Final/OT

Packers 17

(5-10, 2-6 away)

Bears 20

(9-6, 6-2 home)

Coverage: ESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 22, 2008

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 OT T
GB 0 14 0 3 017
CHI 0 3 7 7 320

Top Performers

Passing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 260 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: M. Forte (CHI) - 23 CAR, 73 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Driver (GB) - 6 REC, 63 YDS

Gould's OT field goal keeps Bears in playoff contention

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Alex Brown reached up and saved the Chicago Bears' season.

Brown blocked Mason Crosby's 38-yard attempt with 18 seconds to go in the fourth quarter Monday night, forcing overtime against the Green Bay Packers.

Fast Facts

• The Bears won it in OT on Robbie Gould's 38-yard field goal as Chicago won the 176th regular season meeting between the two teams, the most-played series in NFL history.

• The Bears never led during regulation and were outgained by the Packers 325-210 but scored the game's final 10 points to redeem themselves from a 37-3 Week 11 loss in Green Bay, their worst defeat of the season.

• The Bears became the eighth team in NFL history to win in OT in consecutive games and first since the 2001 Chicago squad did it in Weeks 7 and 8.

• The Packers lost their fifth straight, their longest single-season losing streak since losing the final five games of the 1990 season.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

And once the Bears got to the extra period, reliable Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal for a 20-17 win.

Now, after the icy victory, the Bears are still in the running for the playoffs.

"We got a great push from a lot of different people. I was just the one who got my hand on it," Brown said.

"We were saying on the sidelines that we have to block it. I got through pretty good but I didn't really think that was going to happen. You just go as hard as you can and see if you can get a hand up and hopefully you can get it."

The Bears (9-6), who stayed in contention for the NFC North over the weekend when Atlanta beat Minnesota, won their third straight and rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit to do it.

If the Bears win at Houston next Sunday and the Vikings lose at home to the Giants, Chicago captures the NFC North. Minnesota holds the tiebreaker over the Bears, so if both teams win on the final Sunday, the Vikings win the division. But Chicago is still alive for a wild-card berth, too.

In Or Out

It's that time of year when some teams are in the playoffs, some are out, some control their own destinies and some need help. Check out all of the playoff scenarios. Playoff picture

"Everything fell right, gave us a lot of momentum and energy coming into this game. We just had to carry it all the way through," quarterback Kyle Orton said.

And the Bears had to overcome the elements, too, as did the Packers.

The temperature at Soldier Field was announced at 2 degrees, making it the coldest home game in Bears' history since records started being kept in 1963. The wind chill was 13 below, the second-lowest in recorded team annals, so the longtime rivals known for their ability to play in cold weather were tested by the elements.

Orton hit a 17-yard pass to Greg Olsen and a 15-yard penalty on Green Bay's Aaron Rouse for a horse collar tackle gave the Bears the ball at the Green Bay 35 in overtime. A third-down pass of 14 yards to Matt Forte got it to the Green Bay 20 to set up the winning kick -- Gould's second straight game-winner in overtime.

"You know it's going to be chilly, the ground is going to be hard. You've just got to go out there and do your job. There's no excuses for missing," Gould said

Green Bay (5-10) dominated the first half, but lost its fifth straight after routing the Bears 37-3 at Lambeau Field in mid-November.

"It's disappointing. It's tough. It's frustrating," Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Forte's 3-yard TD with 3:11 left lifted the Bears into a tie. The score came one play after Forte just made a first down on a fourth-and-2 run.

But on the ensuing kickoff, Green Bay's Will Blackmon returned a short kick 32 yards and a personal foul on Chicago's Adrian Peterson for tackling him out of bounds, put the ball on the Bears 35.

Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Chicago Bears' 20-17 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Rodgers' third down pass of 9 yards to James Jones gave the Packers a first down at the Bears 24 with two minutes left.

The Packers ran down the clock behind the running of Ryan Grant, moving to the 20 and trying to set up a game-winner from Crosby, but Brown blocked the kick.

"I have been hitting the ball well this year and I have been making kicks and it just didn't fall our way this game," Crosby said. "Everything has to be right and I just didn't finish my end of the deal."

In the first half, Rodgers had plenty of time to throw and completed 16 of 24 passes for 176 yards, throwing TD passes to Greg Jennings and Grant as Green Bay moved ahead 14-3.

He finished 24-of-39 for 260 yards.

The Bears, meanwhile, sputtered and were outgained 221-48 in the first two quarters as their playoff hopes were on the verge of evaporating into the cold air.

"There was a lot of talk going on in the offensive huddle 'we've got to do it now.' We weren't playing good," Orton said. "We weren't running the ball. We weren't throwing the ball. We just weren't playing well at all. We just said, 'This is our season. It's coming down to this. And if we don't do anything, we're done.'"

Charles Woodson's sixth interception of the season and a return to the 30 helped the Packers move to the 5, but the Bears held and forced a 28-yard field goal from Crosby that put Green Bay up 17-10 early in the final quarter.

Forte, who had only 20 yards rushing through the first three quarters, broke off a 28-yard run to the Packers 23 late in the final quarter. Forte had two more carries to give Chicago a first down at the 12. Two more runs by Forte and a pass to Devin Hester left the Bears with a fourth-and-2 from the Packers 4 with just under four minutes left. Forte just got the first down and the Bears were able to tie it.

Chicago got a break on its first possession of the third quarter when Brad Maynard's punt hit Green Bay's Jarrett Bush, who was blocking on the play, and the Bears' Jason Davis recovered at the 27. Three plays after a 21-yard pass to Desmond Clark, Orton hit Olsen on a 3-yard TD pass, making it 14-10.

Using some trickery, the Packers moved in for a 7-0 lead with 6:21 left in the second quarter.

The Packers faked a punt on a fourth-and-2 from the Bears 37, snapping the ball to backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who carried 6 yards for the first down.

From there Grant carried four straight times for 24 yards to the 7. And on a third down, Rogers found Jennings with the TD pass that capped the 14-play, 91-yard drive.

Game notes


It was the 177th meeting between the teams, including one in the playoffs. The Bears lead the series 91-80-6. ... Bears S Mike Brown injured his calf late in the second quarter and did not return.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Green Bay
Chicago
1st Downs2015
3rd down efficiency
8-173-12
4th down efficiency
2-21-1
Total Yards325210
Yards per play4.83.8
Total Drives12
Passing260136
Comp-Att
24-3914-27
Yards per pass
6.75.0
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-03-6
Rushing6574
Rushing Attempts
2926
Yards per rush
2.22.8
Penalties6-504-35
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
12
Possession35:4227:50

Passing Leaders

GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rodgers24/392606.7210-0
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Orton14/271425.3123-6

Rushing Leaders

GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Grant25612.4012
Flynn166.006
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Forte23733.2128
Peterson221.001

Receiving Leaders

GBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Driver66310.5017
Jennings6386.3110
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Olsen5499.8117
Clark4379.3021

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERGBCHI
TD06:21Greg Jennings 7 Yd Pass From Aaron Rodgers. (Mason Crosby Kick) 70
FG04:06Robbie Gould 31 Yd 73
TD01:04Ryan Grant 17 Yd Pass From Aaron Rodgers. (Mason Crosby Kick) 143
THIRD QUARTERGBCHI
TD10:59Greg Olsen 3 Yd Pass From Kyle Orton. (Robbie Gould Kick) 1410
FOURTH QUARTERGBCHI
FG12:58Mason Crosby 28 Yd 1710
TD03:11Matt Forte 3 Yd Run. (Robbie Gould Kick) 1717
OVERTIMEGBCHI
FG11:28Robbie Gould 38 Yd 1720