Montgomery, Rodgers Keep Packers Hot in Chilly Chicago

Packers RB Ty Montgomery

The Packers staved off a 17-point fourth quarter comeback, and a 60-yard bomb to Jordy Nelson with 30 seconds left set up a game winning field goal as time expired to lift Green Bay to a 30-27 road victory.

Plagued by drops, the passing attack was kept largely in check until Aaron Rodgers found Nelson deep on third and 11. The offensive success for most of the game instead fell on the shoulders of the running game. Ty Montgomery solidified his position as a true running back with 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the team combined for 226 rushing yards on an astounding 9.8 yards per carry.

The frigid temperatures slowed but couldn’t stop a red hot Green Bay team, who won their fourth straight game to improve to 8-6 overall. Losses by the Vikings and Lions vaulted the Packers to second place in the NFC North and, most importantly, Green Bay now controls its own path to a division title.

The Packers had chances to put the game away early, but failed to capitalize. After finding the end zone on the opening drive, Green Bay failed to convert a short fourth down deep in Chicago territory and was limited to two field goals after Davante Adams dropped easy touchdowns on consecutive drives.

Then the defense started giving the Packers chances, and the team was able to take advantage. The Bears turned the ball over on four consecutive drives—an intercepted Hail Mary to end the first half, a strip sack by Julius Peppers to open the third quarter, and two Ha Ha Clinton-Dix interceptions—which the Packers turned into a 27-10 advantage.

Green Bay looked like it was about to collapse in the fourth quarter, surrendering 17 unanswered points to allow the Bears to come all the way back and tie the game at 27 with just over a minute left. Then on third and 11, Rodgers hit Nelson 60 yards downfield, got to the line to spike the ball, and watched Mason Crosby connect on the game winning kick.

While the Packers emerged victorious, the weather definitely impacted the passing game. Aaron Rodgers failed to throw a touchdown for the first time all season and was noticeably slowed due to calf and hamstring injuries. He finished the day with 252 passing yards, and his lack of mobility led to four sacks.

With the passing attack hampered, the ground game definitely picked up the slack. Montgomery did the bulk of the heavy lifting, posting career highs with 16 carries, 162 yards, two touchdowns, and a long run of 61. Christine Michael got into the action late in the third quarter with a 42-yard touchdown.

Nelson ended the game with 124 yards, but had two drops on deep balls that he normally secures. Adams, who had been stellar to this point in the season, had a rare poor performance as he dropped two perfect throws in the end zone.

Matt Barkley threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns, but also committed the four turnovers. Jordan Howard continued his impressive rookie campaign with 113 all purpose yards and a touchdown. Deonte Thompson and Cameron Meredith each topped the century mark to lead Chicago’s receiving corps.

The Green Bay secondary continued to look lost at times, getting burned over the middle time and time again as the Bears started to rally. The takeaways proved to be the saving grace of Dom Capers’ unit, giving the Packers a +10 turnover margin over the past two weeks.

Despite the near-collapse, the team is still trending in the right direction as it continues its playoff push. The Packers now sit alone in second place in the NFC North, and wins in the next two weeks would give Green Bay another division title.

First up is a rematch with the Vikings, which will be the last regular season game at Lambeau Field of the 2016 season. A victory next week would set up yet another Week 17 matchup to decide the division winner.

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Sean Blashe is a Packers fan who grew up in Bears territory and is currently a journalism and history major at Marquette University. Sean is a writer with PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @SeanBlashe .

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9 thoughts on “Montgomery, Rodgers Keep Packers Hot in Chilly Chicago

  1. Why get excited about winning a divisional championship? It is meaningless because the Packer D can not get them anywhere near the Super Bowl unless they pony up and purchase the tickets.

    1. The Packer D held teams to 13, 13, and 10 points. Let’s see what they do the next two weeks before we write them off. Despite their record, I think the Bears are the second best team in the division. They should’ve beat Detroit last week and they are trending up.

  2. It was a Packers vs Bears game in zero temperature.What did you expect? IThe secondary has been picked on all year and they have eight interceptions in the last two games. I’m proud of the way this team is fighting.Clinton-Dix ex Bama player is playing great! You’re not satisfied Bama Badger turn off the game and watch college football.The Packers are my team go Roll Tide.

    1. James, time for a dose of reality–another example of Coach DUMB Capers poor defense. They couldn’t hold a lead if Capers tied up the other team’s offense and sat on’em. It makes no difference if it’s sunny and 70’s as in Jacksonville or freezing in Lambeau or Soldier Field, McCarthy MUST keep offense on field late in 4th qtr. otherwise DUMB Capers defense will give the game away. They’ve got a SIX CONSECUTIVE SEASON run going, why should they change? They won’t until Capers is GONE and a real DC can coach defense. The “Tide” would walk all over this Pack defense, most of SEC teams would too.

