CHICAGO—The quiver in his voice made the words unnecessary.
“What a great football game. What a battle that was today,” Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said moments after his team had rallied for a 33-28 win over the Bears at Soldier Field, claiming the NFC North title and a playoff date with the 49ers next weekend at Lambeau Field.
“One of our finer moments,” McCarthy said, a “champions” hat on his head and his red challenge flag still in his right hip pocket.
McCarthy was able to speak with such pride and joy because he is the coach of arguably the best quarterback in the game.
“It was kind of a check-route call. Aaron and Randall made a phenomenal play. That’s two guys making a great play that’ll be running on the highlights during my time on Earth.”
The Bears attacked Rodgers with a pressure game plan the Packers weren’t expecting. There was another hero on the game-winning play, in addition to Rodgers and Cobb.
“It was definitely
Kuhn cut-blocked Peppers, which allowed Rodgers to roll to his left and find Cobb. When Rodgers let the pass fly, Cobb was more than 10 yards in the clear.
“As soon as I came off the ball, I saw the safety was flat-footed, so I just threw my hand up. I knew there was going to be nobody where I was going to run the route to,” Cobb said.
Cobb was also in his comeback game. He hadn’t played since sustaining a leg injury on Oct. 13. He caught two passes on Sunday; both of them were for touchdowns.
“Aaron played great. They challenged us schematically,” McCarthy said of Bears Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker’s plan to blitz Rodgers, who showed a reluctance early in the game to scramble out of the pocket.
“We saw more pressure than they’ve shown in eight weeks. Mel Tucker was calling a different game than they had shown us. He came after us,” McCarthy added.
Rodgers made the Bears pay for their aggressiveness, and
“Aaron got it done down the stretch,” McCarthy said.
The same could be said of the Packers team that was forced to win critical games in December just to stay in playoff contention.
Where did this win rank all-time for Rodgers?
“Right near the top,” he said.
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