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Bears Matchup Flashback: So Close, Yet So Far

The Bears and Packers last met in Week 17 of 2020 with a lot at stake. Here’s what happened that afternoon at the lakefront.

Mitch Trubisky Bears Packers
Photo: Chicago Tribune

On Sunday, the Chicago Bears meet the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. This will be the first time these two teams square off against one another. As it stands, the 3-2 Bears and 4-1 Packers are playing for more than bragging rights. The Week 6 contest has first place for the NFC North on the line.

History

When the Bears and Packers hit the field on Sunday, it will mark the 203rd meeting in their history. Currently, the Packers hold a six-game advantage over the Bears. The series sits at 101-95-6 in favor of Green Bay. However, since November 22, 1992, it’s been all Packers. Chicago once held a 23-game lead over Green Bay in 1991. But as a result of the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers era, the Packers have made up 29 games over the past 29 years. In that span, Green Bay has gone 44-15 against Chicago.

Previous Matchup

The last time these two teams lined up against one another was in Week 17 of 2020. Green Bay entered that contest sporting a 12-3 record while Chicago was 8-7 and in control of their own destiny. It was a game that served significant importance to both teams. The Packers needed a win to clinch the top seed in the conference and earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. As for the Bears, a win would lock up a playoff spot. Although, even if they lost, a Rams win over the Cardinals would do the same.

First Quarter

The Bears got the game off to a roaring start. After a heads-up play by Cordarrelle Patterson on the kick-off, which saw the ball go out of bounds, the Bears received the ball on their own 40 yard-line. On the opening possession, they marched down the field 60 yards on 14 plays and took an early 7-0 lead on a David Montgomery two-yard rush. The drive saw a mix of runs and quick passes while the Bears ate up 7:29 off the clock.

Dacid Montgomery Bears
Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribute

As a result, the Packers stormed right back with a scoring drive of their own. Green Bay responded with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took just over seven and a half minutes to tie the game at 7-7. Robert Tonyan capped off the successful drive by hauling in a three-yard touchdown catch.

Second Quarter

Now in the second quarter, the Bears responded to the Packers’ score by punting the ball after a five-play, 12-yard drive. But to their surprise, Tavon Austin fumbled the punt for Green Bay, which gave the ball back to the Bears deep in Packers territory. Chicago stalled out on offense and settled for a 30-yard Cairo Santos field goal, which gave the Bears a 10-7 lead.

Soon after, the Packers struck for a 72-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, resulting in a 14-10 lead. The drive lasted only three plays but went for 80 yards.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Packers
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In response to Green Bay, the Bears made a huge mistake. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Cole Kmet fumbled the ball and the Packers recovered at the Bears’ 22 yard-line. Next, Green Bay capitalized on what turned out to be a costly turnover. It took only six plays for the Packers to travel 22 yards into the end zone. Aaron Rodgers found Dominique Dafney for a 13-yard touchdown to extend Green Bay’s lead to 21-10.

The Bears got back on the board by moving 62 yards down the field on 13 plays. Santos nailed a 27-yard field goal to cut the Green Bay lead down to 21-13 by halftime.

Third Quarter

Coming out of the break, the Packers started with the ball on offense. The Bears’ defense buckled down and forced a punt. Next, Chicago marched down the field again on Green Bay’s defense. This time, an 11-play, 87-yard drive ultimately stalled out but still resulted in a 20-yard Santos field goal to make it a 21-16 game. On the next drive, Chicago’s defense stood tall once again and forced the Packers to punt the ball back.

Although this time, the Bears’ attempt to take the lead went down in vain. The offense stormed their way 51 yards on 15 plays to the Packers’ 25 yard-line. However, the drive saw ex-Bear Adrian Amos lay a vicious hit on Darnell Mooney, which caused the rookie wide receiver to leave the game due to a knee injury. This turned out to be a huge setback to the Bears’ attack as Mooney was carrying the load on offense. He led the team with 93 yards on 11 receptions up until that point.

Darnell Mooney Bears
Photo: Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY Sports

On the play following the Mooney injury, Montgomery rushed for no gain on third-and-one. Then, head coach, Matt Nagy took a huge gamble by deciding to go for it on fourth-and-one. The attempt was futile and the Bears did not convert, which proved to be a turning point in the game as Nagy passed on a field goal that would have cut the deficit to 21-19.

Fourth Quarter

After the Bears’ turnover on downs, the Packers put the proverbial nail in the coffin. Green Bay marched 76 yards on 12 plays while taking 7:35 off the clock before Aaron Jones scampered into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown. This increased the Packers’ lead over the Bears to 28-16.

At this point, the game was practically out of reach for Chicago. Following the Packers’ scoring drive, the Bears turned the ball over one last time when Adrian Amos intercepted a Mitch Trubisky pass intended for Cole Kmet. Green Bay then ran up the score on the Bears when Davante Adams caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers. The Packers’ drive only took three plays and 26 yards. With the score now 35-16, Chicago showed one last gasp. They traveled 74 yards on 11 plays in four minutes but it yielded nothing as the clock hit 0:00.

Chicago lost to Green Bay by a score of 35-16. Overall, the game was close until the Mooney injury derailed everything for the home team. The Bears came as close as 21-16 but Green Bay was too much for Chicago and put up two late touchdowns to promptly seal the game.

Aftermath

With this game wrapping up the regular season, the Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record. On the other hand, the Bears fell to 8-8 and relied upon the Rams to knock off the Cardinals to squeak into the playoffs. That scenario came to fruition, which led to the Bears clinching the final spot in the playoffs as the seventh seed.

Then the following week, Chicago’s season came to an end after falling to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card game. Green Bay defeated the Rams in the Divisional Round before succumbing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game. The Packers ended their season short of their goal of a Super Bowl.

Aaron Rodgers Packers
Photo: Associated Press

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Writer/contributor for On Tap Sports Net and Bears on Tap. Lifelong and a die-hard fan of the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks. Nothing but respect the White Sox though. Enjoying life and having a good time. Interests also include eating, gaming, sometimes reading and tons of tomfoolery. Good sense of humor (although sometimes dry). Occasionally witty. Follow me on Twitter

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