On a last-minute play involving a gamble by the Bears’ defense, the Packers won big — and won the NFC North title in the process.
Aaron Rodgers’ 48-yard TD pass to Randall Cobb with 38 seconds left gave the Packers a 33-28 victory against the Bears in Chicago on Sunday evening.
The victory sends the Packers to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. The Packers will host the 49ers next weekend in the wild-card round.
Meanwhile, the loss ends Chicago’s season at the hands of an old and bitter rival.
On the decisive play, the Bears brought extra pressure on 4th-and-8 at the Chicago 48. Rodgers rolled away from the rush and threw deep for Cobb, who ran through the Bears’ coverage and came wide open. Then, it was just a matter of whether Cobb would catch the ball.
Indeed, he did, and when the Packers intercepted the Bears’ Hail Mary pass on the final play of regulation, Green Bay had secured the NFC North.
In his first game back in the Packers’ lineup after missing seven games with a broken collarbone, Rodgers completed 25-of-39 yards for 318 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both TD passes were to Cobb, who was activated from injured reserve on Saturday.
The Bears trailed 13-7 at halftime, but their offense was sharp to begin the second half, and Jay Cutler’s five-yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall at the start of the fourth quarter gave Chicago a 28-20 lead.
However, the Packers’ offense, led by Rodgers, would take over in the final period.