GREEN BAY, Wis. — Less than eight minutes away from clinching the NFC North, the Packers, with a comfortable 21-10 lead over the Chicago Bears, decided to try a trick play. However, it backfired terribly, almost got the Bears back in the game and had quarterback Aaron Rodgers wondering why it was even attempted.
“I wasn’t thrilled with the call, to be honest with you,” Rodgers said Monday on the NFL Network. “At that point, I think it was 7:57 on the clock, we’re up two scores, we’ve been moving the ball pretty well. Maybe not the right call in that situation.
“Just not a very intelligent call at that point in the game.”
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With the Bears punting, Packers return man Randall Cobb fielded the ball as always, except this time he threw it across the field to rookie Jeremy Ross. Cobb’s throw was a bit low and Ross mishandled it, allowing Chicago’s Anthony Walters to scoop it up. That gave the Bears possession just 16 yards away from the end zone with a chance to get within four points.
“That was clearly my responsibility and clearly not the highlight of my coaching career,” coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. “Really, the reason behind the fake punt was Aaron had just come off with an ankle (injury) and we had a couple injuries on the sideline and guys getting ready for the next series.
“I felt that the potential for the big play on special teams was there. It’s a play we’ve been working on. You look for a certain part of the field, the wind, all the factors involved and that’s what it equated to. Now, in the end, it’s not a good decision.
“Wish I had that back.”
Despite the great field position, Chicago was only able to add a field goal on that drive and the Packers ended up winning the game — and the division title — anyway.