The Packer Fan Minute

Packers Edge Bears, Clinch Playoff Berth!


Pack Finish The Season 10-6! And We Are In The Playoffs! See You In Philly On Sunday!

Well I can't tell everyone how excited I was for this game and it couldn't get any BIGGER or more important of a game, then for it to come down to the last matchup of the regular season, and against the hated Bears rivalry at Lambeau Field. It was a game that the Packers had to WIN to get IN and that just made for a little extra drama. The Bears played their starters the entire game and made the Packers earn it. The Packers needed a fourth-quarter touchdown and a Nick Collins interception in the red zone to ruin Chicago’s last drive for a tense but uplifting 10-3 decision in a defensive slugfest in front of 70,833 at a chilly Lambeau Field. With the win, the Packers earn a Wild Card berth and the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs, with a trip to No. 3 seed Philadelphia next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (CST). Green Bay finished the regular season 10-6, winning a three-way strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the conference’s final playoff spot.

And one of the Hero's for the day had to be punter Tim Masthay who finished with a 43.5-yard gross average and a 36.6-yard net average on his eight kicks, placing half of them inside the 20-yard line. Two of those came at a critical juncture in the game with the Packers holding a 10-3 lead in the fourth quarter. On the Packers’ last two punts in the fourth quarter, Tim Masthay' s Aussie-style kicks were downed inside the 5. The last one was at the 2, giving the Bears 98 yards to go with 4:49 on the clock. It was a strong finish for Masthay in his first year as he tied the best mark by a Packers punter since 1976 with a 37.6-yard net average for the season (Jon Ryan, 37.6, 2007). To have a game like he did Sunday in blustery conditions at Lambeau Field against an elite returner with a playoff berth on the line made the performance that much sweeter.

The Packers recieved the ball first and John Kuhn came through with a huge 3rd and 1. And it was funny how the crowd kept calling for "Kuuuuhn" when it was 3rd and 2 and then giving him the ball. The Bears know who #30 is and they were stuffing him every time. Aaron looked sharp on a few passes but also had a few miscues, like on a throw to Jackson and the Packers had to punt. A cool part of the game was keeping WR Devin Hester was not a factor as he had to fair catch most of the game.

Our second possesion started at the 34 yard line. And had a decent drive going with the help of Starks but that fumble by Donald Driver was a killer. I love ya Quickie, but you need to hold on tighter! The Bears had a good drive but had to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first half. With the Packers trailing 3-0 at halftime, the Bears appeared to be in prime position to add to their lead after cornerback Charles Tillman picked off quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the offense’s first play of the second half. Tillman made a diving grab in front of wide receiver Greg Jennings at the Chicago 43 before getting up to return the interception all the way to the Green Bay 15.

The only TD of the game was a first-and-goal, play-action fake which allowed Rodgers (19-of-28, 229 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 89.7 rating) to hit tight end Donald Lee for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown with 12:42 left. Some great work from the special teams helped. With his 101.2 passer rating for the season, Rodgers became the first signal-caller in team history to post back-to-back 100-plus passer rating seasons.

Hero's: The Packers only had 78 accepted penalties for the season, it was the fewest since 2001. And it was a good thing not having 18 in the game like the last match up. Safety Charlie Peprah for his INT.
Linebacker Erik Walden for his 11 tackles and the first two sacks of his career. Green Bay defense – which tied a season-high with six sacks. Linebacker A.J. Hawk and cornerback Charles Woodson, And even Clay caused some havoc. Safety Nick Collins pick at the 11-yard line to clinch the victory and a berth in the postseason. Only 22 turnovers this season, and Green Bay’s allowed just three touchdowns from those turnovers, and that is the fewest given up by Green Bay since the statistic began being recorded. Nice Work Dom!

Boos: Only 16 rushes for 39 yards. Come on Man!........ Rookie tackle Bryan Bulaga accounting for all 4 penalties in the game, a pair of holding calls and two false-start penalties.

“It shows that we’ve got a shot, and now we’re in the playoffs,” Woodson said. “The intensity that we played with today, we’ve got to keep playing with that intensity throughout. We can’t have a repeat of what happened last year. This playoff game we’ve got to come out and play with the same fire we played with today, and good things will happen.”

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