CHICAGO | The Green Bay Packers got a 32-yard field goal as time expired on Sunday to beat the Chicago Bears 30-27 and earn their fourth-straight win.
Play of the Game
It wasn’t exactly fourth-and-8 to win the division like he managed in 2013 at Solider Field, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers finding wide receiver Jordy Nelson for a 60-yard gain late in the fourth quarter on Sunday could end up being just as big.
After running just six plays in the fourth quarter and watching the defense give up 17 points unanswered to allow the Bears to tie the game, the Packers offense walked on the field with 1:19 left on the clock and no timeouts. By the time it was third-and-11 at their own 26-yard line, there were just 31 seconds left and another incompletion could have given the Bears the ball back with time to go for the win.
Coach Mike McCarthy and Rodgers didn’t care. They took a shot on a deep pass and it landed, with Rodgers getting great protection and throwing it up for Nelson.
“I saw Jordy put his hand out,” Rodgers said. “(I) just tried to put enough air on it for him to run underneath it. That’s what he does, he makes those kind of catches.”
The play set kicker Mason Crosby up for the game-winner from 32 yards out, which he hit for the 30-27 victory.
Offense: RB Ty Montgomery
Before the 2015 NFL Draft, there were some teams that thought Montgomery was a wide receiver that could play some running back, especially in third-down situations. On Sunday, the second-year player out of Stanford proved again that he’s a running back now and for the foreseeable future.
Montgomery gained 162 yards on just 16 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. His rushing total was the most by a Packers running back in the regular season since 2005 when Samkon Gado ran for 171 yards against Detroit.
It’s not just the yards, though. It’s how he gets him. For a guy that has barely played the position, Montgomery shows patience and toughness, darting in and out of holes. His best run of the day — a 61-yard burst in the second quarter — looked like a play that was going to go for 2 yards.
How he got to the position wasn’t ideal — injuries and ineffectiveness — but the Packers have to be overjoyed he ended up there.
Defense: S Micah Hyde
The defense by the Packers in the fourth quarter was atrocious, but it was a play by Hyde that allowed them a chance to kick the game-winning field goal instead of being forced to score a touchdown on their final drive.
Faced with a third-and-goal at the 4-yard line, quarterback Matt Barkley looked for wide receiver Cameron Meredith on a quick out route in the end zone, but Hyde got his hand on it and knocked it away. The Bears kicked a field goal on the next play to tie the game.
“Wish I could have picked it off, (but) I stumbled a little bit,” Hyde said. “Made the play and it was good for our offense to go out and get three.”
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had a pair of interceptions, which were big plays, but Hyde’s deflection turned out to be the biggest.
Special Teams: K Mason Crosby
The kick itself wasn’t difficult. It was a 32 yarder that Crosby has hit a million times. But you never know when it a game-winner. Crosby had one blocked on the same field in 2008. This time, though, the snap was perfect, the hold was great and Crosby knocked it through the uprights to give the Packers a 30-27 win.
On the day, the 11-year veteran was 3 of 3, and he’s now 24 of 28 on the season.
Video of the Game
Quote of the Day
“Just did my job. Once I got past the (defensive back), I threw my arm up just to make sure Aaron saw me. He said he saw, so he let it go.
“It wasn’t the most graceful thing, but it got done.”
Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson on his 60-yard catch that setup the game-winning field goal.
In Case You Missed It
— Former Packers guard Josh Sitton, who was cut just before the season, was one of the Bears captains on Sunday. The man who replaced him in Green Bay, Lane Taylor, was one of the Packers captains.
— On what turned out to be the final offensive play for Chicago — the incompletion to wide receiver Cameron Meredith — the Packers only had 10 guys on the field until right before the snap. Defensive lineman Letroy Guion ran down the sideline, waiting until he got to the line of scrimmage before cutting over onto the field. He almost hit ran into Hyde, who ended up breaking up the ball.
“I don’t know. I’ll have to watch it on film,” Hyde said when asked if he realized how close Guion came to hitting him. “I do remember (Guion) running down the sideline.”
— Starting cornerback Damarious Randall was replaced in the nickel and dime defenses in the fourth quarter. The second-year pro was the victim of an earlier touchdown pass and struggled to tackle his man on several other plays.
— NFC North leader Detroit lost at the New York Giants on Sunday, dropping to 9-6 on the season. It leaves the Packers just one-game back of the Lions with two games to play. If Green Bay wins out — home to Minnesota and at the Lions — they’ll win the division.
Inside the Numbers
94-94-6 — That’s the all-time record between the two teams after Sunday’s game. It’s the first time since 1933 that it’s been tied.
2 — That’s how many Packers have run for at least 150 yards and scored two touchdowns against the Bears in a game. That’s after Ty Montgomery accomplished the feat on Sunday, joining Ahman Green, who did it in 2003.
1,037 — That’s how many yards Jordy Nelson has this season after catching seven passes for 124 yards on Sunday, including a 60-yard catch to setup the game-winning field goal.
4-0 — That’s Green Bay’s record since Aaron Rodgers told everyone — in the midst of a four-game losing streak — that he thought the team could run the table to finish the season.
Green Bay (8-6) will play their final regular-season home game on Saturday at noon against Minnesota. The Vikings lost 34-6 at home to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.