With a hard-fought 21-13 win at Soldier Field, the Green Bay Packers have won the NFC North Division for the second consecutive season.
It’s a great day for Packers fans as the Chicago Bears are also sent into desperation mode in regards to their playoff hopes.
Green Bay (10-4) has now won 12 straight against divisional opponents and have their eye set on a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
What It Means: The Packers are becoming one of those teams no opponent wants to see in the playoffs. Everyone knows about Aaron Rodgers and the potent passing game, 291 yards and three touchdowns today, but a running game by committee makes them slightly more rounded. Whether it’s Alex Green, Ryan Grant or DuJuan Harris, they’re having just enough success to hold defenses on their heels. On the defensive side, the return of Clay Matthews was a huge success. He had four tackles for loss, two sacks and a pass batted down. With the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings left on the schedule, the Packers have a chance to enter the playoffs at 12-4.
Player of the Game: WR Randall Cobb (six receptions for a career-high 115 yards)
Cobb had the atrocious throw-back on the trick punt return, but other than that had a fantastic day. Teammate James Jones had the three touchdowns or all the flash, though it was Cobb who made the key receptions when the Packers most needed them. Cobb is nearing a 1,000 yard season, something that seemed very unlikely coming into the year.
Highlight of the Game: Chicago’s offense was surely not good enough to win this game. Credit the Packers defense for taking Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte out of the game. After Grant fumbled in the third quarter, the defense did a tremendous job of keeping the Bears to a field goal with a couple of goal-line stands.
Stat of the Game (3): The number of offensive pass-interference calls racked up by Bears rookie receiver Alshon Jefferey. Only the Tennessee Titans’ Kenny Britt has as many and that’s in all of 2012. Not to defend the kid or anything, but no one gets picked on that much by the refs. Yes, they were blatant push-offs. But if that’s the case, it needs to be called more consistently. Just ask any member of the secondary on any team.
What’s Next: The Packers will head back to Lambeau for what could be their last game at home this season. The Titans will be coming off a short week as they take on the New York Jets this Monday Night. At stake for the Packers is a first-round bye that the San Francisco 49ers currently hold and the right to host at least one game at home.
What did you like or dislike about the Packers win over the Bears? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures obtained from Packers.com.