Skip to main content
Website header - Chicago
Advertising | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

After Further Review

Four key plays in win over Packers


Most NFL games seemingly are decided by a handful of plays, and the Bears' thrilling 17-13 win over the Green Bay Packers Thanksgiving night was no exception.

The following is a closer look at four key plays (listed chronologically) that helped the Bears defeat their arch rivals at Lambeau Field:

1) Jay Cutler throws a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Miller.

Entering the game ranked 29th in the NFL in red-zone touchdown percentage at 41.2, the Bears focused on honing that aspect of their offense and it paid off in the second quarter in Green Bay.

Facing third-and-goal from the 3, Miller lined up in a bunch to the right with receivers Alshon Jeffery and Marc Mariani. Jeffery ran to the right corner, Mariani sat down right over the goal line and Miller dashed uncovered across the field to the left corner of the end zone.

Cutler stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure from Packers outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott and threw the ball with Elliott hanging on the back of his legs. Miller credited Cutler and offensive coordinator Adam Gase for the TD that tied the score 7-7 midway through the second quarter.

"It was a great call," said Miller, who now leads the Bears with four TD receptions. "Adam put us in position with a great call. Jay has to buy some time to get the ball off. I had an easy job. I was wide open. I just had to catch it. Great call by Adam and a good throw by Jay."

2) Aaron Rodgers recovers an errant shotgun snap for a 14-yard loss.

Leading 14-13 at halftime, the Bears committed three penalties and gave up a sack on their first possession of the second half and were forced to punt.

Looking for at least a field goal to take the lead, the Packers reached the Chicago 21 when a holding penalty on left guard Josh Sitton nullified Rodgers' 11-yard scramble to the 10.

Green Bay was still in field-goal range with third-and-15 from the 31 when backup center J.C. Tretter rolled a shotgun snap past Rodgers, who retreated to the 45 to recover the ball. The miscue forced the Packers to punt and helped the Bears shut out Green Bay in the second half.

As the ball bounced past him, Rodgers uttered a one-word expletive that was clearly heard on the NBC broadcast, prompting play-by-play announcer Al Michaels to joke, "The audio told you all you needed to know."

3) Tracy Porter intercepts Rodgers late in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 17-13, the Packers took over at their own 10 with 4:09 remaining in the game. Rodgers scrambled for gains of 10 and 18 yards before completing a 12-yard pass to tight end Richard Rodgers on successive plays, giving Green Bay a first down at the 50 with 3:23 to play.

That's when Rodgers tried to throw a quick slant to receiver Davante Adams. But Adams hesitated as he tried to avoid Bears safety Chris Prosinski, who was racing to the flat to cover a tight end. Throwing to the spot where he thought Adams would be, Rodgers was intercepted by Porter.

"The front seven did a good job of putting pressure on him," Porter said. "I read the route that [Adams] was trying to make. They were trying to make a quick throw and I just beat him to the spot."

Rodgers had thrown 135 passes, including 16 touchdowns, since his last interception against the Bears in the 2013 season finale when he was picked off by cornerback Tim Jennings.

4) Porter breaks up pass intended for receiver James Jones in the end zone.

Even after Porter's interception, the Packers still had one final opportunity to win the game with four plays from the Bears' 8-yard line in the final minute of the game. But the Chicago defense forced Rodgers to throw four straight incomplete passes to preserve the victory.

The closest Green Bay came to scoring on its final four plays was on third-and-goal when Rodgers rifled a pass into the right corner of the end zone intended for receiver James Jones. It came after the Packers quarterback had avoided pressure from Pernell McPhee and Willie Young.

Porter reached in with his right arm and knocked the ball away from Jones, who was targeted six times in the game but did not have any catches.

"I was in that situation once before with [Lions receiver] Calvin Johnson and he happened to catch the touchdown," Porter said. "So I told myself that I wouldn't put myself in that position again. I had some leverage and I was able to make a play on the ball."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content