The Green Bay Packers, on a night they honored former QB Brett Favre, failed to take care of business against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving night, dropping a 17-13 game in Week Twelve action in the NFL. It was the fourth loss in the last five games for the Pack who slip to 7-4 and cede first place in the NFC North back to Minnesota just four days after they wrestled it from the Vikings. The Bears now stand at 5-7. In this third of their four losses, the Packers had a chance win in the final minute and have come up short.
It was the 192nd meeting between the two storied franchises dating back to 1923. The Bears have a slight, 94-92 edge in the longest series in pro football history. The teams have tied on six occasions.
The wind whipped around Lambeau like a cyclone and the rain came down in sheets for most of the night. Weather definitely affected the pace at which this game was played. The teams traded punts and it looked for a while that traction would be an issue in moving the ball downfield by both teams.
The Packers finally got things going two thirds into the first stanza. Eddie Lacy, coming off his best game of the season, rushed for a couple of first downs and Aaron Rodgers’ charges were rolling. The Pack dodged a bullet on a would-be Bear interception that was nullified by an illegal contact call. A-Rod took advantage of the second chance and hit Lacy for a 25-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead with 5:20.
Chicago’s punter, Pat O’Donnell, had the best workout as the Bears were forced to punt again and again. After giving the ball to Green Bay again, Rodgers used his feet to get 29 yards and put the offense into a rhythm. On the next play, Lacy burst for an 18 yard pickup only to cough up the ball and give it back to the Bears. Jay Cutler took nine plays and 4:41 to tie it at 7-7 on a three yard pass to Zach Miller with 6:03 left ’til halftime.
Two Mason Crosby field goals, the second as time ran out, sandwiched around a Jeremy Langford one yard scoring run made it 14-13 Bears. The longer than normal intermission allowed the Packers to complete the ceremony.
Robbie Gould’s 21-yard chip shot, which knuckleballed its way through the uprights, would be the final points of the night with 12:15 and a whole lot of action remaining. The last three minutes would make a good thrill ride at any amusement park. The Packers seemed to get things going but then Rodgers threw just his fourth interception of the season effectively killing what was a promising drive.
The Packer ‘D’ forced the Bears to punt and Green Bay had the ball, two minutes on the clock and 80 yards to go for the win. James Jones, who arguably has had the best season among Packer receivers, made a big catch for a first down. Rodgers ran for a first down and he hit Richard Rodgers for a long gain on the next series.
The ball advance to the red zone on a perfect seam route to Randall Cobb over the middle. On a third and seven, Adams somehow hung on for a first and goal from the eight. It was as close as they would come. On second and goal, Rodgers spotted Jones in the corner, but he just couldn’t gather it in. A-Rod threw the third down ball over everyone and Adams failed to break free from rookie DB Bryce Callahan. The ball, and the thrilling comeback, slipped through his fingers.
The Packers go on the road to play another divisional opponent, the Detroit Lions, at Ford Field on Thursday, Dec. 3. Kickoff is slated for 7:25 p.m., CST. It is the first time in team history that the team will play back to back middle of the week contests.