Packers Honor Favre, Fall to Bears on Thanksgiving
While a loss stings, it was still a special Thanksgiving night for the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre.
At halftime, Favre walked out of the tunnel and to midfield at Lambeau to a roar of cheers from Packers fans. It was bonechilling. I wish I was at the game, but I wasn't. I was watching the game with my dad, who helped me fall in love with the Packers. When Favre walked out on that field, I had the biggest smile on my face. I had goosebumps. My eyes even got watery. It was one of the coolest moments in sports and for me as a Packers fan. Packers fans love Favre and they certainly gave him all the love Thursday night. Favre shook hands with his former players, Frank Winters, Antonio Freeman, Mark Chumara and the list goes on. Mark Murphy introduced him and Favre spoke to the crowd that he put on a show for 13 years. He talked into the microphone and told Packers fans, "I certainly thank God for the opportunity to play the game and play it for a long time." He went to add too that Lambeau was, "best place to play football in the world."
Then the best part of night happened when Bart Starr, who led the Packers to wins in Super Bowl I and II, came riding out on to Lambeau in a golf cart with his wife, Cherry. Lambeau erupted yet again. He rode to midfield to cheers from the Packers' faithful. Starr got up from the back of his cart, where he was sitting, and hugged Favre. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye at Lambeau. Favre's night became Starr's night. To see Favre and Starr together at Lambeau and maybe for the last time because of Bart's health, was a memory Packers' fans won't ever forget.
As halftime ended, Aaron Rodgers came running out on to the field and he gave Favre a big hug. It was just awesome. Starr, Favre and Rodgers all on the field at once. Three of the best quarterbacks to play the game together. It was special.
To the game. Jay Cutler defeated the Packers for the first time in his career at Lambeau in five tries, 17-13. The Packers scored first on a touchdown from Rodgers to Eddie Lacy. Lacy nearly fumbled, but the ball did indeed cross the goal line. I think Eddie was just thinking about doing a Lambeau leap. But the Bears would lead the Packers, 14-13 at half. In fact in the second half, the Bears would be the only team to score. Chicago added a field goal in the second half.
On a bad snap in the fourth quarter, Rodgers injured his wrist. He said after the game he couldn't feel his left hand in the third quarter.
The Packers nearly came back twice in the fourth quarter. After two big runs from Rodgers on Green Bay's second to last possession in the game, Rodgers tossed an interception. The Packers defense forced Chicago to punt and Rodgers drove the ball down the field to the Bears' red zone. Green Bay threw on all four downs and couldn't get it into the end zone. On third down, Rodgers somehow got out of a sack and then passed to James Jones in the end zone. However, the Bears got their hands on the ball and Jones couldn't hold on. Fourth and goal and for all the marbles. Rodgers looked Davante Adams' way. The ball sailed through Adams' hands and over top of him. Game over. The Bears defeated the Packers at Lambeau.
It was a weird game. The Packers defense didn't play that badly. They just couldn't stop the Bears on third down. Lacy ran for over 100 yards again and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Heck, James Starks averaged 5.6 yards per carry. The Packers didn't run the ball once on the goal line on their final drive. Yes, I know they didn't have any timeouts, but still.
In the passing game, Rodgers threw the ball 43 times. It didn't seem like he and his receivers were on the same page until late. He finally found Randall Cobb over the middle that helped put the Packers in position to try and win the game on the final drive. Adams dropped several key balls. The interception Rodgers threw, it looked like Adams didn't finish his route. On the final play on fourth down, it appeared Jeff Janis was open when Rodgers threw it towards Adams. It's clear Rodgers trusts Adams. Adams just struggled last night and the Bears' secondary played well against the Packers' receivers. It happens.
There's five games left. The Packers are still in the playoff hunt. After the game, Rodgers said the Packers have to get on the same page. Green Bay has a week until they play Detroit next Thursday. The Lions are playing well and the Packers will have to be ready.
Sam Tastad will have stories on the Packers all season with pre-and-post game previews. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at email@example.com.