Bears see the "real" Longwell


Posted Dec 4, 2002


In the first Packers-Bears meeting this season, Ryan Longwell just wasn't himself. The kicker missed on three of five attempts in the Packers' 34-21 win on that October afternoon in Champaign, Ill.

If the game left a bad taste in Longwell's mouth, he erased it with a great performance in last weekend's rematch.


Longwell made three-of-three attempts in the swirling winds at freezing-cold Lambeau Field. He connected from 21, 31 and 27 yards as the Packers clinched the division title with a 30-20 win.

Despite that success, the day wasn't a complete snap for the Cal product. Longwell struggled in warmups (an oxymoron in December in Lambeau), and had to use Darrien Gordon as a holder on a kickoff due to the winds.

The weather contributed to Sherman's decision to go for it on fourth-and-6 from the Bear 29 rather than subject Longwell to a 46-yard field goal.

"It was a no-brainer," Longwell said. "Coach Sherman asked me and they all saw it in pregame. So we said we didn't have any shot to make this."

With the game safely in the books, the coach might second-guess that decision. The Packers came up short and turned the ball over to the Bears on downs. Chicago scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Meanwhile, Longwell overcame the weather and boomed his kickoffs, placing most inside the 5.



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