The Chicago Bears weren't given much of a chance to beat the Green Bay Packers this week, but following a nearly nine minute drive late in the fourth quarter, they ended up pulling off a stunning 27-20 upset over the Packers on Monday night.
The Bears opened the game up just the way that many feared they would, giving up decent gains on the ground and through the air to Rodgers. Deep in Bears territory though, Shea McClellin got off a block at the line and ended up sacking Rodgers, and drove him shoulder-first into the turf. He immediately went to the trainers, and the Packers had to settle for a field goal that put them up 3-0.
When McCown and the offense came onto the field for the first time, they gave the Packers a hint of what was to come. They focused on finding open receivers in 1-on-1 coverage, and the drive culminated with McCown finding Brandon Marshall in the corner of the end zone. On the play, McCown shed a sack attempt from the Packers, and fired a perfect strike to Marshall, who controlled his body well to get a knee and elbow down in bounds to give the Bears a 7-3 lead.
On the Packers’ next drive, the Bears other defensive end Julius Peppers got in on the act, tipping a pass attempt from Packers backup Seneca Wallace and picking it off to give the Bears great field position. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get anything going, and to make matters worse, Adam Podlesh’s subsequent punt attempt was blocked, and the Packers got the advantage back in the field position game.
James Starks took full advantage of the special teams stand by the Packers, busting out a massive run on the first play of the drive as he found a huge hole when the Packers did a picture-perfect pull to the strong side of the formation. The run gave the Packers a 10-7 lead, and promptly deflated the confidence that some Bears fans had felt when Rodgers went out with injury.
After a couple of unsuccessful drives by both teams, the Bears ended up generating a scoring push in the second quarter. Martellus Bennett snatched a great pass from McCown and took it down to the half yard line, and two plays later, Forte drove it into the end zone to give the Bears a 14-10 lead.
The Bears’ defense ended up standing tall as the second quarter wore on, getting consecutive three-and-outs against Wallace and company, and late in the first half, the Bears went into their two-minute drill offense. McCown picked up a couple of key third down conversions, but unfortunately, they ran out of time, and had to settle for a field goal from Robbie Gould as time expired to give them a 17-10 lead at the half.
Lacy came out ready to play on the Packers’ first drive of the second half, busting out a 55 yard run to get Green Bay a first and goal in close to the end zone. Lacy then finished the job on the next play, and tied the game at 17-17. To complicate matters, Mason Crosby then executed a perfect onside kick attempt to give the Packers the ball back at midfield, and with a tied game, the Packers went back on offense.
Fortunately for Chicago, their defense once again stood tall in the end zone, with Chris Conte on the coverage on a third down throw to the end zone that eluded Packers tight end Antoine Quarless. Crosby did get another field goal however, and Green Bay took a 20-17 lead.
McCown and company had the perfect response to that drive though, picking up three third down conversions on the drive as they marched 47 yards in just seven plays. McCown finished the drive off with a bullet of a throw to Alshon Jeffery in the corner of the end zone, and when Jeffery held on, the Bears had a 24-20 lead.
The Bears gave the Packers some extra field position on a facemasking penalty by Charles Tillman, but on third down, the Bears got some tremendous pressure on Wallace, and McClellin picked up his second sack of the game to force a fourth down and the Packers to punt. On the ensuing Bears drive, they had a fourth and inches play at their own 33 yard line, and Marc Trestman opted to go for it, and Forte picked it up to validate Trestman's gamble and give the Bears a first down, as well as an opportunity to milk some clock.
McCown picked up another clutch third down later in the drive, as he got some great protection from his line and found Marshall in the flat for a first down near midfield. From the Packers' 39, the Bears ran a great play to Forte, and the running back stayed in bounds to keep the clock moving for Chicago and gave them a first down near the red zone.
On another third down later in the drive, the Bears ended up going with a pitch out to Forte against a Packer blitz, and he ended up fighting through tackles to get the first down to keep the clock moving. Martellus Bennett ended up committing a holding penalty on the ensuing first down though, which stopped the clock without the Packers having to call a timeout.
The Packers did have to call all three of their timeouts on the ensuing possession however, adn the Bears got to about the Green Bay 9-yard line with less than a minute left to go.