Love comes through as Packers beat Bears 17-9 to clinch a playoff berth
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Jordan Love threw for 316 yards and connected with Dontayvion Wicks on a pair of touchdowns to send the Green Bay Packers to the playoffs with a 17-9 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Packers (9-8) needed a win to earn an NFC wild-card berth. Green Bay delivered by winning their third straight overall and beating the Bears (7-10) for a 10th consecutive time.
The Packers were in a similar situation for their regular-season finale last year, but lost 20-16 at the Detroit Lions in four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ last game with Green Bay. The Packers traded Rodgers to the New York Jets less than four months later.
Love now has the Packers reaching the postseason in his first year as a starter.
He went 27 of 32 as Green Bay never punted all day. Love threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Wicks that put Green Bay ahead for good midway through the second quarter and found the rookie fifth-round pick in the end zone again for a 12-yard score in the third.
Green Bay’s Jayden Reed caught four passes for 112 yards, the rookie second-round pick’s first career 100-yard game. Aaron Jones rushed for 111 yards on 22 carries, his third straight 100-yard performance.
Chicago now heads into the offseason facing a major question about its quarterback situation.
The Bears have the top overall pick in the upcoming draft by virtue of a trade they made last year with the Carolina Panthers, who own the NFL’s worst record. They now must decide whether to keep Justin Fields as quarterback or select his potential replacement with that No. 1 selection.
Fields went 11 of 16 for 148 yards, but couldn’t get the Bears into the end zone. He was sacked five times and had eight carries for 27 yards.
The Bears reached Packers territory on each of their first six series, but had only nine points to show for it.
Cairo Santos capped the game’s first series with a 50-yard field goal that bounced off the left upright before going through. Santos also had a 39-yarder late in the second quarter and a 35-yarder early in the fourth.
The Bears got inside Green Bay’s 35 midway through the fourth quarter, but a holding penalty and a sack caused the drive to stall and forced a punt. Green Bay took over at its own 6 with 6:08 left and held the ball the rest of the game.
Bears RG Nate Davis hurt his foot and Packers WR Romeo Doubs injured his chest in the first half. … Bears DB Terell Smith hurt his quadriceps and Bears TE Cole Kmet injured his forearm in the second half.
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