Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) can't make the catch against Chicago Bears cornerback D.J. Moore, left, and linebacker Nick Roach (53) during the first quarter of Sunday's game at Soldier Field in Chicago. Dan Powers/Gannett Wisconsin Media
Rants and raves from Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Packers won 21-13.
Rave: Tight end Jermichael Finley had five catches for 61 yards, including a 31-yard fourth-quarter reception in traffic in which he ran over safety Major Wright. Finley also had a 9-yard catch on third down to keep a Packers’ touchdown march alive in the third quarter, and drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone on the same drive.
Rant: Running back Ryan Grant burst up the middle for a 14-yard gain in the third quarter but then let Bears cornerback Charles Tillman punch the ball out of his grasp. The Bears recovered the fumble and drove for a field goal. There can be no excuses for putting the ball on the ground in that situation, especially by a veteran like Grant.
Rave: On third-and-10 in the third quarter, quarterback Aaron Rodgers danced and juked his way around the pocket and somehow avoided a Julius Peppers sack long enough to complete a 27-yard pass to Randall Cobb. That was the kind of play Bears quarterback Jay Cutler simply couldn’t make.
Rant: Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery grabbed cornerback Sam Shields’ face mask on an incomplete pass but officials inexplicably called Shields for illegal contact and gave the Bears a first down. After that, Jeffery was called three times for offensive pass interference.
Rave: Cutler badly underthrew Devin Hester near the end of the first half and instead hit Packers cornerback Casey Hayward right in the bread basket. It was the team-leading sixth interception for Hayward, who returned it 24 yards to the Bears’ 26, setting up a Packers touchdown five plays later.
Rant: An Erik Walden face mask penalty, which was unrelated to Matt Forte’s 22-yard run around left end, resulted in a 37-yard gain and set up the Bears’ only touchdown in the second quarter.
Rave: All James Jones seems to do is catch touchdown passes. Two of his three first-half receptions went for scores from 29 and 8 yards. Then Jones added a 6-yard back-shoulder touchdown reception in tight coverage midway through the third quarter. Jones leads the Packers in touchdowns with a dozen this season.
Rant: Bears receiver Brandon Marshall left linebacker Brad Jones and Hayward in his wake on a 15-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Marshall gave Hayward a stiff-arm to the helmet on his way to the end zone.
Rave: On third-and-6 midway through the second quarter, Cobb made a great back-shoulder catch along the sidelines for 31 yards, which set up a Packers touchdown three plays later, and he led the team with six receptions for 115 yards.
Rant: Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed badly (wide right) on a 43-yard second-quarter field-goal attempt, then missed from 42 yards in the fourth quarter when he hit the left upright. Crosby has missed 12 field goals this season (17 of 29).
Rave: The Packers were 2-for-2 on fourth-down conversions. On fourth-and-2 at the Bears’ 37 early in the second quarter Rodgers connected with Finley on an 8-yard completion. On fourth-and-6 from the Bears’ 26 early in the third quarter Rodgers completed a 12-yard pass to Cobb.
Rant: Cobb dropped a pass that hit him in the hands on the Packers’ first series. The ball popped into the air and was nearly intercepted. Cobb then dropped what would have been a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
Rave: Coach Mike McCarthy’s decision to defer after winning the coin toss and receive the second-half kickoff paid off handsomely when the Packers took possession to start the third quarter and drove 79 yards in 13 plays to assume a two-touchdown lead.