WBEZ | Green Bay http://www.wbez.org/tags/green-bay Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bears lose to Packers . . . again http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/bears-lose-packers-again-104409 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_bears_fans_feel_the_pain_of_another_loss.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Bears fans feel the pain of another season slipping away. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" /></div><p>If you heard a big hissing sound from Soldier Field this weekend it was the air going out of the Bears playoff hopes. The 21-13 loss to Green Bay handed the Packers the NFC North division and dropped the Bears to 8-6, diminishing their chances to play in January. The Pack improved to 10-4 and felt good about hurting the Bears&#39; post-season opportunity.</p><p>Here&#39;s a recap of what went so wrong for Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Big time players stepped up during big time moments</strong></p><p>The tale of the tape of the opposing quarterbacks clearly goes to the Packers&#39; Aaron Rodgers, after a slow start with -3 passing yards in the first quarter. The Green Bay QB took advantage of Bears mistakes and connected with wide receiver James Jones three times.</p><p>Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler was able to get the Bears on the scoreboard first with a 15-yard pass reception to Brandon Marshall. The Bears had the ball late in the second quarter and the game was tied at 7. Jay Cutler and Devin Hester had a miscommunication and Green Bay&rsquo;s Casey Hayward grabbed the interception and Rodgers capitalized with touchdown drive in the final seconds of the half. It gave the Packers a 14-7 lead; you could feel the gloom in Soldier Field.</p><p>Green Bay opened the third quarter with the ball and with another touchdown drive, and the Bears were down 21-7. Jay Cutler and the offense were given opportunities to score and got into the red zone a couple of times, but walked away with field goals from recently signed kicker Olindo Mare. It is imperative that the Bears find a way to score on short yardage situations. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s all squarely on the offensive line. We have to get them moved and we have to get the ball in the endzone,&rdquo; said Bears veteran center Roberto Garza. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no excuse for that.&rdquo;</p><p>Rodgers threw for nearly 300 yards and had the three touchdowns; Cutler threw for just 135 yards going 12 of 21, and had a touchdown and an interception.</p><p>Big time players&hellip;.</p><p><strong>Yellow is not Jeffery&#39;s favorite color</strong></p><p>If there is someone seeing yellow for a while, it would be rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. He was hit with not one, not two, but<strong>&nbsp;</strong><em>three</em> offensive pass interference penalties. The young Bear said he has always liked to play physical, asking, &ldquo;That&rsquo;s the way the game is supposed to be played, right?&rdquo; Jeffery wants to look at the film to analyze what really happened on those costly penalties. Garza was clearly miffed and thought the calls should have gone both ways.</p><p><strong>3rd downs . . . and out</strong></p><p>The Bears were unable to complete a 3<sup>rd</sup> down play. Zero-nada-none. They finished 0 for 9 on the day. That is a haunting statistic that punctuates how futile this Bears offense is right now. All-Pro Running back Matt Forte was instrumental running in the first quarter but was then ineffective.</p><p>Conversely, the Packers converted on a number of 3<sup>rd</sup> down plays and both their 4<sup>th</sup> down plays. Rodgers feasted on the Bears&#39; defense when he needed a big play.</p><p><strong>Time is running out</strong></p><p>There are only two games left, on the road against teams with nothing to lose. Next Sunday the Bears travel to play a very bad Arizona Cardinals team. The season finale will be in Detroit; that will be the final determination of any Bears post-season opportunity. But Cutler and the rest of the team said they are not done. &ldquo;It isn&rsquo;t over yet, and it&rsquo;s never over until that last 16th game is over,&quot; he said. &quot;That&rsquo;s how this locker room feels.&rdquo;</p><p>Six weeks ago it seemed Lovie Smith was going to lead this team to playoffs and everything was going rather well (minus the offensive line issues). Now they have to wonder what hit them. They had a plethora of injuries, just like last season. The offense has struggled, just like last year. They now must win and hope other teams lose, just like a year ago. The problem is this season may mirror last season where is matters most: on the sidelines watching the playoffs instead of playing. Just like last year.</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the position of Green Bay wide receiver James Jones.