When the Bears and Packers met for the first time this season, Chicago was in the midst of a four-game losing streak. That Week 12 matchup marked their 201st head-to-head contest all-time against the Packers. Previously, the Bears had trailed in the series 99-95-6.
Coming into this Week 17 showdown, there is much more at stake. The Bears (8-7) are fighting for a playoff spot and the Packers (12-3) are trying to lock up the top seed in the NFC in addition to a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Before matchup #202, let’s re-visit the 201st installment just five weeks prior.
The 5-5 Chicago Bears made the trip north to visit the 7-3 Green Bay Packers on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Chicago was sputtering after their 5-1 start. Meanwhile, Green Bay hit a few bumps in the road, but nothing significant enough to throw them far off their path.
As soon as the Sunday Night Football matchup kicked off, the Packers were off to the races. Aaron Rodgers and co. started with the ball and went the distance for six points. The drive spanned 14 plays and totaled 75 yards capped off by Rodgers connecting with Davante Adams. However, the Bears caught a small break as Mason Crosby shanked the extra point. The Bears responded with a formidable drive of their own, but the offense stalled and settled for a field goal. On the six-play, 59-yard drive, David Montgomery accounted for 57 yards on one big run.
Without delay, the Packers retaliated with yet another 75-yard touchdown drive that took just nine plays. Rodgers connected with Marcedes Lewis for Green Bay’s second score of the game. On the ensuing Bears possession, Mitchell Trubisky threw a terrible interception aimed at double coverage in the end zone to negate a promising drive. As a result of Trubisky’s blunder, the Packers capitalized for their third straight touchdown. This time, Green Bay marched 80 yards on 13 plays as Rodgers hooked up with Allen Lazard on a two-yard pass in the end zone.
The disastrous start for the Bears didn’t stop there, however. On the third play of the following drive, Preston Smith scooped up a Trubisky fumble and took it to the house. Down 27-3, the Bears mounted a scoring drive of their own just before heading to the locker room. The scoring possession spanned 87 yards on 14 plays capped off by Trubisky finding a wide-open Allen Robinson.
Green Bay sported a 27-10 halftime lead.
The second half commenced in uninspiring fashion for Chicago once again. Both teams traded punts before yet another atrocious Trubisky interception, this time into triple coverage. Naturally, the Packers cashed in on a four-play, 53-yard drive as Rodgers struck with an iron fist and connected with Robert Tonyan on a 39-yard score.
Following the Green Bay touchdown, the Bears quietly went three-and-out and had to punt the ball back. This ultimately led to a dagger from the Packers, which came in the form of a nine-play, 66-yard scoring possession. Jamaal Williams sealed the deal by scampering 13 yards into the end zone to make it a 41-10 game. With things more than out of hand, the Bears mounted a fake rally. Two garbage time touchdowns slightly closed the gap.
The first of the two scores came immediately after the Packers’ latest scoring drive. Chicago logged a 13-play, 65-yard drive that concluded with Trubisky finding Robinson for the second time in the game. Following a Green Bay punt, the Bears were at it again. A 15-play, 82-yard drive culminated in a three-yard pass to Montgomery. The Bears added a two-point conversion on a pass to Darnell Mooney as the cherry on top to narrow the Packers’ lead to 41-25. However, that was all she wrote as the Bears’ onside kick attempt failed and the Packers kneeled out the clock.
All in all, the box score didn’t reflect how one-sided this game truly was. The Bears got beat in every phase. The loss dropped Chicago to 5-6 and propelled the Packers to an 8-3 record. The loss stung even more for Chicagoans considering the Bears put up such a flat performance and looked unprepared coming out of the bye week. A true Matt Nagy staple.
Things looked bleak after that Week 12 beatdown, but luckily the Bears clawed their way back into relevancy and will be fighting for a playoff spot today. With plenty at stake for the Packers as well, the Week 17 meeting is shaping up to be another epic installment in the Chicago vs. Green Bay rivalry.
Kickoff is set for 3:25 PM CT and the game will be televised on FOX. Get ready for the NFC North showdown by tuning in to the latest episode of the Bears On Tap podcast.
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