  3. I wouldn’t care if DUMB Capers was NFL’s best ‘schemer’-he damn sure can’t coach fundamental tackling or DEFENSE. I could make catches all day long against the middle of Pack’s secondary–IN A WHEEL CHAIR! He rarely plays man to man and his soft zones have enough wide open space to land a helicopter! WHY would any Packers fan get excited about how far this team can go when we watch it go down drain when defense takes field–first the defense disappears, then the lead, and the game. It’s 2011, ’12, ’13, ’14, and last season–ALL OVER AGAIN. Yeah, they can’t win’em all but do you want team known as Green Bay “Bills” in latter part of Rodgers career? At least Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Marv Levy MADE FOUR CONSECUTIVE SB’s, Ted Thompson seems to be satisfied with a playoff appearance, ONE AND DONE each year. Otherwise they’d put somebody at DC who can actually build a defense from the 66+ NEW draft picks and FA’s Thompson has provided over past six seasons and have a defensive unit that’s IMPROVED.

    1. We discussed this earlier in the season. I told you then I agreed it was time for a change at DC. Injuries have plagued our secondary this year and also the line backing corps. It’s starting show up on other teams now at key positions. JPP in New York and others In hindsight if wehad kept Hayward at corner back who was a second round pick we’d be better off.Earl Thomas was a major blow to Seattle. I disagree about McCarthy needing to go. I know you understand more then me about front office business. I listen to NFL Network and discuss teams who are constantly changing coaching staffs and they continue to lose anyway. It’s frustrating I know having the best QB in the NFC and not reaching the Super Bowl more often. The defense we won the 45th Super Bowl with was missing two players the following year. Cullen Jenkins and Nick Collins. We go 15 and 1 and lose at home to a 9 and 7 Giants. Tom Brady went to the Super Bowl one year with I believe the 31st ranked defense. I can be as realistic as the next person. I’ve been a Packers Fan for 51 years. I watched the Ice Bowl and Super Bowl 1 and 2. Then sat threw 30 years of watching and cheering for the Pack until Favre and then Reggie White showed up. All because of Ron Wolf. There’s rumors of Ron Wolf Jr. replacing TT. I’ve never jumped off and then back on the bandwagon. I bleed Green and Gold until the day I die. It sucks watching our defense get constantly gouged across the middle. With Earl Thomas missing it’s happening to the Seahawks. I’ll continue to have high hopes for this years team and not walk around with blinders on. GO PACK GO!!! Merry Christmas to all especially Packer fans,

      1. Point I make–this year looks like SIX consecutive years of the NFL’s best QB sitting home at SB time again. WHY, because Ted Thompson gave DUMB Capers 66+ NEW players over past six seasons, enough to build SIX complete defensive units, and they’re NO better now than they’ve been since Jenkins and Collins played. THAT is a LOT of moolah spent, a LOT of roster spots committed to, with little to show for it. I could make catches IN A WHEEL CHAIR over middle of this defense, that’s how poorly Capers secondary plays ‘soft’ zones. NO Head Coach would tolerate a defense he’s called out for poor tackling for so many years and there’s NO improvement, that’s a Capers deficiency even as far back as the ’10 SB champs. As for McCarthy–other than Jon Gruden or coughing up enough money to lure Belichik from NE, they might as well keep him as HC but he’s not the offensive genius he thinks and it will show in playoffs. Aaron Rodgers won’t last as long as Brady ’cause his O-line’s just not as good and Thompson has failed to draft as good as some other teams who’ve been in same fix. A few years down the road with NO Aaron Rodgers and struggling to win–all the opportunities lost will be BAD memories for a new generation that hasn’t suffered under John Hadl, Anthony Dilweg, Scott Hunter, Jerry Tagge, David Whitehurst, Mike Tomczak or Randy Wright while waiting on the next Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. ANYWAY, MERRY CHRISTMAS! ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A NEW DC FOR GB!!

        1. I hear you loud and clear. From your lips to Gods ears. Ron Wolf Jr for General Manager. I like Sean McDermott for DC. This upcoming draft class is supposedly loaded with corners. It goes in trends. I saw a mock with six DBs in the first round.Perhaps a free agent along the lines of Woodson.They come along once in a blue moon. A leader back in the secondary.

          1. AMEN bubba! They’ve got a winnable game vs. Vikings provided they don’t allow Vikes defense to dominate game as they did last time. I think with Montgomery/Michael duo in backfield–that’s a different talent level for Zimmer to scheme to stop–don’t think they can control Rodgers if run game works. IF Stafford’s injured hand doesn’t affect delivery, the Lions game will be tougher hill for Packers. Even IF they can qualify without division, I’d prefer to see GB win out in Lions’ stadium and get a bye week and seed instead of wild card. MERRY CHRISTMAS JAMES, TO YOU AND FAMILY and to ALL THE PACKERS AND FAN FAMILIES!!! Hope the New Year comes in with a GREEN AND GOLD BLIZZARD IN FORD FIELD on 31st!

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