Green Bay Packers Are Somehow NFC North Champs
Green Bay Packers 33. Chicago Bears 28. Green Bay Packers NFC North champs. Chicago Bears — not.
It took a last-minute effort by the Packers, but it got the job done. Let’s first say, it’s good to have Aaron Rodgers back. It’s also good to have Randall Cobb back.
Rodgers wasn’t terribly sharp. He threw two interceptions and threw some balls that were high and behind receivers. The team was just 3-for-6 in the red zone. Rodgers came through with what was probably his signature moment in the end, though.
Rodgers hasn’t exactly been captain comeback during his career, but he was today. With the Packers down by a point, Rodgers led the team downfield, picking up three fourth downs along the way and connecting with Cobb on the winning touchdown — a 48-yarder with 38 seconds left.
John Kuhn should be credited with a huge block on that play. Kuhn came across the formation to get a shot on Julius Peppers. That allowed Rodgers to get out of the pocket and find Cobb alone behind the defense.
Cobb caught two touchdowns on the day, which were also his only two catches on the day.
Jordy Nelson was the guy who kept the Packers in the game. Nelson had 10 catches for 161 yards and seemed like the only guy Rodgers would look at on some plays.
Jarrett Boykin also scored on a fluke play, where Rodgers got sacked and fumbled forward. While the Bears were milling around like a bunch of idiots, Boykin alertly picked up the ball and ran it in for a score.
Chicago has the worst run defense in the NFL, but they somehow managed to bottle up Eddie Lacy on the day. That was largely because the offensive line wasn’t opening any holes in the second half. Still, the Packers managed to control the clock and gain 160 on the ground while averaging 4.7 per carry.
That was largely because of James Starks, who had 88 on 11 carries.
The defense was its usual terrible self, with the exception of cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. Shields did get beat on huge catch by Alshon Jeffery, but he should have had safety help from Morgan Burnett.
Of course, Burnett was nowhere to be found.
Jamari Lattimore started for Brad Jones at linebacker and played terribly. A.J. Hawk? A whopping two tackles, although he did force a fumble.
The special teams coverage units were even worse, but should we expect anything else?
Devin Hester averaged 25.4 on kick returns and brought a punt back 49 yards. He was almost the difference in the game.
In the end, the offense did enough to pull it out. Just enough. The Packers win the North at 8-7-1. Who would have thought?
And now, another playoff rematch with the San Francisco 49ers.
Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.
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