CHICAGO – QB Aaron Rodgers’ 60-yard bomb to WR Jordy Nelson in the final half-minute of the game set up K Mason Crosby for a game-winning 32-yard field goal on the last snap of the game, and the Packers escaped Soldier Field with a 30-27 win over the Bears.
Chicago rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the score, and the Packers hadn’t had a first down in the fourth quarter until the long pass to Nelson.
With the win, the Packers (8-6) pulled within one game of the first-place Lions (9-5) in the NFC North. Green Bay can win the division by winning its last two games.
Rodgers finished 19-of-31 for 242 yards and an 87.0 passer rating. Nelson had seven receptions for 124 yards. RB Ty Montgomery gained 162 yards on the ground on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns, while RB Christine Michael added four carries for 45 yards, including a 42-yard TD.
For the Bears, QB Matt Barkley was 30-of-43 for 362 yards with two TDs and three interceptions for an 81.7 rating. RB Jordan Howard had 17 carries for 90 yards and a score, and WRs Deonte Thompson and Cameron Meredith both went over 100 yards receiving, with WR Alshon Jeffery adding 89 yards and a TD through the air.
Here’s a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action.
The Bears got right back into the game to start the fourth quarter. Barkley started looking for WR Alshon Jeffery and found him for gains of 23 and 27 yards to make it first-and-goal, and then Barkley hit Jeffery for an 8-yard TD. Chicago pulled within 27-17 with 13:27 to go.
The Packers went three-and-out, as Bears LB Pernell McPhee got his second sack of Rodgers on the day on third down. Green Bay punted, and a penalty on Chicago on the punt made the Bears’ offense start from their own 22.
The Bears went right back down the field, as Packers’ CB Damarious Randall did not return to the game. There was no injury announcement in the press box. Barkley hit passes of 10, 12 and 9 yards to Jeffery on a nine-play scoring drive that Howard finished off with a 9-yard run following a roughing-the-passer penalty on LB Jake Ryan. Barth’s PAT made it 27-24 Packers with 7:34 left.
The Packers went three-and-out again, as Rodgers’ third-down scramble came up 2 yards short. P Jake Schum boomed a 52-yard punt that was returned 8 yards, and the Bears took over on their own 21 with 5:42 to go.
Two passes to WR Deonte Thompson moved the chains twice for the Bears and put them near midfield. Two passes to WR Cameron Meredith picked up another first down at the Green Bay 39. A defensive holding penalty and an 18-yard screen pass to RB Jeremy Langford put the Bears on the 16 at the two-minute warning.
Howard then ran 13 yards to the 3 to make it first-and-goal. A holding penalty on Bears TE Logan Paulsen moved them back to the 13. Meredith gained 9 yards on a short pass to the 4, and Howard was stopped for no gain, setting up third-and-goal from the 4. The Packers used all their timeouts on the series, so 1:27 remained.
DB Micah Hyde broke up the third-down pass for Meredith at the goal line, and K Connor Barth’s 22-yard field goal tied the game at 27 with 1:19 to go.
On third-and-11, Rodgers hit the 60-yarder to Nelson, and then spiked the ball with 3 seconds left. Crosby was good on the final snap and the Packers won.
The Packers’ defense generated three turnovers and the offense turned them all into points as Green Bay jumped out to a 27-10 lead after three quarters on Sunday at Soldier Field.
On the first play of the third quarter, Packers LB Julius Peppers stripped Bears QB Matt Barkley from behind and recovered the fumble at the Chicago 17.
After one first down, the Packers were backed up to the 16 by a holding penalty. QB Aaron Rodgers then had his pass for WR Davante Adams dropped in the end zone. Rodgers scrambled twice down to the 1-yard line, and the Packers kicked an 18-yard field goal to take the lead, 13-10.
The Packers got it right back with another turnover. S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix intercepted his fourth pass of the year on a ball overthrown for TE Daniel Brown, and he returned it to the Green Bay 42.
Rodgers found Adams for a 19-yard gain, but a hands-to-the-face penalty on G Lane Taylor moved the Packers back to midfield. Passes of 10 yards to TE Richard Rodgers and 11 yards to WR Jordy Nelson moved the chains, and then RB Ty Montgomery broke off a 26-yard run to make it first-and-goal on the 2.
