With Bear Week in full swing, everyone from Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to Packer fans in far off countries are revisiting the penalty-filled disaster that was the Packers 20-17 loss to the Chicago Bears.
A common theme, from the coach to the media to the fans, is that the Packers were the better team that Monday night in September. The oft-repeated phrase is that the Packers "beat themselves" with their record-setting 18 penalty performance.
While this is somewhat true, the other mitigating factor in the loss was the Packers' inability to finish. Drives, tackles, blocks - you name it, the Packers just didn't finish off whatever it was they were doing. Much could be made of the points taken off the board when right tackle Mark Tauscher was flagged for a hold on Julius Peppers when Rodgers hit Jermichael Finley for a touchdown. But there were plenty of plays where the Packers simply didn't "seal the deal", from the protection breaking down on a field goal attempt which allowed Peppers in for a block to the offensive line's inability to get to the second level in the running game, the overall effort was way too uneven that night for Packer fans to go around talking about how the Packers were the better team.
Against the Bears this Sunday, McCarthy's club has to continue on the path they set when they came out against the Patriots two weeks ago. The Packers have been playing their best football all year over the course of the last eight quarters. They have also become one of the least penalized teams in the NFL, if you can believe it. The Bears are no joke and it will take another strong, smart performance from McCarthy's team for the Packers to come out on top over the Bears who, despite the perception that they have somehow "lucked" into 11 wins, have also been playing their best football at the end of the year.
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