CHICAGO–Aaron Rodgers was on fire through three quarters of Sunday’s game at Soldier Field, leading the Packers to a 31-17 lead heading into the final quarter.
Rodgers quickly moved the ball down the field to start the second half, but a holding penalty forced a third-and-7 from the Bears 34 and Rodgers fired an apparent 34-yard touchdown pass, but it was nullified by another holding penalty, a second in the drive by center Corey Linsley. Now, from the 44, Rodgers threw short to Jordy Nelson, leaving Mason Crosby to attempt a 53-yard field goal. The kick was good and the Packers led, 24-17, with 10:57 to play in the third quarter.
The Bears roared back with a screen pass to Matt Forte that gained 25 yards. Forte went to the 99-yard rushing mark with a 19-yard run, and the Bears had a first down at the Packers 35. The Bears faced third-and-1 and Jay Cutler sneaked for a first down.
Then lightning struck in the form of a Cutler pass that was deflected into the hands of Clay Matthews, who returned the interception to the Bears 35. Cutler tried to fit the pass into a tight space, again.
On third-and-2, Rodgers threw to Nelson for a first down at the 12. On third-and-9 from the 11, Rodgers threw to Nelson for a touchdown that gave the Packers a commanding lead, 31-17.
An inexplicable Cutler pass was intercepted by Sam Shields and returned 52 yards to the Bears 11-yard line with 1:33 to play in the quarter. The Bears were on the move at the time. On third-and-7 from the 8, Rodgers threw short of the sticks at the 5. That’s when the quarter ended.
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