Staying Alive: Why the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears
By Kenn Korb
60 yards of glory
After the defensive stand to hold the Bears to a field goal — keeping the score tied at 27-all rather than a 31-27 deficit — Green Bay got the ball back. Surely if they were to not score here, they would have a chance at overtime, but anything can happen depending on the coin flip; if their defense were to be forced to stop Chicago, there’s no guarantee they could keep them out of the end zone again. With that in mind, finding a way to quickly get a score of some kind to prevent that possibility was paramount.
The start of this drive didn’t look promising for those hopes, however. Rodgers missed Cook on first down. Montgomery was immediately snapped up on a second down screen. With a third and long now being faced, overtime felt imminent.
All it took was one play to change everything.
On third down, Rodgers dropped back to pass. With excellent blocking ahead of him (nobody within 5 yards of him), he calmly dropped back, slowly strafing to his left. Eyes downfield, he found a target: Nelson, who had stepped inside of the coverage of Crevon LeBlanc, angling towards the deep middle of the field. Nelson waved to Rodgers to signal he had his guy beat, and Rodgers flung it deep. Nelson ran deep, located it perfectly, and came down with the ball with zero issue.
Following a hasty run-up to spike the ball, we had just 5 seconds remaining. Crosby booted through the kick, giving Green Bay the victory.
The kick was the official sealing moment, but it was this trademark Rodgers-Nelson deep ball connection which brought it to fruition. Without it, we might not be talking about a Green Bay victory, and those playoff hopes would be perilously thin.
Next: Packers special teams recap in win over Bears
Instead, this is the fourth win in a row or Green Bay, and the dreams of running the table survive for another week.