For Jay Cutler, 17-13 win vs. Packers is ‘huge’

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — On the fifth day, Jay Cutler planned to rest.

He’d done enough this week: play Sunday, welcome a baby daughter Monday and then, on Thursday, finally, beat the Packers in their stadium.

Forget Thanksgiving and prime time and Brett Favre: the Bears’ 17-13 victory was the quarterback’s first ever at Lambeau Field.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s been a fun week for me — a Sunday game, and then having a baby on a Monday, and then turning around and playing on a Thursday.

“I think everyone’s looking forward to going home and spending some time with the family.”

The Bears pulled off the upset as much because of their defensive prowess as Cutler’s, holding a hampered Aaron Rodgers to 202 passing yards on 22-of-43 attempts.

Rodgers’ penultimate drive ended with a Tracy Porter interception. The last one died on a fourth-down incomplete pass in the end zone with 29 seconds to play.

Cutler went 19-for-31 for 200 yards and a touchdown, but his teammates grasped the significance of his victory.

“I’m sure there have been times in the past that he’s played well and he hasn’t had guys who have his back,” tackle Kyle Long said. “We got Jay’s back, and he knows that. And he was excited.”

John Fox gave the 5-6 Bears a signature victory.

“Looking at guys in that locker room that have been here for a minute maybe not having great success here, Jay included, it was fun to watch,” Fox said.

Just one year earlier, Marc Trestman’s team lost at Lambeau Field, 55-14.

“I don’t even remember the last time, to be honest with you,” Cutler said. “So much has changed, so much is new.”

The Bears’ offense sputtered to start, but was boosted when safety Chris Prosinski forced an Eddie Lacy fumble in the second quarter. Cutler converted three third downs on the possession, the first two to receiver Marc Mariani and the third on a three-yard score to tight end Zach Miller.

The Bears’ special teams killed that momentum, allowing a 64-yard kick return, but the defense forced a 22-yard field goal.

After Deonte Thompson’s own long return — for 37 yards —Jeremy Langford, the rookie who came off the bench in support of the recovered Matt Forte, finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left in the first half. The Packers kicked a field goal as time expired, and the Bears led, 14-13, at halftime.

In the halftime ceremony to unveil his name and No. 4 on the north façade at Lambeau Field, Favre gave a short speech to a cheering throng waving yellow flags. He later embraced Bart Starr, another former Packers quarterback great who overcame medical hardships to attend.

In the third quarter, Rodgers injured his left hand when he was hit after retrieving an errant shotgun snap on third down. He never missed a down, but appeared hampered the rest of the way.

Robbie Gould’s 21-yard field goal about three minutes into the fourth quarter was the second half’s only points.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley


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