This was one of the oldest rivalries sorting itself out on Soldier Field, with Aaron Rodgers and his explosive wide receivers against the stalwart defense of the Chicago Bears, led by Brian Urlacher. This was the ultimate rubber-band match for these two rivals this season — whoever wins goes to the Super Bowl. The Chicago Bears won in week 3 of the regular season with a 20-17 score and lost in week 17 against the Green Bay Packers 10-3. The Bears intended on shutting out the Packers from arriving into the playoffs by using their starters in that last game, but they couldn’t stop the fourth quarter drive against Aaron Rodgers. It’s Lovie Smith vs. Mike McCarthy, Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher vs. Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings and Jay Cutler vs. Clay Matthews…
Now here comes the NFC Conference playoffs and its analysis:
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers started off early in the first quarter with passes to Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings and James Starks. And an amazing Rodgers’ 1-yard rush for a touchdown as a first strike against the Chicago Bears.
- Bears running back Matt Forte‘s early first quarter 24-yard reception from quarterback Jay Cutler was stunning.
- The almost-close safety late first quarter to Jay Cutler was avoided barely with a jump pass to Matt Forte (that was dropped). That was too close for comfort for the Bears and their fans.
- James Starks got his first NFL career touchdown from 4-yards out, and it extended the lead to 14-0 for the Packers.
- Bad Jay Cutler finally showed up in this critical game with a quarterback rating of 34.1 with only 80 yards passing and an interception into the half. Unfortunately, Bad Jay Cutler additionally was replaced with backup Todd Collins after the half. The game for the Bears started to spiral downwards afterwards.
- Green Bay Packers had 103 total yards rushing between Aaron Rodgers, James Starks and Brandon Jackson into the half. The Packers established a running threat albeit a bit unconventionally with Rodgers in the equation, but it was first assisted by the receiving duo of Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson with 115 yards combined into the half.
- Near the end of the fourth quarter, the interception from Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears from a pass intended for Packers wide receiver Donald Driver was answered with an interception from Sam Shields with a pass intended to Johnny Knox.
- Brian Urlacher’s 39-yard interception return of Aaron Rodgers could not swing the momentum into the Bears favor as the offense sputtered under Todd Collins.
- Then in came Caleb Hanie, the third option at quarterback for the Bears late third quarter with both an injured Jay Cutler and an anemic Todd Collins on the sidelines.
- Caleb Hanie’s drive ended with Chester Taylor’s 1-yard touchdown to close the lead within a touchdown at 14-7.
- BJ Raji’s late fourth quarter 18-yard interception on Caleb Hanie brought the score of 21-7.
- Earl Bennett’s 35-yard pass for a touchdown kept the game interesting again at 21-14.
- Sam Shields last interception of Caleb Hanie sealed the game.
The explosive Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers offense fought the Chicago Bears at Soldiers Field and came out with a 21-7 win. The arrival of Bad (and Injured) Jay Cutler and Bad Todd Collins did not go so well for the Chicago Bears, despite the Bears defense stepping up at times. Good Caleb Hanie brought life to this Bears team, although the last two minutes closed the game for the Bears. Surprisingly, Good Caleb Hanie had a better quarterback rating at 88.1 compared to Aaron Rodgers 55.4.
Now the Green Bay Packers are off to the Super Bowl against their opponent to be determined later tonight, and the Chicago Bears may have found a starting quarterback for their next season over Jay Cutler. Coach Lovie Smith and the Bears are now regretting not stopping the Green Bay Packers in their last game of the regular season, as the Packers ended theirs in the post-season.