Game Notes: Hunter TD A Record Setter

Defensive end Jason Hunter’s 54-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was one he will surely remember since it was the first score of his career, but it also put the 2008 Packers in the franchise record books. - More Packers-Bears Game Center

Defensive end Jason Hunter's 54-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was one he will surely remember since it was the first score of his career, but it also put the 2008 Packers in the franchise record books.

It was the ninth touchdown on a return by the Packers this season, the most ever in team history. The score was also the seventh touchdown by the Green Bay defense on the year, which also set a team record.

Hunter's scoring opportunity came when quarterback Kyle Orton fumbled the shotgun snap from center Olin Kreutz. The ball was accidentally kicked by defensive end Aaron Kampman, and Hunter scooped the ball up and took it the distance.

"It's like a dream come true to score an NFL touchdown," Hunter said. "We've just got some great playmakers. We've got guys that are ballhawks.

"We talk about that all of the time in meetings. They put it on the defense that every chance you get let's get an interception or a strip, and that's what we always practice and the coaches always preach."

Cornerback Will Blackmon's 65-punt return for a touchdown last Sunday was his second punt return for a score on the season, and the Packers' other returns for scores have come on interception returns from safety Nick Collins (three touchdowns), cornerback Charles Woodson (two) and Aaron Rouse (one).

"The way we structure practice and the emphasis we put on taking the ball away and protecting it, everybody here that goes to our practices, that's a part of our daily function," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's showing up on Sundays and that's what you want. The way you train as a football team has to show up on Sundays and I think our defense has done a great job of that so far this year."

Bouncing back

After just missing wide right on a 52-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds that would have won the game last Sunday against the Vikings, kicker Mason Crosby posted perhaps his finest performance of the season against the Bears.

Crosby matched his career-long field goal when he connected on a 53-yarder just before halftime to give the Packers a 17-3 lead at the break. His other 53-yarder came in his NFL debut vs. Philadelphia on Sept. 9, 2007.

Kicking in the coldest temperatures thus far this season, Crosby also had several deep kicks on kickoffs as the Packers limited Pro Bowl returner Devin Hester to just a 22.8-yard average on five returns.

"Our coverage teams were outstanding," McCarthy said. "We've been confident in that area and we've played well in that area. (Special teams coordinator) Mike Stock and (assistant special teams coach) Shawn Slocum were confident this week through the film study that we were going to kick to him.

"We've tried the other things in the past and you give up a lot in the field position part of it and that was not our approach today."

A different view

Not being on the field is something linebacker Nick Barnett has grown unaccustomed to during his six-year career as Sunday was only the third game of his career that he was inactive.

Barnett, who was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL last Sunday in the third quarter at Minnesota, watched Sunday's game from a private box.

{sportsad300}"Seeing these guys go out there and win today, it just got me really excited to rehab and pre-hab and come back strong and to be able to get back in there, "Barnett said. "I'm not going to lie to you, for me to sit out and watch a game it's somewhat depressing. At the same time you are excited for the guys that are playing and you're rooting for them."

A.J. Hawk moved over to Barnett's spot in the middle with Brandon Chillar taking Hawk's spot on the weak side. The tandem tied for the team lead with seven tackles each according to press box statistics.

"We've been saying all year long that we've got great depth at linebacker," Barnett said. "It's just we all weren't on the same page as far as the whole defense. From watching this game and getting a bird's eye view, it looked like everyone was on the same page."

Injury/participation update

Tackle Chad Clifton left the game after sustaining a finger injury on the first play from scrimmage, but returned the next series.

Wide receiver Donald Driver banged his knee in the third quarter but returned the next series.

Wide receiver James Jones banged his knee on his 18-yard reception in the second quarter, but returned in the second half.

Running back Ryan Grant got the wind knocked out of him on a second-quarter run, but returned to the field the next series.

Green Bay's gameday inactives were Brian Brohm (third quarterback), cornerback Pat Lee, running back DeShawn Wynn, Barnett, tackle Breno Giacomini, guard Allen Barbre, wide receiver Ruvell Martin and defensive end Jeremy Thompson.

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