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="http://&lt;https://twitter.com/Crayestout&gt;">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://&lt;http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame&gt;">Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 17 Dec 2012 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/bears-lose-packers-again-104409 Brandon Marshall puts some fire back in the Bears-Packers rivalry http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/brandon-marshall-puts-some-fire-back-bears-packers-rivalry-104357 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_brandon_marshall_-gb.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 475px;" title="Brandon Marshall wants to beat Green Bay as much as Bear fans. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)" /></div><p>After a trade, a mini-camp, training camps and 13 games, the light bulb has finally turned on for me regarding Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.</p><p>When Marshall became a Bear his resume made him interesting, although many were wary. But Bears media and fans have never seen a receiver do what Marshall has done on this team&rsquo;s football field. And&nbsp;now, as the season is winding down, Marshall is having a record-breaking season. He makes plays with two or three defenders on him. Now, Brandon and Jay <em>are&nbsp;</em>the Bears offense.</p><p>Then there&#39;s Brandon&#39;s dealings with the press. Week in and week out Brandon talks to the media after teammate Jay Cutler. Marshall is jovial and forthright in his comments &mdash; about everything and anything. At the beginning of his first press conference, he took out his phone, snapped the media&#39;s photo and tweeted it &mdash; clever and funny.&nbsp;</p><p>This week has been a difficult one for the Bears; the team has been spiraling downward after another loss and the gloom has been palpable. It&#39;s also Packers week. If the Bears can&#39;t beat the division leader on Sunday the possibility for a playoff berth gets fainter. To acknowledge this,&nbsp;Marshall entered into the media room Wednesday with a Charlie Brown&rsquo;s Christmas tree meant to symbolize the Bears&#39; situation. He knows things are bleak, but he wanted to show hope and lighten the moment.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brandon%20Marshall-tree.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 322px; float: right;" title="Brandon Marshall likens the Bears situation to a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. (Photo by Rafer Weigel)" />As the media session continued, Marshall showed something that is rarely heard or seen from this team: passion. That is not to say the rest of the team doesn&rsquo;t have it, but we don&rsquo;t get exposed to those emotions often. Think about it: Jay Cutler and Lovie Smith. . . passionate? We see toughness and grit with the Bears defenders, and players talk about not liking Green Bay. Marshall, however, was adamant about it. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t like Green Bay,&rdquo; he said. &quot;We have to whatever we need to get a win.&quot;</p><p>&quot;This is the biggest game of my career,&quot; Marshall added. &quot;This is personal to me.&quot;&nbsp;The Bears receiver knows a win would help him get to the playoffs for the first time in his career. He also knows a loss will make the road more difficult.&nbsp;</p><p>Marshall did not like the comments Packers&#39; cornerback Charles Woodson made about Jay Cutler after the 23-10 loss in Green Bay the second game of the season. Woodson told ESPN, &ldquo;We understand that Jay is excited about his weapons, but it is the same-old Jay. We don&rsquo;t need luck: Jay will throw us the ball.&rdquo; Marshall not only challenged the Packers coaches and players to defend him with one-on-one coverage; throwing down the gauntlet, Brandon said, &ldquo;I want to impose my will.&rdquo;</p><p>If this doesn&rsquo;t endear him to the Bears faithful, what will? It may be fool&rsquo;s errand for Marshall to say what he did &mdash; you can bet that the Packers will have his comments on a bulletin board or retort with their comments. But who cares? He is showing fire for a team beaten and battered, and he needs to throw everything he&#39;s got at the team standing in the way of post-season play.</p><p>Bears head coach Lovie Smith listed three objectives when he took the job as the Bears head coach: Beat Green Bay, win the NFC North division and win the Super Bowl. Marshall is one of the first players to passionately addressed those desires: On the base of that press conference Christmas tree Marshall placed a small replica of the Super Bowl trophy.</p><p>Like that tree, the Bears&#39; chances of reaching the big game are slim. But you have to give Brandon Marshall credit. He believes in the Bears and can&rsquo;t stand the Packers. This kind of moxie not been seen at Halas Hall in years.</p><p>The true mettle of a player is revealed under adversity. In this case Brandon Marshall didn&rsquo;t duck and hide. He is front and center &mdash; you have to respect that.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/brandon-marshall-puts-some-fire-back-bears-packers-rivalry-104357