The Chicago Bears lost 35-16 to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday evening, but they still reached the postseason thanks to the Los Angeles Rams' 18-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Rams have earned the sixth seed in the NFC by virtue of the victory, while the Bears will lock into the seventh seed. The Rams will take on the Seattle Seahawks, and the Bears will face the New Orleans Saints.
Aaron Rodgers was his usual strong self against the Bears, with 240 passing yards and four touchdown passes in the victory. The win moves Rodgers to 21-5 in 26 regular season meetings against the Bears.
Aaron Jones rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, who secured the top seed in the NFC with the win.
Mitchell Trubisky went 33-of-42 for 252 yards, but his late interception sealed Chicago’s fate in the loss.
The Bears revealed their game plan early, grinding out a 7:29 drive that ended with a David Montgomery touchdown run and a 7-0 lead for the home side.
The Packers answered back with a long drive of their own, using 12 plays to churn 80 yards down the field. Robert Tonyan did the honors for the Packers, hauling in a short touchdown catch to knot things up at 7-7.
The Bears appeared to have given the ball back to the Packers later in the second quarter but Tavon Austin fumbled the punt, giving the Bears new life. Chicago couldn’t score, but Cairo Santos drilled through a field goal to give Chicago a 10-7 lead.
The Packers stormed right back after that, with a three-play drive that culminated in a long touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scanlon that put Green Bay in front by a 14-10 margin.
After Bears tight end Cole Kmet fumbled the ball early on Chicago’s next drive, the Packers took advantage again, this time with Dominique Dafney finding an open spot behind the defense and hauling in a 16-yard touchdown pass to give Green Bay a 21-10 lead late in the half.
Undeterred, the Bears hung in the game, getting a late field goal from Santos to end the first half and another to start the second half as they narrowed the Green Bay lead to 21-16. Unfortunately for the Bears they let a golden opportunity slip away in the fourth quarter, as a 15-play drive stalled out with an incomplete pass from Trubisky on fourth down.
The Bears then watched as Rodgers and the Packers put together a 12-play scoring drive, with Aaron Jones rushing in from four yards out to make it a 28-16 game.
After a Trubisky interception, the Packers emphatically sealed the game, with Rodgers finding Davante Adams for the score and the ultimate 35-16 margin of victory.
The win ensures the Packers a bye in the first round of the playoffs, while the Bears will head to New Orleans to take on the Saints on Wild Card Weekend in the NFL.
Here is our archived live blog with updates from the game, and from around the NFL on Sunday.
6:26 p.m.: Bears to Face Saints in NFC Wild Card Round
The Chicago Bears are playoff-bound after the Los Angeles Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals in Los Angeles Sunday.
The Bears had a chance to control their own destiny heading into the game, but the Rams took care of business first, beating the Cardinals 18-7 at SoFi Stadium.
The Bears will have the seventh seed in the NFC playoffs, and will face the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the postseason.
The Rams will face the Seattle Seahawks, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will visit either the New York Giants or Washington Football Team, depending on which team wins the NFC East crown.
The Packers earned the top seed by virtue of their win Sunday, and will get a bye week in the first round.
6:20 p.m.: Bears Fall to Packers at Soldier Field
The Packers have locked up the top seed in the NFC playoffs thanks to their win over the Chicago Bears, defeating the Bears 35-16 at Soldier Field.
The Packers will take down the NFC's lone bye in the first round, and the Bears will face either the Seattle Seahawks or New Orleans Saints.
6:16 p.m.: Rams Beat Cardinals, Clinching Bears' Playoff Spot
The Bears are playoff bound thanks to the Rams' 18-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Los Angeles.
As things stand now, the Bears will take on the New Orleans Saints next weekend, while the Rams will have a divisional matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
6:09 p.m.: Davante Adams Scores, Likely Sealing Packers' Top Seed in Postseason
The Packers are likely the top seed in the NFC after Davante Adams hauls in a touchdown, giving the Packers a 35-16 lead with 2:56 remaining in the game.
