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Packers-Bears Recap


Clearly on a mission, the Packers swept to a 17-0 first quarter lead over the Bears in their 165th collision, leaving little doubt about their intentions on this historic occasion, highlighted by the rededication of renovated Soldier Field - in use for football purposes for the first time in more than a year.

Then, after the Bears pulled to within a touchdown in the fourth quarter (24-16), the Green and Gold sent another resounding message, quarterback Brett Favre driving home two more scores, one on a 9-yard pass to wideout Javon Walker and the other on a 1-yard throw to tight end Bubba Franks to establish a 38-16 lead with only 4:21 remaining.

The Bears subsequently settled for a final, consolation TD by way of a one-yard Kordell Stewart run, capping a 13-play, 68-yard drive.

The Packers' early impetus came from an explosive getaway by running back Ahman Green, who broke off left tackle on the sixth play of the game, veered to his right and streaked 60 yards down the sideline to a touchdown, with Bears tackle Phillip Daniels in earnest but futile pursuit.

Green, it turned out, was en route to a 176-yard rushing day - the third-best in the Packers' 82-year NFL history - and on his way to supplanting Hall of Famer Tony Canadeo in third place on the team's all-time rushing list.

Ryan Longwell finished off the Packers' next possession with a 34-yard field goal, after which second-year pro Marcus Wilkins blocked a Chicago punt - the first such special teams contribution in more than six years - and Bhawoh Jue recovered at the Chicago 20-yard line to set up another score.

Two plays later, the Packers were in the end zone, Green again doing the honors but this time in more routine fashion, slashing off right tackle and into the end zone from 6 yards out.

The Bears' Paul Edinger put the Bears on the board following this sequence, kicking a 31-yard field goal.

Favre then mounted another, substantial drive, escorting the Green and Gold 72 yards in 9 plays and finishing off the process with a 14-yard strike to "lonely" fullback William Henderson. Longwell's conversion put the Packers up 24-3 before Edinger connected from 38 yards out to make it 24-6 at the intermission.

The Packers went scoreless in the third quarter while the Bears managed to position Edinger for a 41-yard field goal that tightened the score to 24-9. Then the Midway Monsters' Anthony Thomas broke off right guard early in the fourth quarter and cantered 67 yards to a touchdown that brought the Bears close and triggered the decisive, 2-TD response from Favre & Co.

Favre, who had been afflicted by six interceptions in the first three games of the season, was his old, productive self in Illinois, where he now owns an 11-1 record (10-1 at Soldier Field) against the Bears (he is 19-4 against them on a career basis).

The 33-year-old field general (he turns 34 Oct. 10) completed 21 of 30 passes for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns, with one interception, and, typically, presided over scoring drives of 65, 60, 72, 64 and 54 yards.

Linebacker Na'il Diggs keyed a strong defensive effort, posting 11 tackles, 9 of them unassisted. Fellow linebacker Hannibal Navies weighed in with 9 solo stops and safety Darren Sharper with 6.

THE FAVRE FILE: Favre also made another significant invasion of the NFL record book in Monday night's matchup, moving past Dan Fouts into fifth place in career passing yardage with 43,089. Fouts, who is retired, is now sixth with 43,040 yards.

With the win, Favre also tied Joe Montana for fourth place on the NFL's all-time list with 117 career victories.

In addition to those achievements, the three-time NFL MVP threw three touchdown passes - the 319th, 320th and 321st of his career, thus advancing to within 21 of Fran Tarkenton, No. 2 all-time with 342 (behind Dan Marino's 420).

From the durability perspective, Favre played in his 177th consecutive game, extending what remains the longest current such streak by a NFL player as well as the all-time record for quarterbacks. He also played in his 179th straight game and thus is only 8 short of the Packers' record of 187, held by Forrest Gregg.

THE GREEN FILE: Ahman Green's 176-yard rushing performance against the Bears fell only 14 yards shy of the club record, 190 by Dorsey Levens against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 23, 1997, and just 10 yards short of the second-best such effort, 186 yards by Jim Taylor against the New York Giants on Dec. 3, 1961.

