CHICAGO — A back-and-forth first half ended with a wacky play that kept the Packers ahead, 21-17, at intermission on Sunday at Soldier Field.
The Bears regained the lead early in the second quarter on a 23-yard FG by K Robbie Gould, but they had a great opportunity for more. Facing third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, QB Jay Cutler’s pass to TE Martellus Bennett was incomplete, but Packers S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was called for pass interference, giving Chicago a fresh set of downs from the 1.
A false start pushed the Bears back, though, and Cutler’s third-down throw for WR Alshon Jeffery in the back of the end zone was too high, leading to the FG for a 10-7 lead with 13:58 left in the half. That gave the Bears 13 minutes, 40 seconds of possession time on their first two drives of the game.
The Packers answered with their second TD drive of the half to take a 14-10 lead. Passes of 23 and 15 yards to WR Jordy Nelson — which put QB Aaron Rodgers over 25,000 career passing yards and Nelson over 5,000 career receiving yards — got the Packers across midfield.
Then Green Bay caught a break, as RB Eddie Lacy was stopped on third-and-2, but the Bears were called for “piling on,” and the unnecessary roughness penalty gave the Packers a first down at the Chicago 15. A 12-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb and a 3-yard TD toss to Nelson finished the drive with 10:11 left in the half.
The Bears came right back to take the lead again, though, driving 80 yards for another TD. Bennett’s 23-yard catch-and-run converted a third-and-7 to get Chicago into scoring territory. A 12-men-on-the-field penalty didn’t help the Packers’ cause, and Cutler finished the 10-play drive with an 8-yard TD pass to Jeffery. The drive consumed 6:21, giving the Bears 20:01 of possession time in three drives.
But the Packers answered again, recovering a Bears onside kick at the Green Bay 39 and then driving 61 yards for a go-ahead TD. Rodgers hit WR Davante Adams for 15 yards to start the drive, and Lacy caught an 11-yard checkdown to move the chains. Then on third-and-7, Cobb beat CB Isaiah Frey from the slot and hauled in a 22-yard TD pass, putting the Packers ahead 21-17 with 1:03 left in the half.
The Bears drove one more time into scoring territory, mostly due to two receptions by Bennett for 53 yards. On the final play of the half, from the 9-yard line, Bennett caught a pass near the goal line and was tackled as he tried to reach the ball over the goal line in the middle of the field. The Bears were out of timeouts and couldn’t stop the clock, which ran out.
The play was reviewed, and the ruling stood, so the half ended with the Packers ahead 21-17.
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