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Packers-Bears second-quarter reflections

About the Author

Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Jan. 23, 2011 @ 3:47 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

You have to be pretty happy if you’re a Packers fan, as all three phases of the team made significant contributions to a 14-0 first-half lead.

The offense, while not as red-hot as it was in Atlanta, has been good enough, dominating the clock with a balanced attack helped by a strong ground game (over 100 yards rushing). Both rookie James Starks and Rodgers picked up big chunks of real estate with their legs.

The defense has been terrific. Bears QB Jay Cutler has completed only one pass to a receiver, and the Packers’ blitz packages, particularly those featuring nickel corner Sam Shields, who culminated a great overall team effort with a beautiful interception just before halftime, caused all kinds of problems for a Chicago offense that just could not get it going.

As for special teams, Tim Masthay’s pooch punt at the end of the first quarter was greatly responsible for the Packers’ second score (Starks’ first-ever pro TD) on a relatively short drive. The Bears opted not to try a 49-yard field goal in favor of a similar type pooch punt, but their punt landed in the endzone and netted 11 yards.

A major turnaround will be needed for the Bears at this point to slow down a Packers team with legitimate Super Bowl visions.

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