Holding Green Bay and Brett Favre to seven points is something no one had done all year. Considering Chicago was missing four defensive starters, the accomplishment was all that more impressive.
Holding Green Bay and Brett Favre to seven points is something no one had done all year.
Considering Chicago was missing four defensive starters, the accomplishment was all that more impressive.
Israel Idonije started for Darwin Walker at tackle. Jamar Williams started for linebacker Lance Briggs. Trumaine McBride started for corner Nathan Vasher. And Alex Brown started for end Mark Anderson.
Brown and Williams tied Brian Urlacher for second on the team in tackles with five each in Sunday's 35-7 victory over the 12-3 Packers. Brown had the Bears' only sack, a quarterback hurry, an interception and a pass defensed. Williams had a pass defensed. Idonije added three stops and a pass defensed. McBride helped hold Green Bay's 1-2 receiver punch of Donald Driver and Greg Jennings to a combined seven catches for 74 yards and no scores.
Green Bay's lowest point production was 16 in Week 1, a 16-13 win over Philadelphia. It had totaled between 27 and 38 points its previous seven games. It brought in the NFL's third-ranked offense (376.1 yards per game) and was held to 274 yards.
"It says a lot to do that," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said of his team's defensive showing with so many substitutes. "If you look at their record and what they've been able to do against everyone, guys are looking for a chance to play," mentioning Williams and McBride.
"Alex Brown getting his first start in a while -- big interception, sack, playing good ball throughout. The young defensive linemen we brought in last week contributed again," referring to Jimmy Kennedy and Mark Toeaina, who combined for three tackles.
The defense has shown improvement the past couple games, holding Minnesota's Adrian Peterson to 78 yards rushing the week before.
"The defense has taken a lot of shots with our play that we've had this year," Smith said. "I thought last week (a 20-13 loss at Minnesota) we took a step even though they had a few yards against us, and I really felt this week we took another."
Brown has dealt with losing his starting position without sulking. He's ninth on the team in tackles with 52 while contributing five tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, 3 1/2 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a partridge in a pear tree.
In Sunday's game, Brown's third-quarter interception set up a 28-yard drive culminating in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Desmond Clark.
"We played good out there," Brown said. "It wad cold, but we had fun. That's what it's all about ... we made plays.
"I don't think they played their best. I think it was a little bit of what we did and a little of what they did."
Corner Charles Tillman, who had three tackles and a blocked punt, acknowledges it can be difficult to be motivated when you're out of playoff contention.
"At the same time, with that being said, every man on this team has pride and doesn't want to be remembered as 'oh, the Bears are soft,'" he said. "No one wants to be remembered as a soft player or that we didn't play hard."
Postgame quotes provided by the NFL contributed to this report. Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or email@example.com.