By Joseph G. Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
The Chicago Bears clinched a playoff berth in week 17 of the NFL season, despite a 35-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 3, at Soldier Field.
The Bears scored on their opening drive but it wasn’t enough, as star quarterback Aaron Rodgers exploded for three of his game high four touchdowns in the first half.
“I’ll start off with the game in regards to how everything went,” said Matt Nagy, head coach of the Bears. “You get to the fourth quarter against this team and you have that fourth and one, third and one and then fourth and one, 11 minutes to go and a touchdown puts you ahead.”
Nagy believes the Bears squandered a huge opportunity to go ahead of the Packers early in the fourth quarter, after a pass play fell short on a crucial 4th and 1 in Green Bay territory.
“1-for-5 in the red zone,” said Nagy. “You can’t play the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers and kick field goals. We have to get touchdowns. There’s no other way. And he’s 4-for-4 in the red zone. We had six fourth-down conversions, which is probably more than we had all year long.”
In spite of the Bears lack of success in the red zone, QB Mitchell Trubisky completed 33-of-42 of his passes for 252 passing yards and one interception. Trubisky did not complete a pass TD in the game.
QB Aaron Rodgers finished 19-of-24 on passing attempts, 240 passing yards, and 4 TDs.
Final Score: Green Bay 35, Chicago 16.
The Bears became the third team since the 1970 merger to earn a playoff berth despite a six-game losing streak. They join the 1970 Bengals and 2014 Panthers as the only two teams to accomplish this feat.
The game marked the Bears first postseason berth as a Wild Card team since 1994. It is the team’s second playoff berth in the past three seasons.
Chicago Crusader Players of the Game:
QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, finished 19-of-24 on passing attempts, 240 passing yards, and 4 TDs.
QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 252 passing yards.
Joseph G. Phillips is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 15 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q & A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.