Bears claim NFC North title with hard-fought win

Overcoming past history and painful memories, the Chicago Bears relied on their defense and opportunistic plays from the offense and special teams to beat Green Bay 24-17 and in the process, earn the NFC North division crown.

“It’s a humbling experience for all of us,” said coach Matt Nagy. “We talked about finishing all week—finish, finish, finish. We had a very similar situation as we did the first week and we were able to finish the game.” The Bears avenged a season opening 24-23 setback in a game where they blew a 20-0 advantage.

A sun-splashed Soldier Field crowd watched as the 2018 Bears reached a goal few thought realistic when training camp opened back in July.

The 10-4 Bears held nemesis Aaron Rodgers without a touchdown pass, sacking the Packers quarterback five times and intercepting him late in the contest when Bears safety Eddie Jackson came down with a deflected pass with the Packers driving deep into Bears territory.

OLB’s Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd tallied 2.5 and 2 sacks each, while rookie linebacker Roquan Smith continued his spirited play with an unofficial count of 10 tackles.

On a day when the Chicago offense did just enough, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was solid. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns to Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton. Trubisky’s pass to Burton broke a 14-all tie. Bears kicker Cody Parkey added a 24-yard field goal later to give the Bears the cushion they needed to post their first win in nine games against Green Bay.

After Packers kicker Mason Crosby converted on a 45-yard field goal to draw the Packers within seven at 24-17 with 15 seconds left, Chicago wide receiver Allen Robinson fielded the onside kick to send the Bears sideline and fans into party mode.

Veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara summed it up best. “I’m really happy for this organization. The McCaskeys are probably so excited. They are going to have an even better Christmas. This was for the fans, this was for the organization, and we are glad that we were able to do it.”

Paw Prints: Running back Jordan Howard got the Bears on the scoreboard first with a seven-yard scamper…Jackson (sprained ankle) OLB Aaron Lynch (elbow) were forced to leave the game with injuries.  Jackson was in a walking boot following the game….Jackson’s pick was his sixth of the  year. Chicago leads the NFL with 26 interceptions….Mack’s sacks boost his total to 12.5 thus far this season. Former Bears defensive end and Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent posted 13.5 in 1993…After a recent string of poor Soldier Field records, the Bears finished 7-1 at home….The Bears won against Green Bay in Chicago for the first time since September of 2010…The Packers (5-8-1) were eliminated from playoff consideration.

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