It took him two tries, but Montgomery ran it in for his second rushing TD of the day, and the Packers led, 20-10, with 4:53 left in the quarter.
The Packers got their fourth straight turnover – counting the Hail Mary interception at the end of the first half – as Clinton-Dix intercepted Barkley again on an overthrow. The pass for WR Daniel Braverman went right to Clinton-Dix over the middle, and he returned it 27 yards to the Chicago 45.
Two plays later, RB Christine Michael broke through on the right side, cut back to the left, and raced 42 yards for a touchdown, extending Green Bay’s lead to 27-10 with 1:03 left in the third.
Packers RB Ty Montgomery rushed for nearly 100 yards in the second quarter alone, but the Bears had the better of it on the scoreboard as Green Bay and Chicago entered halftime tied at 10 on Sunday at Soldier Field.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter, Montgomery spun out of a tackle at the line and raced 61 yards to the Chicago 29-yard line. After a false start penalty, QB Aaron Rodgers connected with WR Jordy Nelson for 10 yards, and RB Christine Michael ran for 4 to set up third-and-1.
Montgomery was stopped for a loss of 2, and the Packers decided to go for it on fourth down, but Rodgers was sacked by Bears LB Pernell McPhee.
The Bears got on the board on their next drive. QB Matt Barkley and WR Deonte Thompson started clicking as they connected on passes of 15, 11 and 17 yards. Barkley also hit WR Cameron Meredith for 11. But Green Bay’s defense held in the red zone, as a third-down fade route to the end zone corner for Meredith was overthrown, and the Bears settled for a 26-yard field goal by K Connor Barth.
Green Bay led, 7-3, with 6:00 left in the half.
The Packers went three-and-out and punted. A Green Bay penalty on the punt gave Chicago great field position at its own 45.
The Bears got into scoring range right away on a 34-yard pass to Meredith to the Green Bay 18. After an 8-yard pass to TE Daniel Brown, Barkley hit WR Josh Bellamy in the flat, and Bellamy ran over CB Damarious Randall for a 10-yard TD. Barth’s PAT put the Bears ahead 10-7 with 2:16 left in the half.
After another bad special-teams play left the Packers to start on their own 15, Rodgers hit TE Jared Cook for 21 yards as the two-minute warning arrived. After another pass to Cook, for 12 yards, Montgomery ran 36 yards on a shotgun draw to the Chicago 16. On second down, Rodgers’ pass to the end zone for WR Davante Adams was dropped, and his third-down pass was almost intercepted.
K Mason Crosby tied the game at 10 with a low, line-drive 34-yard field goal with 32 seconds left.
A Hail Mary pass by the Bears on the final play of the half was intercepted by Packers DB Micah Hyde.
The Packers scored first and took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter on Sunday at Soldier Field.
With the official game time temperature at 11 degrees (minus-4 wind chill), the Packers wasted no time getting on the board. QB Aaron Rodgers, showing more mobility than expected with his injured calf, hit TE Jared Cook on a pair of third downs for 27 and 17 yards. On a 12-yard completion to WR Jordy Nelson, Rodgers was roughed by Bears DL Akiem Hicks, making it first-and-goal on the 4.
RB Ty Montgomery took it around right end from there, and the Packers had a 7-0 lead with 9:57 left in the opening quarter.
The Bears responded with a quick first down, as QB Matt Barkley hit WR Deonte Thompson for a 19-yard gain on the first play, but the Packers’ defense got the stop. A third-down pass over the middle to WR Alshon Jeffery was broken up by LB Joe Thomas, and the Bears had to punt.
The punt was downed at the Green Bay 1-yard line. The Packers got out of the hole on a 20-yard completion to Nelson on first down. On the ensuing third down, a sack of Rodgers was wiped out by a defensive holding penalty on Bears CB Tracy Porter, giving Green Bay another first down. Montgomery then had consecutive runs of 13 and 9 yards to get near midfield.
But Rodgers was sacked on third down by blitzing DB Demontre Hurst, and the Packers had to punt.
The Packers’ defense forced a three-and-out as the quarter expired.