The Bears needed to win today in Green Bay to keep whatever very slim playoff hopes they had alive.
After an unfortunate first half blown call helped spot Green Bay a touchdown, the Packers jumped out to a 21-3 lead, and looked likely to coast to a win. Aaron Rodgers was theatrically extending his pre-snap cadence for laughs at one point, the outcome seemed so not in doubt. And then the Bears kind of looked like last season’s Bears again; a defense forcing stops, and an offense that can be explosive when Mitch Trubisky isn’t throwing it right to the other team. (Which he still did at one point on a crucial drive.)
That meant that the Bears had a few cracks at tying the game after cutting the lead to 21-13 with eight minutes to go in the game. Trubisky threw an interception after one defensive stop, and then after the defense came through again led a drive into Packers territory that resulted in a turnover on downs. After yet another defensive stand gave the Bears the ball back on their own six yard line with no timeouts and :44 left on the clock, Trubisky led another drive, putting the Bears in position to take a few shots at the end zone with less than ten seconds remaining.
The first attempt was a hail mary, which went through traffic and was almost hauled in by Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley. That left just one second on the clock, and rather than try another long effort, the Bears drew up a lateral play. It came incredibly close to working, too.
That’s little used undrafted free agent Jesper Horsted getting the ball on the most important play of the season for Chicago, by the way.
Gotta put it in your best players' hands when it's all on the line.
— Mike Pries (@MikePTraffic) December 15, 2019
It’s a bit unfair to Horsted, who obviously was put in a tough spot there, but at the same time, dude, come on, pitch the ball!
And with that, the Bears season essentially ended. If it’s any consolation to Bears fans, they probably would have either missed the two-point conversion, or had they converted, Aaron Rodgers would have taken the Packers down for an immediate touchdown. But this was a very on brand ending for the Bears: coming very close only to be denied in an incredibly memorable fashion.