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Game Notes: Finley Continues To Impress

CHICAGO – Tight end Jermichael Finley continued to pile up the catches and the yards at Soldier Field on Monday night.


Finley tied his career high with nine receptions, matching his total from the game in Pittsburgh late last season, which is also the franchise record for a tight end in a single game. He also had 115 yards for his second straight 100-yard game.

That makes Finley just the second tight end in team history to post back-to-back 100-yard games. The only other one to do it was Paul Coffman in 1979, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. With three 100-yard regular-season games in his career, Finley is already sitting in second place in team annals in that category for tight ends, halfway to Coffman's record of six.

Finley also has made a habit of taking big chunks of yardage with some of his catches. He had a 28-yard grab on Monday night for his fourth reception of 25-plus yards already this season. That's tied for the NFL lead among tight ends with San Diego's Antonio Gates.

Later, Finley added a 20-yard reception, his seventh reception of 20-plus yards on the season, which is tied for first among all pass catchers in the NFL along with Denver's Brandon Lloyd.

With 17 receptions for 265 yards so far this season, Finley remains the team's leader in receiving yards by a wide margin (Greg Jennings has 136 yards). His 265 yards is also tops in the league among tight ends this season, ahead of Gates at 242.

The 265 yards also is the most by a Green Bay tight end in the first three games of a season, surpassing Coffman's 171 yards in the first three games in 1982.

Finley actually came out of the game in the fourth quarter due to some cramping, went to the locker room for an IV and then returned to the game for the offense's final series. He did not have any more receptions after he returned to the game.

Hot hand
After quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw an interception on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half, he had one of the hottest passing stretches of his young career.

He completed 11 straight passes to open the third quarter and was 17-of-18 in the second half before a short pass to rookie tight end Andrew Quarless in the end zone was slightly off target, and Quarless couldn't bring it in.

Rodgers finished the second half 19-of-22 for 144 yards but without any touchdowns or interceptions. The Packers' only score in the second half came when Rodgers scrambled and ran it in from 3 yards out.

Career best
The Packers only had 63 yards rushing in the game, and only 43 from running backs John Kuhn and Brandon Jackson.

But Kuhn's 18-yard run in the fourth quarter that helped set up Rodgers' go-ahead TD was a career long. Kuhn had run for 16 yards on his first career rush, with Pittsburgh, back in 2006 but had never matched or surpassed it.

Kuhn's previous long rush with Green Bay was 12 yards, accomplished in each of the first two games this year.

Déjà vu
Two unfortunate occurrences on special teams against the Bears on Monday night, strangely enough, also occurred against Chicago the last time they happened to the Packers.

First, Mason Crosby got a field goal blocked in the third quarter, the first field goal the Packers have had blocked since Dec. 22, 2008, at Soldier Field against the Bears.

Also, Devin Hester's punt return for a touchdown was the first one against the Packers since – you guessed it – Hester himself did it four seasons ago in the 2006 opener at Lambeau Field, Head Coach Mike McCarthy's first game.

Adding to the strange set of coincidences was cornerback Tramon Williams, who got the second sack of his career when he brought down Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler in the first half on Monday. The other sack in Williams' career? At Soldier Field last season, against Cutler.

Injury updateThe Packers' only injuries from the game were safety Nick Collins leaving briefly with a knee sprain, but he did return, and Finley getting an IV for his cramps.

In Collins' absence, safety Derrick Martin intercepted a pass in the end zone, his first interception as a Packer.

Starting outside linebacker Brad Jones (knee) was among the Packers' eight inactive players. Rookie Frank Zombo started in his place and notched his second career sack.

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