Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky celebrates with the Bears faithful. SIPA USA/PA Images
Playoff bound

How bout them Bears? Chicago eliminate Packers to clinch first playoff place since 2010

Bears clinch NFC North divisional title with two games to spare.

THE CHICAGO BEARS clinched the NFC North title and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 with a 24-17 win against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

The Bears’ miserable wait for postseason football was ended with two games to spare, but Sunday’s victory was not without its complications as Chicago let a half-time lead slip.

After Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen scored first-half touchdowns, the Packers tied the game late in the third, scoring through Jamaal Williams to set up a nervy finish as the Bears’ division rivals the Minnesota Vikings also won.

But Mitchell Trubisky threw to Trey Burton to restore the home side’s lead and they would not be denied this time, sparking celebrations among the relieved Chicago supporters.

The Bears were on top in the first half and Khalil Mack set the tone with an early sack, before Howard rushed through the centre of the field from nine yards to open the scoring.

A second unorthodox sack – Mack knocking Aaron Rodgers down with his back – kept the Packers out of field-goal range, but Green Bay got the ball back and Mason Crosby kicked their first points from 41 yards.

Cohen soon came to the fore, though, and took Trubisky’s pass to speed down the right and dive into the end zone to complete a five-play, 61-yard drive.

But Chicago’s momentum slowed after half time and Crosby kicked a field goal from 43 yards before Davante Adams made a stunning catch on third down to get the Packers into the red zone.

Williams ran the ball in and Rodgers then picked out Adams over the middle for the two-point conversion to tie the game.

The Packers looked to be in control in the fourth quarter, but their failure to make the most of a turnover proved costly as Trubisky threw 13 yards to Burton in the end zone and the Bears seized the initiative once more.

Another Mack sack was followed by Cody Parkey’s 24-yard field goal and Chicago defended doggedly, with Eddie Jackson pouncing on a deflection for a huge end-zone interception just over three minutes from time.

Leonard Floyd’s second sack then limited Green Bay to another Crosby field goal as they ran out of time.

Elsewhere the Vikings beat the Miami Dolphins 41-17, the Tennessee Titans were 17-0 winners on the road against the New York Giants, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-12 and the Indianapolis Colts shut out the Dallas Cowboys with a 23-0 win.

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel