GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Mike McKenzie is a man of his word.
After getting burned early for a 61-yard score, McKenzie
promised to make amends.
Question on the Bears: Are there any aspects of the offense that you think are set for next year?
Of course, this all depends on what the coaching staff's vision for this team is. Different offensive schemes often help to determine what kind of personnel is needed to fit that particular scheme. But going into next season, the only position that truly looks safe is RB Anthony Thomas'. He has had spots during this season where he has been highly effective and earned the Bears' victories. He'll definitely be the starting RB next season
Question on the Packers: Why has the rushing attack been less efficient the past two weeks?
The Packers' rushing attack has been the main focus of opposing defenses the past two weeks. More and more opposing defensive coordinators are making the decision to let QB Brett Favre beat them instead of Ahman Green. The thought process is that Favre has the better chance to make a mistake and hand a team the game because of his propensity to throw interceptions.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
"He said on the sideline, 'Don't worry, I'll get it back for
you guys," Packers teammate Na'il Diggs said.
McKenzie sure did, picking off two second-half passes and
returning his second one 90 yards for a touchdown to spark Green
Bay's 34-21 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
"I was in shock about it," McKenzie said. "I'd never given up
a play when the guy ran right by me like that. I told the guys,
'That was definitely my fault. I'm going to get it back."
Did he ever.
"Mike has a short memory," Packers defensive coordinator Ed
Donatell said. "And I love that to the dickens."
The Packers (7-6) were clinging to a 19-14 lead with just over
nine minutes left when McKenzie stepped in front of receiver Dez
White and picked off Stewart's pass at his 10-yard line and ran it
all the way back.
"I was licking my chops. I was hoping it was a quick throw,"
said McKenzie, who broke just as Stewart released the ball.
"I thought my momentum would take me out of bounds, but I saw
all that green grass ahead of me," McKenzie said after his second
career two-pickoff performance and second career interception
return for a touchdown.
Stewart hoped to deceive McKenzie.
"It just so happened he played it smart," Stewart said. "I
tried to throw it outside. He broke on it pretty good."
Dick Jauron, whose fate as Chicago's coach might have been
sealed with the defeat, figured it was a safe call: if the Bears
didn't get the first down, they'd settle for a short field goal.
"You think at the worst you're going to be two down, then all
of a sudden, the whole thing is turned around," he said. "It was
a long day."
McKenzie's day could have been bigger had he not dropped another
interception in the closing minutes.
Green ran 30 times for 80 yards. He needed 92 to break Jim
Taylor's 41-year-old single-season rushing record, the oldest team
rushing mark in the NFL.
"So what? We won the game," Green said. "I don't care about
no record. All I worry about is our record at the end of December.
Records come and go. That's all I'm going to talk about that
After Green's TD, Jerry Azumah returned the ensuing kickoff for
an 88-yard score, snapping Green Bay's streak of 34 unanswered
That was of little consolation to the Bears (5-8), who took a
quick 14-0 lead, but turned the ball over five times and gained
just 44 yards rushing.
McKenzie also picked off Stewart in the third quarter, and that
led to Ryan Longwell's 35-yard field goal that gave Green Bay its
first lead at 16-14. Longwell also was good from 24, 38, and 45
Brett Favre completed 22 of 33 passes for 210 yards and a
touchdown. He improved to 20-4 against Chicago.
The Packers started slowly for the second straight week.
Three plays after Booker's TD, linebacker Lance Briggs picked
off Favre's fluttering throwaway pass and returned it 45 yards for
"I was just throwing it as hard as I could. If it got up to the
50th row, great," Favre said.
It didn't come close and suddenly the Packers were down 14-0.
"I might have been the only one in the stadium who wasn't
worried," said Favre.
Longwell kicked two field goals and Favre threw a 21-yard
touchdown pass to Javon Walker to pull the Packers to 14-13 at
Favre tied two records on the play: Dan Marino's NFL mark of 24
straight games with a touchdown pass against one opponent (Marino's
victims were the New York Jets) and Cecil Isbell's team record of
22 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Isbell set the mark in
When they were down two touchdowns, Favre was quiet.
"Any time you spot a team 14 points, it's tough to come back,"
Favre said. "I didn't feel a need to go over and say anything to
the guys, though."
McKenzie had already done that.
The Packers wore No. 3 decals on their helmets in honor of
late Hall of Fame halfback Tony Canadeo, who died last week. ...
Favre eclipsed Forrest Gregg's team record by playing in his 188th
straight regular-season game.
Earl Campbell told ESPN that he wants to sit down and talk with Johnny Manziel, hoping that their common ties in the state of Texas will help the former running back connect with the quarterback.
Broncos safety Shiloh Keo faces a charge of driving under the influence in Idaho.
The Dolphins made their first pair of significant roster cuts Friday, and there are several more who are in danger of being on the chopping block.
Mike Vick, who started three games for the Steelers while Ben Roethlisberger was hurt, is taking a break in Dubai as he prepares for free agency.
In a roundup of recent Seahawks news, there's a report out that backup QB Tarvaris Jackson will likely seek to test the market once free agency opens.
The Redskins will dabble in free agency but aren't likely to make a big splash; most of their needs are on the defensive side.