Problem for Bears: Cutler is no Rodgers

And golly, Cutler failed to convert a single third down. He tried to throw seven times on third down. He threw two incompletions, two completions that did not make first downs, was sacked twice and once took off and ran but was stopped short.

Rodgers, meanwhile, converted eight third-down opportunities when he dropped back to pass, including throwing a touchdown pass on third-and-4 in the second quarter.

"Third down is the money down," Rodgers said. "You have to be able to make some plays, especially when the pocket breaks down."

That 29-yard touchdown pass to Jones on third down was huge for the Packers because the Bears had just taken a 7-0 lead on the previous possession.

"That was really important," Rodgers said. "Keep the crowd at bay a little bit. Chicago fans are excellent sports fans and they know when to cheer and when to get loud. We've played here and it's been very difficult to hear."

Rodgers was good on fourth downs, too, completing an 8-yard pass to Jermichael Finley on fourth-and-2, and completing a 12-yard pass to Randall Cobb on fourth-and-6 that led to a third-quarter touchdown.

Rodgers' best play of the day may have been another third-quarter touchdown throw to Jones, this one squeezed in on Jones' back hip, in the exact spot where Charles Tillman could not defend it. Tweezers never placed anything more perfectly.

Rodgers dealt with pressure better than his Bears counterpart. Cutler lost an average of 7 yards per sack. Rodgers lost an average of 4.3, had a few smart throwaways and was deft at moving in the pocket to extend plays.

"I was thinking about moving around a little more," he said. "Just being aware of where I was in the pocket and stepping up when I had to, keeping plays alive."

Cutler was left to take responsibility for the passing game's ineptness and give credit to the quarterback of the 2012 NFC North Division champions.

"They did a good job and hit pass plays when they needed to," Cutler said. "He's an MVP player."

Can they ever say that about Cutler as long as Rodgers is around?

That's a problem for the Bears.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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