Packers Take NFC North Crown In ThrillerThriller
CHICAGO – Aaron Rodgers is back leading the Green Bay Packers and that might be unhealthy news for each different playoff team.
He returned from a damaged collarbone and is taking goal at a postseason run, even if it took one big cross to get there.
Rodgers fired a forty eight-yard landing to Randall Cobb in the ultimate minute, and the Packers beat the Chicago Bears 33-28 to capture the NFC North championship on Sunday.
"It is a special group of guys who've been by loads," Rodgers said. "It has been a rollercoaster."
Again after lacking seven video games with a broken left collarbone, Rodgers found a large-open Cobb on fourth-and-eight to wipe out a one-level deficit with 38 seconds left.
Green Bay will host San Francisco next weekend in the wild-card spherical.
The Bears had one remaining drive, but Jay Cutler's deep pass to Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Sam Shields on the ultimate play.
That gave the Packers (8-7-1) their third straight division title and fifth postseason look in a row. It also saved the Bears (8-8) out of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.
Things weren't trying nice for the Packers after Chicago's Brandon Marshall spun away from Tramon Williams in the end zone on the primary play of the fourth quarter to make it 28-20. But Green Bay answered with a touchdown drive.
Eddie Lacy ran in from the 6 after a 22-yard move from Rodgers to Andrew Quarless went by means of security Chris Conte's arms, making it a one-level game.
Then, on the profitable drive, Green Bay converted twice on fourth-and-1 before Rodgers eluded pressure and unleashed that winning pass to Cobb.
A block by John Kuhn on Julius Peppers helped Rodgers roll to the edge and find Cobb by himself down the sector.
"We had a blitz on," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We misplaced an edge. Aaron was capable of get outdoors. Once he got exterior things occur. While you've acquired a zero blitz on things can happen. And we simply lost protection with our eyes within the backfield."
For Rodgers, it was a strong finish after a shaky begin, and it gave him some payback towards the staff that nearly ended his season.
He was intercepted on the Packers' first two possessions but threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns in his first appearance since he was injured in a loss to Chicago on Nov. 4.
Cobb, in his first appearance since Oct. thirteen, caught just two passes but each were for touchdowns.
"To be in that moment at the finish of the sport and have that chance, it's a blessing," Cobb said.
Jordy Nelson had 161 yards receiving. James Starks ran for 88 yards. Lacy aggravated his ankle harm in the third quarter and completed with just sixty six.
For the Bears, their first season below Trestman ended the same method five of the earlier six did underneath Lovie Smith – on the skin looking in on the playoffs.
This loss is sure to spark reminiscences of Green Bay's victory in the 2010 NFC title sport at Soldier Area on the best way to the Super Bowl championship – and gasoline extra questions about Cutler's ability to win massive video games though he performed well.
With a playoff spot on the line and his contract set to run out, Cutler threw for 226 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He's now 1-9 in opposition to Green Bay, together with that conference last and a loss with Denver in 2007.
Marshall assured Cutler shall be back next season, and Cutler stated he'd prefer to return.
"You'd like to," Cutler stated. "You may't predict the long run, although. I'm probably not going to get into what's going to happen. It always works out the way it's alleged to."
Matt Forte ran for 110 yards and two scores. He also had 47 yards receiving with a landing catch.
Jeffery had eighty yards receiving, and Marshall had seventy four.
Two unusual performs late within the first half turned a 7-3 deficit into a 13-7 advantage for the Packers.
Green Bay had a first down on the Chicago 17 when a sack and strip in opposition to Rodgers by Peppers turned into a wild touchdown. Jarrett Boykin ran throughout the sphere, picked up the loose ball as play stopped. One thing, though: The whistle never blew.
With Rodgers standing nearby, Boykin turned and headed 15 yards to the end zone, and after a replay evaluate, it stood.
That stunned the crowd and gave the Packers a ten-7 lead.
Green Bay caught another huge break on the Bears' next possession when Jeffery fumbled a go at the Chicago forty one. Morgan Burnett picked up the ball and lateraled to Shields, who returned it to the Chicago 28. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to make it a six-level sport at the half.
As for Boykin's fumble recovery, Rodgers said it was one of the strangest performs he might recall.
"Boykin finally picked it up, I seemed again at (referee) Clete (Blakeman), he was looking at us so I believe myself and all people on the sideline was telling him to begin running," Rodgers stated. "It was one of many crazier plays I have been a part of."
had his left foot in a strolling boot and was on crutches after being injured on the sport's first offensive series… Green Bay's
suffered a hip damage in the second half.
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