10 Bears question marks after upset of Packers

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brett Favre was in an elevator Thursday night when Aaron Rodgers hurt his hand. The former quarterback looked around, and, according to those alongside him, joked that he’d need only five minutes to get loose.

While we wonder if Favre was really kidding, here are 10 Bears question marks in the wake of their 17-13 win at Lambeau Field:

1. Who’d be excited about a Favre return?

Cornerback Tracy Porter, who intercepted Favre in the 2009 NFC championship game and then got Aaron Rodgers on Thursday night. He had a second interception, too, that came back on an iffy illegal contact call.

Get this: Porter is one of five active NFL players to have picked off both Favre and Rodgers. One of the others: former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman.

“It’s playing the game for a while, you know what you can and can’t do,” said Porter, who debuted in 2008. “You know what you can and can’t get away with. You have that savvy of playing the game for a while.”

2. Is the running back job a timeshare now?

Maybe. Matt Forte played 37 snaps, rookie Jeremy Langford 30. The latter was more effective, rushing 12 times for 48 yards, while Forte ran 15 times for 44.

3. But where was the run game?

Good question. The Bears ran 31 times for 101 yards; the 3.3-yard average was their second-lowest all year.

“I wish we coulda done a better job for our backs,” guard Matt Slauson said. “Especially a guy like Matt, I feel like we owe it to him to get him loose.”

4. What was Ryan Pace’s best trade deadline move?

Not dealing outside linebackers Willie Young and Lamarr Houston. Since the two combined to play only 11 snaps two days before the Nov. 3 deadline, they’ve totaled seven sacks and one interception. At least one has a sack in all four games. Thursday, they each had one.

5. Who’s an underrated MVP from Thursday?

Deonte Thompson’s 37-yard kickoff return gave the Bears the ball at their 42 at the first half’s two-minute warning. Seven plays later, they scored their first touchdown.

After his second game as the Bears’ kickoff returner, Thompson now owns the team’s second-longest this season.

6. Do you have to mention kick coverage?

Jeff Janis’ 64-yarder Thursday was the third-longest the Bears allowed this season — including two touchdowns — and the sixth of 37 or more yards.

For perspective: seven teams haven’t allowed a single return of more than 37 yards all year.

7. Mariani played his best game at receiver, though?

He had three catches, all to convert third downs, for 35 yards.

“He’s one of those guys, kinda like (tight end) Zach (Miller), does everything right,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “We ask him to do a lot of the grunt work. He blocks, runs off, and for him to be catching some big first downs for us and move the chains, he’s a fun guy to play with.”

8. How bad was Aaron Rodgers?

In the second half, he was 9-for-21 for 87 yards and no points, only the fourth Packers home second-half shutout in the last decade. His 62.4 passer rating was his lowest as a starter at Lambeau Field.

9. Is this Pernell McPhee’s new usage?

This week, coordinator Vic Fangio admitted McPhee, who has a knee injury, could get to the point where he was worse than a healthy teammate. He played 56 percent of the team’s snaps Thursday; Sunday it was 55.

10. Should the Bears have gone for it?

On fourth-and-1 from the Packers’ 46 with 2:53 to go, they punted. Because it was a touchback, they netted only 26 yards.

“We do study this stuff,” Fox said. “That’s one of those calls that hindsight probably is 20-20.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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