6:06 p.m.: Adrian Amos Picks Off Trubisky, Potentially Sealing Bears' Fate
The Bears are in deep trouble in their game against the Packers, as Adrian Amos picks off Mitchell Trubisky with three minutes to go in the game.
Fortunately for the Bears, the Rams are still beating the Cardinals, which would let Chicago into the postseason.
6:01 p.m.: Packers Score, Leaving Bears in Desperation Mode Late
With 3:47 left in the game, Aaron Jones scampers home for his ninth touchdown of the season, and the Packers now lead 28-16.
5:59 p.m.: Darnell Mooney Done for the Day With Ankle Injury
Darnell Mooney, who has 11 catches for 93 yards, will not return to Sunday's game after suffering an ankle injury, the team announced.
5:51 p.m.: Bears Fail on 4th Down, but Rams Block Cardinals' Field Goal
The Bears are 4-for-4 on fourth down conversions, but after an incomplete pass from Mitchell Trubisky, they are now 4-for-5, and the Packers get the ball back with 11:21 remaining in the game.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Rams block a Cardinals field goal attempt, and still hold an 11-point lead.
5:36 p.m.: Bears Head Into 4th Quarter Trailing by 5
The Bears are trailing by five points heading into the fourth quarter of their game against the Packers, but are driving after converting on 4th down with a Darnell Mooney catch.
Reminder: the Bears get into the postseason with a win over the Packers.
5:26 p.m.: Bears Force Another Punt, Have Chance to Take Lead
If you know a Bears fan, you might want to hug them.
After two straight near-interceptions by Barkevious Mingo and Eddie Jackson, the Bears are happy to allow the Packers to punt the ball, but it could have been so much better for the Monsters of the Midway.
Bears now have the ball with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter, trailing by five.
5:20 p.m.: Rams Increase Their Lead, Bears Settle for Field Goal
After an incredible 53-yard pass to Darnell Mooney, Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears settle for a field goal deep in Green Bay territory, and now it's 21-16 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
In Los Angeles, the Rams notched another field goal, extending their lead to 15-7 over the Cardinals in the third quarter.
5:10 p.m.: Roquan Smith Downgraded to Doubtful for Bears
Smith has not seen the field since injuring his elbow in the first quarter of the game, and it doesn't look like he'll be back:
5:08 p.m.: Bears Get Key Stop to Start Second Half Against Packers
The Bears get a fortunate break as Marquez Valdes-Scantling drops a surefire touchdown pass, but after a Khalil Mack sack and an incomplete pass on third down, the Bears forced the Packers to punt the ball away.
4:51 p.m.: A Playoff Update From Around the NFL
Here is where things currently stand in the NFL playoff hunt:
-The Packers are leading the Bears 21-13 at halftime in Chicago. A win would secure the top seed in the NFC for Green Bay and a first round bye.
-The Rams, thanks to their late pick-six against the Cardinals, lead 12-7 at halftime. A Rams win would clinch a playoff spot and the sixth seed for Los Angeles, and would also clinch a playoff spot for the Bears.
-The Saints lead the Panthers 16-7 at halftime. A win by the Saints would earn them the second seed in the NFC, and would potentially set up a first-round matchup against the Bears at the Superdome next weekend.
-The Seahawks hold a 6-3 lead over the San Francisco 49ers. They need the Packers to lose to secure the top seed in the NFC, but as things stand now, they would get the third seed and would host the Rams next week.
-The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already clinched the five-seed thanks to their win today, and are set to face the winner of the NFC East in the first round. That will either be the New York Giants, who beat the Dallas Cowboys today, or the Washington Football Team, who would clinch a division title with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.
4:50 p.m.: Bears Get Late Field Goal, Trail Packers at Halftime
It is now halftime at Soldier Field after a field goal from Cairo Santos. It's 21-13, and we're at the break.
