The Packers are the champions of the NFC North. And the Bears are in danger of missing the playoffs.
Green Bay went to Chicago on Sunday and gutted out a hard-fought 21-13 win, clinching their division in the process. And the Bears, who were as hot as any team in the NFL over the first half of the season, have now lost five of their last six games and are in real jeopardy of being done by New Year’s Day.
Bears fans will complain, and rightly so, about the way pass interference was called in this game: Alshon Jeffery had two very costly offensive pass interference calls, one negating a touchdown catch and one negating a long gain on third down, and then Packers cornerback Sam Shields wasn’t called for interfering with Jeffery on a crucial fourth down. The Packers also benefitted greatly from a questionable pass interference call on Bears safety Chris Conte, which set up a Green Bay touchdown.
For the Packers, the biggest concern is special teams, which were horrible for Green Bay: The Packers attempted a ludicrous trick play on a punt return, having Randall Cobb catch the punt and then throw it across the field to Jeremy Ross, who flubbed Cobb’s lateral, losing a fumble that set the Bears up in great field position. And Mason Crosby went 0-for-2 on field goals, raising the question of whether Crosby will be unemployed next week.
But special teams aside, the Packers have a lot to celebrate. With two weeks to go in the season, they know they’ll be playing at least one playoff game at Lambeau Field in January.