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Season Saved

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 8, 2007 2:45PM

2007_10_sports_bears_week5.jpgWhen Lovie Smith came to Chicago, he guaranteed victories over the Green Bay Packers. And four years into his tenure as Bears head coach, Lovie has lived up to his promise — at least at Lambeau Field. Sunday night, he took his 1-3 Bears into Green Bay to face the 4-0 Packers and came away with the 27-20 win.

The Packers seemingly dominated the first half, racking up 341 yards of offense. Two key forced fumbles by Charles Tillman kept the game closer than it should have been — the Bears only trailed 17-7 at halftime.

Turnovers were the difference in the second half, as well. The defense showed an entirely different intensity and shut down Green Bay's offense — holding the Pack to a lone field goal. Brian Urlacher came up with an interception that immediately led to Brian Griese's touchdown pass to rookie Greg Olsen, a fumble recovery on a punt set up a field goal, and Brandon McGowan intercepted Brett Favre in the end zone at the end of the game to seal the victory.

The offense also looked better on Sunday night. Brian Griese played like we hoped he could when Lovie made the change. While he didn't wow us, he completed 15 of 25 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. He threw one interception, which is a heck of a lot better than we've come to expect from Bears QB's of late. Overall, his performance came out to a QB rating of 97.8. We'd take that any game!

Griese's favorite targets were clearly the tight ends — Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen combined to catch seven of his 15 completions. Clark caught 4 for 62 yards and the game-winning TD, while Olsen hauled in 3 for 57 yards and a TD. Now if only the Bears could get their damn running game going — they managed only 2.5 yards per carry.

All in all, the Bears played an inspired game and made a clear statement on national TV that they're not dead yet. With the offense settling into a better rhythm and the defense slowly returning to health, the Bears may still be around come January.

Photo by AP Photo/Morry Gash.