4:47 p.m.: Rams Deliver Pick-Six, Take Lead on Cardinals
The Rams have given the Bears' playoff hopes life, as they get an 84-yard interception return for a touchdown from Troy Hill to give them a 12-7 lead over the Cardinals just before halftime.
A reminder: if the Rams beat the Cardinals, the Bears earn the seventh seed in the NFC playoffs.
4:32 p.m.: Dafney Scores, Gives Packers 11-Point Lead
With less than five minutes to go in the half, the Packers now lead by 11 points, as Dominique Dafney hauls in an easy touchdown pass from Rodgers to make it a 21-10 game.
Rodgers is now 10-for-10 for 155 yards and three touchdowns.
4:26 p.m.: Kmet Fumble Sets Up Packers With Great Field Position
The Bears had lost five fumbles so far this season, and they just lost number six, as Cole Kmet coughed up the ball, giving Green Bay excellent field position.
4:19 p.m.: Rodgers, Valdes-Scantling Burn Bears on 72-Yard TD Pass
In the blink of an eye, the Packers now lead the Bears, as Marquez Valdes-Scantling hauls in a 72-yard touchdown pass to give Green Bay a 14-10 lead.
Chuck Pagano called up a corner blitz on the play, and Danny Trevathan was left to cover Valdes-Scantling, and the decision didn't pay off on the play.
4:13 p.m.: Roquan Smith (Elbow) Questionable to Return vs. Packers
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers after suffering an elbow injury.
Smith suffered the injury on Green Bay's first possession of the game, going down on the field after trying to make a tackle in the first quarter of the contest.
Smith was not on the field on the Bears' next defensive possession, and has been replaced by Josh Woods.
4:11 p.m.: Bears Add Field Goal, Take 10-7 Lead
After getting a possession deep in Green Bay territory, the Bears can't convert on third-and-short, and Cairo Santos drills his 25th straight field goal to make it a 10-7 game.
Meanwhile, the Rams had to settle for a field goal after having a first-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line, and they trail the Cardinals 7-3.
4:07 p.m.: Tavon Austin Fumble Gives Bears New Life
After a short drive stalled out, Pat O'Donnell's punt is fielded by Tavon Austin, and the returner coughs up the ball, giving the Bears the ball back deep in Green Bay territory.
4:01 p.m.: Tonyan Ties Things Up for Green Bay
The Packers respond to the Bears' touchdown drive with a long scoring drive of their own, with Robert Tonyan beating Duke Shelley and scoring his 11th touchdown of the season to knot up the game at 7-7.
3:57 p.m.: Bears Lead Packers 7-0 After First Quarter
The Packers are knocking on the door near the goal line, but for now the Bears lead 7-0 after 15 minutes of play in Chicago.
The Packers earn a fourth down conversion after Duke Shelley was flagged for pass interference on a throw to Davante Adams.
3:52 p.m.: Injuries Continue to Cause Concern for Bears
Roquan Smith is now down for the Bears after appearing to suffer an arm injury, which follows earlier injuries to Montgomery, who subsequently returned, and to Darnell Mooney, who appeared to injure his shoulder.
3:42 p.m.: Montgomery Returns, Scores a Touchdown
The Bears cap off a 14-play, 60-yard drive as Montgomery, returning to the game from his apparent injury, dives across the goal line, putting Chicago up 7-0.
Better yet, the Bears burned off nearly half of the first quarter clock, helping to keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' prolific offense.
3:39 p.m.: Streveler Puts Arizona on the Board Early
The Cardinals are up 7-0 on the Rams early on Sunday, as Chris Streveler, in relief of Kyler Murray, throws a touchdown pass to Jonathan Ward.
A reminder: the Bears get into the playoffs with a Cardinals loss.
3:35 p.m.: Injury Updates From Packers-Bears and Cardinals-Rams
The Bears are holding their collective breaths after running back David Montgomery was helped off the field following a big hit on the Bears' first series of the game.
Meanwhile in the Cardinals-Rams game, Cards quarterback Kyler Murray is heading to the team's locker room after suffering an apparent injury. He came into the game nursing an injury but gave it a go, but it's unclear whether the ailment is new or if he aggravated his previous injury.
