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(Sunday, December 13th)
Final Score: Green Bay 21, Chicago 14
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Ryan Grant ran for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Green Bay Packers to their fifth straight win and a season sweep of the Chicago Bears with a 21-14 victory at Soldier Field.
In the 179th meeting of this storied rivalry, it was the Packers (9-4) who solidified their playoff hopes with their first road win in this series since 2006. Aaron Rodgers completed 16-of-24 passes for 180 yards, and Jermichael Finley caught five passes for 70 yards in the win.
Charles Woodson added his eighth interception of the season to tie his career- high.
"It's a great game to be a part of. We really enjoy coming down here and playing," said Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy. "We got off to a great start, can't say enough about our defense. I thought the game started with our defense and I thought it ended with our defense. They played at a very high level, and they were a huge part of our success today."
Jay Cutler threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-36 efficiency but was also picked off twice for the Bears (5-8), who have lost five of six -- with the lone win coming against the lowly Rams. Cutler now has 22 interceptions, which is the most by a Bears quarterback since 1949.
Matt Forte was held to 51 yards on 12 carries, and Johnny Knox caught five passes for 83 yards and a score.
The Bears scored 14 straight points to take a one-point lead early in the third quarter, but the Packers' defense came up with a crucial turnover in the opening moments of the fourth to set up the go-ahead score.
"I thought our guys played hard, we did some good things throughout. After starting the way we did, we got ourselves in position," said Bears head coach Lovie Smith. "In games like that, a couple critical plays determine who wins and who loses, and we didn't get it done."
On 3rd-and-5 from the Chicago 32, Cutler threw a pass up the left sideline that was grabbed by Green Bay's Nick Collins, who took it back to the 11-yard line. Three plays later, Grant punched it into the end zone from one yard away, and Rodgers threw a two-point conversion pass to Greg Jennings for a 21-14 lead with 12:39 to play.
The Bears got into Packers territory on the ensuing possession but were still forced to punt. Green Bay tried to make it a 10-point game with a 42-yard field goal by Mason Crosby, but he pushed it to the right, giving Chicago the ball on its 32 with six minutes left.
A penalty gave the Bears a 2nd-and-22 at their own 20, and Greg Olsen appeared to haul in a deep pass for a first down. He lost it after hitting the ground, resulting in an incomplete call. Chicago, though, called a timeout, then challenged the play and lost, costing the team another timeout.
The Bears had to punt with just over four minutes to play but held strong on defense, getting the ball back on their own nine-yard line with a little over two minutes remaining.
On 2nd-and-3 from the 16, the Packers sacked Cutler for a loss of eight. Two plays later on 4th-and-9 following a false start, Cutler's pass fell incomplete to end the Bears' hopes of tying the game.
The Packers forced the Bears to go three-and-out on the game's opening drive, and, following a punt, Grant found a seam down the left sideline and rumbled 62 yards for a touchdown and an early Green Bay lead.
Chicago continued to struggle on offense, gaining just one first down on its next series, and the Packers responded with a Crosby 33-yard field goal to cap a 12-play, 48-yard drive with just under four minutes left in the first quarter.
On the Bears' next offensive play, Cutler was intercepted by Woodson, which led to another Crosby field goal -- from 26 yards away -- in the opening moments of the second quarter for a 13-0 Packers lead.
Chicago got into Packers territory just once in the first half, but it made the series count, as Cutler threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Knox to complete a 13-play, 80-yard drive that got the Bears within six at halftime.
Green Bay got the ball to start the second half, but Rodgers fumbled twice on the same play in Chicago territory, eventually giving it up to the Bears. Cutler then needed only six plays to go 56 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, throwing a 10-yard scoring pass to Devin Aromashodu, who adjusted nicely to an underthrown pass near the right pylon for a 14-13 lead.
Aromashodu's touchdown was the first of his career...Chicago leads the all- time series in the NFL's most-played rivalry, 90-82-6, dating back to 1921...The Bears were without wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester (calf)...Woodson has five interceptions in five career games at Chicago...Collins has an interception in three straight games against the Bears.
12/13 17:46:36 ET
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