LIVE BLOG: Packers defeat Bears 35-16, get home field advantage for playoffs
CHICAGO, Ill. (WBAY) – Both teams in one of the NFL’s biggest rivalries will be playing for playoff scenarios Sunday afternoon.
The Green Bay Packers (12-3), will be playing for a #1 seed in the NFC, while the Chicago Bears (8-7), will be playing for a playoff berth.
Sunday’s game will be the 202nd meeting between the clubs.
The Packers currently hold a 100-95-6 edge in the series, which includes two playoff games, where they are 1-1.
Out of the last 26 games at Soldier Field, the Packers have won 21 of the games.
However, seven out of the last eight games between the two teams at Soldier Field have been decided by single digits.
Earlier this year, the Packers won the matchup at Lambeau Field by a score of 41-25.
The Packers are currently in a race against the Seattle Seahawks (11-4) and the New Orleans Saints (11-4) for the NFC’s one seed, which also comes with home field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Both the Saints and the Seahawks play at 3:25 p.m. as well. The Saints will be playing against the Carolina Panthers (5-10), and the Seahawks are playing the San Francisco 49ers (6-9).
As noted in Dave Schroeder’s Fast 5 Pack Facts, the Packers will still get the #1 seed if both they and the Seahawks lose Sunday.
The Packers will be without offensive lineman David Bakhtiari, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Bears will be without:
- Buster Skrine
- Deon Bush
- Jaylong Johnson
- Lachavious Simmons
- Daniel McCullers
- Riley Ridley
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. at Soldier Field. The Packers kicked off, meaning they’ll get the ball to start the second half.
The Bears scored on that opening drive after a two yard rush by David Montgomery, and the extra point by Santos made it a 7-0 game. Montgomery had been slow to get up after a play earlier in the drive.
On the first play of the 2nd quarter, Rodgers and tight end Robert Tonyan connected on a three yard pass, and Crosby’s kick made it a tied game at 7.
The Bears’ first possession of the second quarter resulted in a punt, however on the return, Tavon Austin fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Chicago. That was the first turnover of the game.
That possession ended in a field goal, making it a 10-7 game.
That lead didn’t last long, after Rodgers threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Crosby’s kick made it 14-10.
On their next drive, Jaire Alexander forced a fumble, and was recovered by Green Bay at Chicago’s 22-yard-line.
The Packers were able to convert points from the turnover, with Rodgers throwing a 13-yard pass to Dominique Dafney for six. The PAT made it 21-10 with nearly four minutes to go in the first half.
The Packers had another shot at a turnover, however an off sides penalty by Preston Smith voided it.
A 27-yard field goal by Santos brought Chicago up to 13 with three seconds in the half.
Again, the Packers received at the beginning of the second half.
Rodgers’ first incompletion of the day came in the second quarter after a drop by Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The drive ended in a punt from JK Scott.
Although the Bears threatened to score a touchdown on their first drive of the second half, the Packers held them to another field goal.
Scott punted on the next drive for the Packers as well following a few more incompletions and near turnovers.
In the third, Krys Barnes went down for Green Bay.
The 21-16 score stood through the end of the 3rd.
The Bears attempted a fourth down conversion in the fourth, but failed for the first time during the game.
Rodgers and company took the field with about 11:30 to play in the game, with Davante Adams setting a franchise record for the amount of receptions in one season.
Running back Aaron Jones ran in for a four-yard touchdown, with the PAT making it 28-16.
Chicago’s drive ended with an interception by Adrian Amos at midfield, with 3:13 left in the game.
On first and goal, Rodgers and Adams connected for a six yard touchdown, and the PAT made it 35-16 with less than three minutes to go in the game.
35-16 was the final score, giving the Packers home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs for the first time in 9 years.
The game is airing on FOX.
Check back for updates throughout the game from the Action 2 News Sports team.
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