NFL Playoff Update: Chicago Bears Clinching Scenarios, Possible Postseason Opponents
The Bears can get into the playoffs with a win over the Packers on Sunday, but there are other ways they can get into the postseason.
2:30 p.m.: Terry Bradshaw Says Bears' Mitch Trubisky Beats Packers in Epic Pep Talk
Terry Bradshaw had a message for Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky on the pregame show before their big Week 17 win-and-you're-in game against the Packers.
"Here is a guy, if you look at him who has been written off, cast away, we've heard the coach doesn't like him, ownership wants him out of the building," Bradshaw started.
"But let me tell you something, when you average 35 points a game your last four games, which he has done, and you play flawless footballs... sometimes benching, insults, ridicule, and you get that next opportunity, wakes a person up.
"Here is what I want to happen, here's the scenario. Three touchdown passes, a 90-yard drive in the fourth quarter to beat Green Bay at home to seal the deal."
2:20 p.m.: Bears, Packers Set Inactives for Sunday's Game
As had been previously announced, cornerbacks Buster Skrine and Jaylon Johnson were both listed as inactive for the Bears on Sunday, but safety Deon Bush will also miss the game, the team announced.
Bush, who was listed as questionable with a foot injury, was listed as inactive by the team 90 minutes prior to kickoff against the Green Bay Packers.
Skrine (concussion) and Johnson (shoulder) will miss their fourth and third consecutive games, respectively.
The Bears announced three other inactive players, with Lachavious Simmons, Daniel McCullers and Riley Ridley all inactive for Chicago today.
For the Packers, quarterback Jordan Love, cornerback Josh Jackson, linebacker Jonathan Garvin, offensive guard Simon Stepaniak, tight end Jace Sternberger and defensive lineman Kingsley Keke were all listed as inactive for the tilt.
Offensive tackle David Bahktiari, who tore his ACL during practice on Thursday, was already listed as out on the team’s injury report, and will miss the rest of the season.
Packers, Bears Set to Make History at Soldier Field Sunday With 200th Regular Season Meeting
The Chicago Bears will make history when they take the field against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but they’ll also be hoping to reverse some more recent history as they try to make the NFC playoffs.
The game Sunday will be the 200th regular season meeting between the two teams, according to the NFL. That ranks the rivalry as the most-contested in league history, with the Packers currently holding the edge with a 99-94-6 record against their rivals from the south.
In addition to being an historic milestone, the game Sunday will also provide the Bears with a unique opportunity, as a victory over the Packers would clinch a playoff spot for Chicago. That playoff spot would make them just the third team in league history to make the postseason after losing six consecutive games during a season, according to the NFL.
Packers vs. Bears: Jaylon Johnson, Buster Skrine Out for Chicago
The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will go into Sunday’s game at Soldier Field missing some key players as they try to nail down their respective playoff destinies.
The Bears, who can clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Packers on the lakefront, will be missing two of their cornerbacks for Sunday’s game. Jaylon Johnson, who hasn’t played for the Bears since Week 14, will miss his third straight game as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury, the team announced Friday.
Buster Skrine will also miss the game, his fourth straight, as he remains in the league’s concussion protocol, the Bears said.
Report: Matt Nagy ‘Expected to Return' as Bears' Head Coach in 2021
The Chicago Bears have had one of the more up-and-down seasons in the NFL this year, but there has apparently been enough “up” involved that the team is comfortable moving forward with Matt Nagy as its head coach.
According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Nagy is “expected to return” as the Bears’ head coach for the 2021 season amid the team’s recent turnaround.
The Bears started the season 5-1, but then lost six games in a row, leading to some questions about whether Nagy or GM Ryan Pace would be back after the season concluded. Now, with the team having won three games in a row and in control of its own playoff destiny heading into Sunday’s season finale against the Green Bay Packers, Nagy’s job is all but secure for next year, according to Rapoport.