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Bears fail to make most of chances


In Sunday's shootout at Soldier Field, the Bears desperately tried to keep pace with the Packers, who scored touchdowns on five of their first six possessions.

But producing a total of only three points after reaching the 1-yard line on two first-half possessions cost the Bears dearly in a 38-17 loss to their arch rivals.

After a pass interference penalty against the Packers gave the Bears first down at the 1, right guard Kyle Long was flagged for a false start. On third-and-goal from the 5, Jay Cutler threw slightly too high for Alshon Jeffery and the Bears settled for Robbie Gould's 23-yard field goal.

"I've got to see it [on tape], see how high exactly it was," Cutler said. "Alshon said he should have got it. I'd like to bring it down a little bit. You just get a little weary throwing the ball late over the middle like that. You just never know who's coming. I just put it a little too high for him."

With :09 left in the first half and the Bears out of timeouts, they had the ball at the Green Bay. The Bears sent four receivers on vertical routes and Cutler hit tight end Martellus Bennett, who was stopped inches short of the goal line by rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

"We called a play where everybody is headed to the end zone," said coach Marc Trestman. "I don't know whether Marty flattened his route, working to get open. I felt we made the right call. We had plenty of time. It really was an excellent play defensively to be able to make that stop at the 1-yard line.

"We didn't get it done, so we certainly gave up the three points. There was a short decision to be made there, but clearly with :09 left, we were going to take a shot in the end zone. We had the play we wanted. We just came up short."

Copy-cat league: The Bears scored a nifty second-quarter TD on an 8-yard TD pass from Cutler to Jeffery. Lined up wide left, the receiver went in motion, then stopped and ran back toward the left sideline, catching a swing pass from Cutler in the left flat and racing into the end zone.

"We stole that from somebody; I think maybe St. Louis," Cutler said. "It's a copy-cat league. If we see a play that we can steal and set it up, then we'll take advantage of it. It was a good time to call it; right yard line and we caught the right coverage."

Tough call: With the Bears leading 10-7, it appeared they would force the Packers to settle for a field goal when Lance Briggs stopped Eddie Lacy for no gain on third-and-two at the Chicago 30.

But linebacker D.J. Williams was whistled for a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty, resulting in a first down. Three plays later, Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson with a 3-yard TD pass.

Asked if he received an explanation for the penalty flag, Trestman said: "I didn't get an explanation. It's a subjective call. I think everybody is going to look at the tape and they're all going to come to their own conclusions. It was very disappointing that we got the call."

News and notes: Bennett set career highs with nine catches for 134 yards. It was the first 100-yard receiving game of his career, and he now leads the Bears in receiving with 29 receptions and 295 yards. … The Bears played without DE Jared Allen (illness), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion), C Roberto Garza (ankle), LG Matt Slauson (ankle), LB Shea McClellin (hand) and CB Sherrick McManis (quad). Rookie OT Charles Leno Jr. Jr. was also inactive.

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