Photo: AP Images
Green Bay walked off frigid Soldier Field triumphant Sunday afternoon, after defeating the Bears 21-14. The Packers await their opponent in Super Bowl XLV two weeks from today in Dallas. It will be their first Super Bowl appearance since 1998 in Super Bowl XXXII.Aaron Rodgers didn’t play his best game – he threw two picks of his own – but the Packers’ D forced three Chicago turnovers and knocked Bears’ starter Jay Cutler out of the game early in the third quarter.
After back-up Todd Collins was ineffective in two offensive series, Lovie Smith summoned emergency quarterback Caleb Hanie, effectively ending Cutler’s afternoon.
Hanie immediately drove the Bears down the field, on an eight-play, 67-yard drive for a touchdown. Two series later, he threw a pick-six to Packers’ DT BJ Raji two series later.
On the very next drive, starting with six minutes remaining, Hanie led Chicago on a four-play, 60-yard drive to bring the Bears back within seven.
When the Packers went three-and-out, the Bears took the ball with three minutes left, and one last chance to win the game.
Bookies around the country were holding their breath as the points total (43.5), and the spread (GB -3.5) were well within Chicago’s reach. But deep in Green Bay territory, Sam Shields intercepted one last Hanie throw, and iced the victory.
Early prognosticators have the Packers favoured by 2.5 if it’s the Steelers, 4 if it’s the Jets.
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