CHICAGO - Alex Brown reached up and saved the Chicago Bears’ season.
Brown blocked Mason Crosby’s 38-yard attempt with 18 seconds to go in the fourth quarter Monday night, forcing overtime against the Green Bay Packers.
And once the Bears got to the extra period, reliable Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal for a 20-17 win.
Now, after the icy victory, the Bears are still in the running for the playoffs.
“We got a great push from a lot of different people. I was just the one who got my hand on it,” Brown said.
“We were saying on the sidelines that we have to block it. I got through pretty good but I didn’t really think that was going to happen. You just go as hard as you can and see if you can get a hand up and hopefully you can get it.”
The Bears (9-6), who stayed in contention for the NFC North over the weekend when Atlanta beat Minnesota, won their third straight and rallied from a 14-3 halftime deficit to do it.
If the Bears win at Houston next Sunday and the Vikings lose at home to the Giants, Chicago captures the NFC North. Minnesota holds the tiebreaker over the Bears, so if both teams win on the final Sunday, the Vikings win the division. But Chicago is still alive for a wild-card berth, too.
“Everything fell right, gave us a lot of momentum and energy coming into this game. We just had to carry it all the way through,” quarterback Kyle Orton said.
And the Bears had to overcome the elements, too, as did the Packers.
The temperature at Soldier Field was announced at 2 degrees, making it the coldest home game in Bears’ history since records started being kept in 1963. The wind chill was 13 below, the second-lowest in recorded team annals, so the longtime rivals known for their ability to play in cold weather were tested by the elements.
Orton hit a 17-yard pass to Greg Olsen and a 15-yard penalty on Green Bay’s Aaron Rouse for a horse collar tackle gave the Bears the ball at the Green Bay 35 in overtime. A third-down pass of 14 yards to Matt Forte got it to the Green Bay 20 to set up the winning kick — Gould’s second straight game-winner in overtime.
“You know it’s going to be chilly, the ground is going to be hard. You’ve just got to go out there and do your job. There’s no excuses for missing,” Gould said
Green Bay (5-10) dominated the first half, but lost its fifth straight after routing the Bears 37-3 at Lambeau Field in mid-November.
“It’s disappointing. It’s tough. It’s frustrating,” Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
Forte’s 3-yard TD with 3:11 left lifted the Bears into a tie. The score came one play after Forte just made a first down on a fourth-and-2 run.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Green Bay’s Will Blackmon returned a short kick 32 yards and a personal foul on Chicago’s Adrian Peterson for tackling him out of bounds, put the ball on the Bears 35.
Rodgers’ third down pass of 9 yards to James Jones gave the Packers a first down at the Bears 24 with two minutes left.
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