Black and Blue all over: Packers forget to pass

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We spent most of our postgame time in Chicago's locker room Monday night, but Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hit on a Green Bay point I was wondering about during the game.

Namely: Why, after attacking the Bears all evening with their passing game, did the Packers use three consecutive running plays prior to Mason Crosby's ill-fated 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter?

The plays netted four yards, moving the ball from the Bears' 24-yard line to the 20. It was another example of late-game caution from the Packers' otherwise aggressive coach, Mike McCarthy. After watching Crosby botch a 46-yarder earlier in the game, how comfortable could McCarthy have been with a 38-yard attempt?

Silverstein questions whether McCarthy went conservative or lost faith in quarterback Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy responded that he has "full confidence" in Rodgers and added:

"I have no problem calling any pass play. I think it was evident from the way we threw the ball down the field. I thought we played aggressive. I thought we played to win."

If anything, I think McCarthy is guilty of underestimating the degree of difficulty on field goals. Last month, he played for a 52-yard attempt against Minnesota. Crosby missed that long-distance kick, which would have given the Packers a last-second victory. Monday night's conditions at Soldier Field, meanwhile, dictated that no distance was a sure bet.

We'll touch on this topic later Tuesday. For now, let's take a morning spin around the division:

  • Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Of all the gut-wrenching losses the Packers have endured in a pitiful 5-10 season, their 20-17 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears Monday night at Soldier Field might be the most repulsive and bitter of them all."

  • Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times: "I'm still not even sure what [the Bears] just did. But they're not done."

  • Minnesota coaches preach ball security in every practice, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune. The team still fumbled seven times in Sunday's 24-17 loss to Atlanta.

  • Former Vikings tailback Robert Smith's evaluation of tailback Adrian Peterson, who has fumbled eight times this season: "He just wasn't holding it tight." Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains.

  • In case you missed it Monday, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin won't reveal his plans for playing starters in Sunday's game against the Vikings.

  • John Niyo of the Detroit News looks at the blessing and curse of having the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, which the Lions have clinched.