Packers Pull Away From Bears Late, Clinch #1 Seed in NFC Playoffs
Green Bay 35, Chicago 16
–Aaron Rodgers threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers pulled away from the Bears late in the fourth quarter to clinch the #1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs and a first round bye.
Chicago controlled the first quarter – and scored the first points of the game on a two-yard touchdown run from David Montgomery with 7:31 left in the first to cap a 14-play, 80 yard drive.
The Packers came to life in the second quarter – scoring on the opening play of the frame on a three-yard pass from Rodgers to Robert Tonyan to make it a 7-3 game. The touchdown catch was Tonyan’s 11th on the season.
After the Bears went back in front on a 30-yard field goal from Cairo Santos, Rodgers connected with Marquez Valdes-Scantling for 72 yards for a 14-10 advantage. The Packers would then turn a fumble by the Bears into another score – as Rodgers found Domonique Daffney for a 13-yard score and a 21-10 lead with 3:57 to play before halftime. Another Santos field goal made the score 21-13 at halftime.
Just like the first quarter, the Bears controlled the third quarter – getting an 11-play, 87 yard drive from their offense, but had to settle for another field goal to make it a 21-16 game with 5:30 left in the third.
Chicago controlled much of the fourth quarter as well, but turned the ball over on downs at the Green Bay 25 after a 15-play drive that took eight minutes off the clock. The Packers turned that turnover into points, with Aaron Jones running for a four yard score to make it 28-16. Then, an interception from Mitchell Trubisky on the ensuing drive led to a touchdown pass from Rodgers to Davante Adams to create the final margin with 2:56 to play.
With the win, the Packers clinch the #1 seed in the NFC Playoffs and a first round bye, plus home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bears got some help, and despite their loss will get into the playoffs thanks to the Rams’ win over Arizona.
Passing: Aaron Rodgers – 19/24, 240 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Aaron Jones – 11 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 2 catches, 87 yards, 1 TD; Davante Adams – 6 catches, 46 yards, 1 TD
Passing: Mitchell Trubisky – 33/42, 252 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: David Montgomery – 22 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Darnell Mooney – 11 carries, 93 yards, 0 TD
Other NFC North Action:
Minnesota 37, Detroit 35
–Kirk Cousins threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings held off the Lions in the season finale in Detroit. Matthew Stafford threw for 293 yards and three scores in the loss for Detroit. The Vikings finish the season 7-9, while Detroit closes 5-11.