NFL Game Summary - Chicago at Green Bay|
(Sunday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Green Bay 10, Chicago 3
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - The Packers needed one defensive stop to get
into the playoffs.
Nick Collins made sure it happened.
Collins' interception deep in Green Bay territory helped the Packers defeat
the game Chicago Bears, 10-3, at Lambeau Field to close out the regular season
in celebratory fashion.
Aaron Rodgers' one-yard touchdown pass to Donald Lee in the fourth quarter was
the difference, and the Packers (10-6) will head to Philadelphia as the sixth
seed to take on the NFC East champion Eagles in next week's Wild Card
"It's an exciting day for our organization," said Packers head coach Mike
McCarthy. "It's an exciting day for our fans, and we're excited as a football
team. We're really looking forward to preparing this week and competing
Rodgers finished with 229 yards passing, and Greg Jennings caught four passes
for 97 yards to help the Packers earn back-to-back playoff appearances for the
first time since four straight trips from 2001-04.
The Bears (11-5), with absolutely nothing to gain by playing their starters,
tried to deal their arch-rival a knockout blow, but will still go into the
playoffs with the No. 2 seeding and a first-round bye.
"We had an opportunity to knock the Packers out of the playoffs, but we didn't
do it," said Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.
Jay Cutler finished with 168 yards on 21-of-39 passing and was picked off
twice, and Matt Forte ran 15 times for 91 yards in defeat.
Cutler nearly directed a potential game-tying drive in the final minutes, but
came up just short.
Beginning from the Chicago two-yard line with just under five minutes to play,
Cutler converted a 3rd-and-1 with a seven-yard pass to Greg Olsen, then
scrambled for seven yards on a 3rd-and-4 to gain the 31-yard line.
The two-minute warning came shortly thereafter, and the Bears moved into Green
Bay territory on an 11-yard reception by Forte as the clock ticked below 1 1/2
On 3rd-and-10 from the 48, Cutler hit an open Devin Hester for a 16-yard gain,
and his next pass fell incomplete near the five in an attempt to reach Devin
Aromashodu. Hester was open again on the following snap, but Cutler's pass
sailed high and right into the hands of Collins, sealing the outcome.
"It was a little high," Cutler said. "It was a cover-2 (defense). I threw it a
little bit high, and it drifted on me."
Both teams struggled on offense in the first half, going a combined 2-for-12
on third downs and just one red zone opportunity.
The best chance in the first quarter was Green Bay's second drive, when
Rodgers hit Driver for a pass to the Chicago 35. Driver, though, had the ball
punched out of his grasp, and Charles Tillman fell on it to end the series.
The Bears scored the first half's only points midway through the second
quarter on a 10-play, 62-yard drive. Cutler hit Rashied Davis for a 21-yard
pass play to start the set, and Forte later took a screen pass 27 yards to get
into field goal range. Robbie Gould hit a 30-yarder with 4:31 left.
Green Bay, which scored 45 points in a rout of New York last week to control
its own destiny, was suddenly staring defeat in the face after a scoreless
"There were definitely some nerves at halftime," Rodgers said. "I think just
frustration was the biggest thing and knowing that we needed to win and
knowing that we were struggling on offense."
Things looked even worse in the third when Rodgers was intercepted near
midfield on a diving catch by Tillman, who returned the ball to the Packers'
15. But Cutler returned the favor quickly, lofting an ill-advised pass right
to Green Bay's Charlie Peprah in the end zone.
The Packers finally found a spark with six minutes left in the third when
Tramon Williams returned a punt 41 yards to the Chicago 44. On the third play
of the ensuing drive, Jennings took a deep pass down the right sideline 33
yards to the one.
Rodgers wasn't able to lead his team into the end zone, but Mason Crosby's 23-
yard field goal tied the game with 2:39 left.
A solid kickoff return put the Bears at midfield, but a sack forced a 3rd-
and-15 situation. Cutler dumped the ball off to Forte, who was able to run
straight up the middle to seemingly gain the first down; however, the crowd
noise was so loud that the players never realized that Chicago had called a
timeout, nullifying the play.
Cutler was sacked again on the second attempt and punted the ball away,
leading to Green Bay's go-ahead drive.
The Packers took over at their own 25 and faced a 3rd-and-3, but Rodgers
converted with a 21-yard completion to Donald Driver. Rodgers hit a wide-open
Jennings again down the right sideline on the next play, and Jennings took the
ball to the one.
Green Bay made sure to punch it in this time, as Rodgers found Lee wide open
in the back of the end zone with 12:42 remaining.
Chicago recorded just one first down on its next two drives, which both
resulted in a punt.
Chicago still leads the historic series, 91-83-6...The Bears have lost their
last three games at Lambeau Field...Green Bay has won 11 of its last 12 home
games...The Packers, who committed 18 penalties for 152 yards in their 20-17
loss to Chicago earlier this season, were whistled for only four infractions
totaling 30 yards on Sunday...The Bears finished 6-2 on the road, while the
Packers went 7-1 at home this season.
01/02 20:50:10 ET