With their MVP quarterback returning from a two month injury hiatus, the Packers playoff hopes came down to Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Playing in a winner take all matchup for the NFC North title, Aaron Rodgers put the Pack into the postseason once again with a 48 yard touchdown strike to Randall Cobb in the game’s final minute, giving the Packers a 33-28 win.
Labeled as one of the premier matchups of the weekend, the game lived up to its billing as the two teams traded blows for much of the game. Rodgers looked rusty early as he was picked off on the Packers first two possessions, but the Packers took a 13-7 lead into half time thanks to one of the strangest plays of the year. Wide receiver, Jarrett Boykin, picked up an Aaron Rodgers fumble and walked into the end zone as Bears players stood and watched, thinking the play was whistled dead, allowing for the easy touchdown.
Trading touchdowns for most of the second half, the Bears looked primed for the win as Jay Cutler hooked up with Brandon Marshall to start the fourth quarter, giving the Bears a 28-20 lead. The Packers answered right back, though, as Eddie Lacy punched in an impressive touchdown run to cap a 6 play, 77 yard drive which cut the Bears lead down to one.
Down one, Rodgers showed why the Packers are once again Super Bowl contenders with him in the lineup. Facing fourth down on three separate occasions on the game-winning drive, Rodgers and the Packers found a way each time to save their season. None was more impressive than Rodgers’ 48 yard bomb to Randall Cobb on 4th and 8 which saw Rodgers elude pressure to hit the receiver in stride. Given less than a minute to stage a comeback, Jay Cutler and the Bears fell short as Sam Shields intercepted Cutler on the game’s final play.
With all their weapons finally back from injury, the Packers seem ready for yet another deep playoff run. Rodgers was a god-send for the receiving corps which saw a healthy Randall Cobb score 2 touchdowns and Jordy Nelson record 10 receptions for 161 yards. Eddie Lacy was also effective even on a bum ankle and will provide yet another dimension for a Packers offense which looks dangerous once again with Rodgers at the helm. Sunday was proof that as long as No. 12 is under center for the Packers, anything can happen.