Green's previous career best was 169 yards against Tampa Bay on Nov. 4, 2001.

It was the 16th 100-yard rushing performance of Green's Green Bay career. He ranks second on the Packers' lifetime list, behind Jim Taylor, who had 26.

From the career standpoint, the former Cornhusker now has rushed for 4,244 yards since coming to the Packers from Seattle in a 2000 trade. Tony Canadeo, who had been in third place, is now fourth with 4,197 yards.

Green, who closed out the evening with an imposing 9.3-yard average per rushing attempts, has rushed for 442 yards in four games to date, an average of 110.5 yards per game.

With his pair of touchdowns, the sixth-year professional now has recorded 31 rushing touchdowns, tying him with Ted Fritsch (1942-50) for fifth place on the Packers' all-time list.


(on injuries to secondary) "There was a time in the game where we were out of defensive backs, for the most part. Marcus Wilkins actually had to play corner for us."

(on team) "I was very pleased with the way we prepared this week in practice. I was very pleased with the attitude in the locker room. The guys were bound and determined and they took the field and really came out of the blocks strong, I thought. They did a nice job."

(on Ahman Green's performance) "This is the second game in our two wins that he broke off a long run. First I think it was the second play against Detroit and then it was the fifth or sixth play here tonight. He's not doing that on his own. He's also getting some help from those offensive linemen, they're doing a great job of blocking, as is Bubba Franks, probably one of the better blocking tight ends in this league. But he does make them miss and he does have the speed to take it the distance."

(on Brett Favre) "I was very happy for our football team, but also for him because he made some plays happen with his feet. He was making some magic happen out there and the throw to Walker in the end zone for the touchdown was just a tremendous throw on his part."

(on blitzing defense) "It was disappointing last week coming out of the Arizona game not putting pressure on the quarterback. We felt like we had to create some pressure and also get our four-man rush working a little bit better. We just felt like we had to come after them a little bit, and not necessarily just because of Kordell Stewart, but just felt we needed to generate some rush. We didn't sack him as often as I would have thought we could have, but we did apply some pressure."


Linebacker Na'il Diggs: (on if defense is starting to gel) "We'd better. We've got our backs against the wall still. We're not out of the hole yet, so we're going to have to keep playing consistent and keep playing enthusiastic like never before and keep it going."

Wide receiver Donald Driver: (on game) "We were hungry. The Bears are our rival. We take our hats off to them. They played a great game today, but the team that makes the least mistakes will win the game."

(on playing in new Soldier Field) "It's not our home, but we made it our home today."

Quarterback Brett Favre: (on success of running game and Ahman Green) "I had a feeling before we went out, you don't know how much success, but I knew we'd run the ball well. Ahman was all fired up and our offensive line, you could just tell, they were ready to go. And it didn't take us long to get us going."

(on impact of early score) "That made the difference in the game, to strike early, to be the first ones to have some success. No different than when we played Detroit at home and we got off to a quick start, it's hard to recover when you're the other team, whether it's home or away. I'm not saying that that's what we have to do every week to be successful, but it sure makes it easier."

(on his performance) "I feel like I played well. I don't feel like tonight was any different than last week, believe it or not. It wasn't for a lot of yardage, but that's deceiving. It was for what we needed."

(on rebounding from early-season losses) "This team has not shown one sign of weakness. Guys have practiced hard and have stuck together. That's the reason we won tonight, just the chemistry has been great. It's unfortunate we're 2-2, but fortunately we got this win tonight in a hostile environment."

Center Mike Flanagan: (on blocking Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher) "That was going to be my match-up all day, was playing against him. He's a hell of a player. He can run. I've never seen a linebacker that can run like that. We just felt we could go at him, and we did."

(on win) "This game is a lot more fun when you win. We don't play this game for any other reason. You figure playing this game as long as most of us have we'd be used to it by now, just kind of shrug it off and move to the next one, but it sucks. Losing just sucks."

