Packers nail down playoff bid with winWisconsin Sports
The Green Bay Packers will play at Philadelphia at 3:30 next Sunday afternoon in the first round of the NFC playoffs. The Packers earned the sixth and final seed Sunday with a 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears in their regular season finale at a cold Lambeau Field.
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers will play at Philadelphia at 3:30 next Sunday afternoon in the first round of the NFC playoffs. The Packers earned the sixth and final seed Sunday with a 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears in their regular season finale at a cold Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers broke a 3-3 tie by throwing a one-yard touchdown pass to Donald Lee with 12:42 left. But the Packer defense was the story of this game, as Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked six times. Third-year linebacker Eric Walden had two of those sacks, and he led the Packers with 11 tackles. Nick Collins sealed the victory by intercepting a Cutler pass in the final minute, as the Bears were threatening to at least tie the game. Cutler was picked off twice on the day, as he threw for 168 yards.
Matt Forte ran for 91 yards. He was also the Bears’ leading receiver with eight catches for 60 yards. Rodgers completed 19-of-28 passes for 229 yards, his touchdown, and a pick. He was also the team’s top rusher with seven carries for 21 yards, as the Packers were outgained on the ground 110 yards to 60. Donald Driver caught five passes for 41 yards. The Pack had the edge in total yards, 284-to-227. They were called for four penalties – all of them by rookie tackle Bryan Bulaga, who had two holding calls and a pair of false starts.
Chicago secured the number-two NFC playoff spot and a first-round bye. And they had nothing to gain by playing its starters against the Packers. But they went the entire game as they tried-but-failed to sweep Green Bay, and become the first team since the 2002 division re-alignments to go 6-0 against the NFC North. The Bears ended up 11-5 overall. Green Bay is 10-6, and is making back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 2004.
The Packers will have their hands full, to say the least, as they begin their playoff run at Philadelphia with the number-six seed in the NFC. First of all, they won’t be at Lambeau Field any longer – where they went 7-and-1 in the regular season. Second, Eagles’ coach Andy Reid is 3-0 at home in the Wild Card round. And Philly quarterback Michael Vick is at full steam, after he played the second half of the season-opener against Green Bay and almost single-handedly beat the Packers with his scrambling. Philly, the NFC East champion, has the number-three playoff seed at 10-6. They rested most of their starters in a 14-13 home loss yesterday to Dallas. The Packers will have the most difficult road to the Super Bowl. No number-six seed in the NFC has ever made the title game. Still, coach Mike McCarthy said the Packers’ playoff berth is exciting for both the organization and its fans – and they look forward to taking on the Eagles. Green Bay was eliminated in the first round a year ago in an overtime loss at Arizona. And the Packers are making back-to-back appearances for the first time since Mike Sherman took them to the playoffs four straight years from 2001-04.