The Green Bay Packers knocked off the Chicago Bears to become the first #6 seed to represent the NFC in the Superbowl. The game started like you might have predicted, but certainly didn't play out like anyone thought in the end. Aaron Rodgers drove the Packers down the field with ease on their first drive to put the Pack up 7-0. As the Chicago offense sputtered, the Packers would score again in the 2nd quarter. But that's when it got weird.
Aaron Rodgers started to look like a shell of himself. He finished the day with 2 picks, no TDs and a 55.4 QB rating. A far cry from his other wordly stats in the first two games of the postseason. The Bears defense began to dominate, but their offense was another story. That is, until Caleb Hanie entered the game. Yes, Caleb Hanie.
Jay Cutler was knocked out of the game, his backup Todd Collins threw four passes before he was out and third stringer Caleb Hanie entered the game just before the end of the 3rd quarter. At that point, the Bears offense started moving. While it was mostly dump offs to Forte, Hanie pushed the offense down the field for the Bears first TD of the game and pulled Chicago within a TD. The Packers offense was awful in the second and quickly gave the ball back... but then disaster struck when Hanie threw a pick 6 to nosetackle BJ Raji. Yes, the 300+ pound BJ Raji. So it's over right?
Hanie quickly drove the Bears down the field and hit Earl Bennett with a 35 yard TD pass to again pull the Bears within a TD. The Packers quickly gave the ball right back and suddenly we had Caleb Hanie with a chance to run a two minute offense and send the NFC title game to overtime. As he had most of the 4th quarter, he had the Bears offense moving on a drive that saw the Bears convert a 4th and 1 to stay alive. As they crossed into Packer territory, they were faced with a third and short... that's when Mike Martz struck. The Bears offensive coordinator calls an end around that ends up losing yardage setting up a 4th and long. Hanie throws a pick over the middle and it's all she wrote.
In the end, the Packers won by a touchdown which is probably the result a lot of people expected... but I don't think anyone could have predicted that 21-14 would have went down quite like this. Rodgers playing poorly, Caleb Hanie getting in the game, B.J. Raji being the only Packer to catch a TD pass...
The Packers now await the winner of the AFC title game between the Jets and Steelers.