Tight end Bubba Franks: (on win) "We're just riding high right now off of this win. I hope it lifts everyone's spirits up, because that was the longest week of my life, waiting for Monday Night Football after a loss. I think we started back on the right track, but we need to go back next week and keep it rolling."

Running back Ahman Green: (on juke that allowed 60-yard touchdown run) "Nine times out of 10, a runner like me, a defender knows that I'm going to try to initiate the contact. Every now and then I have to think a little bit faster than the guys chasing me, that I can make a move and get up the field just as well as put my shoulder down and get up the field."

(on running attack) "We just knew that if we ran the ball right at them, that was the best way to be successful. It had been successful in past games against them to just run right at them. Because we know with (linebacker Brian) Urlacher's speed, it's kind of working to his advantage running to the outside with tosses and sweeps. He's just going to run the play down from the back side."

Fullback William Henderson: (on Ahman Green and his 60-yard touchdown run) "It's an unbelievable feeling seeing that man push himself to make what could have been a small run into a huge successful run. It just shows his incredible talent. It shows the determination of our offensive line, our tight ends, our receiver: Javon Walker came around and made the ultimate block, sacrificed for the team, boom, made his man go flat and Ahman was able to read it quickly and just burst and basically put a nail in their coffin."

(on win) "We needed to get one on the road. It's important for us to get some things established. Right now we're .500. It's a long season. We're not feeling we're successful right now, we're feeling that we're just trying to get ourselves on the right track. We've got a big game coming up next week. We're going to sacrifice and enjoy this win for the night, but tomorrow everybody is going to be back to business."

Defensive back Bhawoh Jue: (on blitz-heavy attack of defense) "Maybe what we did today was a sneak attack more than anything else. We just haven't been that aggressive, so maybe they just didn't expect it."

Offensive tackle Mike Wahle: (on in-game trash-talking) "It's going to be a spirited game. We play those guys so often we know those guys pretty well. So there's definitely some jawing back and forth. Nothing too brutal. We're just having a good time."


-Placekicker Ryan Longwell, who has never gone scoreless in a regular-season or postseason game over his seven-year NFL career, scored in his 100th consecutive game when he kicked the conversion following Ahman Green's 60-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter against the Bears.

-Bears greats Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus were honorary captains for the Bears Monday night.

-Marcus Wilkins' block of a punt by Chicago specialist Brad Maynard in the first quarter was the Packers' first such heroic since Dec. 20, 1997, when Seth Joyner blocked a Buffalo punt by Chris Mohr.

-Brett Favre made his 22nd start on "Monday Night Football" against the Bears. It marked the 23rd time he has started against the Bears - against whom he owns a spectacular 19-4 record.

-Linebacker Na'il Diggs' interception of a Kordell Stewart pass in the third quarter of Monday night's game was his first "pick" of the season.

-William Henderson again demonstrated, against the Bears, why he the consummate team player. Immediately after scoring the Packers ' third touchdown of the game on a 14-yard pass from Brett Favre, Henderson went down on the coverage team and felled Bears returner Ahmad Merritt, holding him to a modest, 18-yard runback to the Chicago 25-yard line.

-Standout rookie Nick Barnett registered his first NFL sack in the opening quarter, felling Bears quarterback Kordell Stewart for a 5-yard loss.

-Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila also got into the act later, smothering Stewart for a 6-yard loss in the second quarter to record his second sack of the season.

-Thus far this season, the Packers have allowed only one touchdown following a turnover.

-Javon Walker started at wide receiver in place of Robert Ferguson, who has been hampered by a knee problem and was limited to special teams duty against the Bears. Walker proceeded to emerge as the Packers' leading receiver with 5 catches for 41 yards and 1 touchdown.

-Packers inactives Monday night included offensive tackle/guard Marcus Spriggs, offensive tackle Brennan Curtin, running back Najeh Davenport, wide receiver Chris Jackson, cornerback Erwin Swiney, DT/DE Aaron Kampman, safety Curtis Fuller and Designated Third Quarterback Craig Nall.

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