GREEN BAY– The Bears defense made sure that the loudest cheers from Packers fans Thanksgiving night came during a halftime ceremony for Brett Favre.
Facing a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who has owned them the last five years, the Bears allowed just one touchdown, produced two takeaways and held the Packers out of the end zone on four straight plays from the 8-yard line in the final minute with the game on the line.
"I think we had great communication and everyone was just focused on their job," said safety Chris Prosinski, who started in place of the injured Antrel Rolle. "Coach Vic [Fangio] put us in great positions. For me, he is a genius. He is the first coordinator that I have had that I can really understand as far as what he is trying to do with the game plan. A lot of credit goes to him."
It was a group effort by the Bears defense. Tracy Porter intercepted a Rodgers pass late in the game and had four pass breakups. Prosinski forced an Eddie Lacy fumble that Lamarr Houston recovered. Jonathan Anderson stopped Lacy for no gain on fourth-and-two. Houston recorded seven tackles, one sack, two tackles-for-loss and one quarterback hit. Willie Young had three tackles, one sack one tackle-for-loss and three quarterback hits.
"Every game is big, but we are still in the playoff hunt so this game was huge," Porter said. "We just had to come out and play together, execute in all phases and that is what we did. I have been saying that we have a great defense all along. We just have to continue to have that chemistry of playing with each other. The more and more we play with each other, the better we will become."
Stepping up: With tight end Martellus Bennett sidelined due to a rib injury, Zach Miller helped pick up the slack by catching his team-leading fourth touchdown pass of the season. His 3-yard reception from Jay Cutler tied the game 7-7 midway through the second quarter. All four of Miller's TDs have come in the last four games.
"It was a great call," Miller said. "[Offensive coordinator] Adam [Gase] put us in position with a great call. Jay had to buy some time to get the ball off. I had an easy job. I was wide open. I just had to catch it. Great call by Adam and a good throw by Jay."
Bennett had played in all 36 games since signing with the Bears as a free agent in 2013. He has now missed only five contests in eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Giants and Bears
Bennett tops the Bears with 50 receptions. Among NFL tight ends, he entered Week 12 tied for second in receptions, fourth in receiving yards and tied for eighth in TD catches since joining the Bears.
On the ground: Veteran running back Kyle Long returned after missing three games with an ankle injury, rushing for 44 yards on 15 carries. He split the workload with rookie Jeremy Langford, who ran for 48 yards and one TD on 12 attempts.
The Packers outrushed the Bears 177-101 as Lacy ran for 105 yards on 17 carries.
Just for starters: After allowing touchdowns on their opponents' opening possession in the last three games, the Bears snapped that streak Thursday night in Green Bay.
On fourth-and-two from the Chicago 48, Lacy was stopped for no gain as Anderson made the initial hit behind the line of scrimmage and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee wrapped up Lacy.
History lesson: With Thursday night's win, the Bears extended their lead in the all-time series with the rival Packers to 94-92-6. The Bears have led the series since 1933 and reached a high water mark of 25 games over .500 at 81-56-6 in 1992. But the Packers have closed the gap significantly since that point by winning 36 of 49 meetings.
Turkey day: With Thursday night's win, the Bears improved their all-time record on Thanksgiving to 17-15-2, snapping a four-game losing streak that began in 1997.
This year marked the first time the Bears played the Packers on Thanksgiving. Their record against other teams is as follows: Detroit Lions (8-8), Dallas Cowboys (0-2), Dallas Texans (0-1), Chicago Cardinals (7-3-2), Chicago Tigers (1-0) and Buffalo All-Americans (0-1).
Road warriors: With Thursday night's win, the Bears snapped a streak of five straight division road losses dating back to a 27-20 victory over the Packers in Green Bay on Nov. 4, 2013. The Bears have one division road game remaining this season, Dec. 20 in Minnesota.
QB celebration: The Packers honored legendary quarterback Brett Favre at halftime Thursday night, while also paying tribute to Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. Favre's No. 4 jersey was officially retired during a ceremony in the summer.
Personnel notes: In addition to Bennett and Rolle, receiver Eddie Royal (knee) and running back Ka'Deem Carey (head) missed the game. Other Bears inactives were cornerback Jacoby Glenn, guard/tackle Nick Becton and defensive lineman Will Sutton.
This and that: After drawing no penalties last Sunday against the Broncos for the first time since the 1995 season finale, the Bears were flagged 12 times for 95 yards Thursday night. The Packers drew just three penalties for 38 yards. ... The Bears improved to 1-3 when they win the turnover battle. They are 3-1 when they lose it and 1-2 when it's even. ... The Packers outgained the Bears 365-290 but were successful on just 3-of-11 third-down opportunities. ... Bears rookie tight end Khari Lee recorded his first career NFL reception, a 7-yarder in the first quarter.