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Packer Partisan (10/10/2007)
By Dave DeLano

Miscues and Penalties

The Green Bay Packers' eight-game winning streak came to an end Sunday night as the 174th meeting with the Chicago Bears ended with a 27- 20 victory in favor of the Bears. On an unusually hot and humid October night, this game was one that could and should have been won by the Pack except that they became their worst enemy by committing far too many turnovers and penalties.

Mike McCarthy predictably came out trying to establish a running game and for a while the Packers did exactly that. The Pack took their opening drive right down the field for a touchdown with rookie running back DeShawn Wynn gaining 59 running yards on the 83-yard drive, capped by his two-yard touchdown. It appeared to me that some of the successful blocking on the first drive included pulling guards and power blocking similar to the days of past regimes.

DeShawn Wynn looked great on that first drive but apparently he cramped up in the humidity and wasn't much of a factor for the balance of the game. Favre took over with the passing attack and immediately took advantage of the Bear cornerbacks, who were playing so soft that short slant patterns were easily completed. Favre effectively connected on 19 of 22 attempts for over 240 yards in the first half. Greg Jennings caught a 41-yard touchdown pass late in the 2nd quarter. By halftime the Pack had a 17 - 7 lead.

But the Pack was already starting to shoot themselves in the foot with fumbles and penalties. Rookie wide receiver James Jones fumbled twice which blew scoring opportunities that could have blown this game wide open. Favre threw a bad interception in the second half and the normally sure-handed Charles Woodson fumbled on a punt return as well.

The fourth quarter started out as a 20 - 20 tie, but the Bears had the momentum and the Packers just let this game slip away. The Packer defense played stout football throughout, but the offense and special teams turned the ball over a total of five times and the penalty accumulation was twelve. Those numbers are too high for a win in the NFL.

So the Packers are now 4 - 1 and the winning streak is over. Games of self-destruction like this one are typical of a young football team and the Packers are the youngest in the NFL. There are positive things to take away from this loss. The return of a respectable running game and the potential that DeShawn Wynn brings to the party are encouraging. The defense played well too, with A. J. Hawk and Ryan Pickett turning in impressive performances.

Next week the Washington Redskins invade Lambeau and it will be interesting to see how the Packers adjust after this game. The Redskins are a bit of a surprise team in 2007, just like the Packers. They have a respectable defense and a very good running back in Clinton Portis. Coach McCarthy got out-coached by the Bear's Lovie Smith Sunday night" let's see how he responds against the "Skins." 


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