustration of watching the offense) “I think it’s frustration from everybody, we’re all frustrated. We know we have work to do.”

(on the Green Bay Packers’ defense) “They came out ready to play and we need to show up a little better and come out a little bit faster.”

(on the frustration level for QB Jay Cutler) “When you get hit that many times, that’s on the O-line, so we need to do a better job of protecting Jay and give him more time.”

(on the personal foul penalty to LB A.J. Hawk) “That hurt the team a lot, and that is all on me.  It was a stupid penalty and I need to learn from my mistakes and not do that again cause we had a drive going on that one.”

(on the Packers’ defense) “They had a great game plan, you know when you’ve got two, three guys on you at one time it is very hard. We have to do a better job of doing other things. We’re still excited about where we are at, but it definitely doesn’t feel good to lose this game in Lambeau and in this environment.”

(on the frustration level for QB Jay Cutler tonight) “We’re all frustrated, whenever you lose, especially against your rival, it doesn’t feel good so we all have a nasty taste in our mouth and hopefully we learn from this.”

(on Brian Urlacher’s comment about being “not as good as we thought we were”) “We’re definitely as good as we think we are, but offensively we have to do a better job. The defense made some great plays, gave us the ball back a few times and we need to take advantage of that and we didn’t tonight. They’re a great team, they won the Super Bowl two years ago, so it’s going to take more than just walking on the field to dethrone them.”

(on the game tonight) “They kicked our butts, we knew we had to outplay their defense and we didn’t do that. We have to do better. We have to get the ball back to our offense and give them a chance to score.”

(on what to take away from this game) “Maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were, we’ve got a long ways to go and that’s obvious. Maybe Green Bay’s just that good, I don’t know, but we didn’t play well and they played good enough to do what they did to us.”

(on the confrontation between him and QB Jay Cutler) “Just frustration more or less. We really had to score there so that was him just saying ‘let’s pick it up, let’s get it together’.”

(on Clay Matthew’s big day) “He lined up on me all night, and I got myself into trouble by not using my hands and not using my feet at times, and it showed.”

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