Packers' win probability revived after Rodgers' return

Green Bay's statistical chances sunk to 4.84% before stunning turnaround


GREEN BAY -- They're just numbers, not real football, but they tell an interesting story as to how Sunday night's Packers-Bears game unfolded.

According to numberFire's win probability model, which takes into account team strength, score, time left and possession, the Packers' chances of winning the contest dropped below 10 percent when the Bears kicked a field goal to go up 20-0 and QB Aaron Rodgers had missed one quarter of action with no certainty he'd return.

Even after Rodgers came back, Green Bay's win probability dropped under 5 percent when Rodgers was called for intentional grounding with 1:26 left in the third quarter, setting up a third-and-14 from the Packers' own 15-yard line.

The rest, as they say, is history.


50.61% win probability

Bears 7, Packers 0 (7:11 remaining in Q1)

The Bears got going right away, as RB Tarik Cohen carried twice for 18 yards and caught one pass for 8 more. QB Mitchell Trubisky then found WR Taylor Gabriel for a 31-yard completion to the Green Bay 25, and on third-and-2, TE Trey Burton hauled in a 15-yard pass to make it first-and-goal. Trubisky ran it in for a 2-yard TD on the read-option keeper, giving the Bears the early lead.


16.47% win probability

Bears 17, Packers 0 (0:50 remaining in Q2)

Bears DE Roy Robertson-Harris sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on third down, forcing another Green Bay punt, and Rodgers was down and being attended to. He got up and walked off under his own power, but was carted to the locker room shortly after.

DeShone Kizer took over for Rodgers at QB. On his second drive, under pressure, Kizer floated a short pass that Bears LB Khalil Mack picked off and returned 27 yards for a score, and the Bears led 17-0 with 39 seconds left in the half.


8.41% win probability

Bears 20, Packers 0 (9:18 remaining in Q3)

A 33-yard Cody Parkey field goal put the Bears up, 20-0.


4.84% win probability

Bears 20, Packers 3 (1:26 remaining in Q3)

Rodgers was called for intentional grounding, setting up a third-and-14 from the Packers' own 15-yard line.

12.93% win probability

Bears 20, Packers 10 (14:06 remaining in Q4)

Rodgers returned to the game for the Packers and led a field goal drive, pulling the Packers within 17 points. Green Bay's defense followed that up by forcing a three-and-out. On the eighth play of Green Bay's next drive, Rodgers fired deep to WR Geronimo Allison, who hauled in a 39-yard TD with a diving grab in the back corner of the end zone. K Mason Crosby's extra point pulled the Packers within 20-10 with 13:59 left.

30.85% win probability

Bears 20, Packers 17 (9:10 remaining in Q4)

Green Bay's defense got another three-and-out, as S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix tackled TE Dion Sims at the line of scrimmage on a third-and-1 pass.

On the second snap of the next drive, Williams picked up a blitzing Bears LB and Rodgers found Adams down the far sideline for 51 yards in all. Consecutive passes of 6 yards to Cobb and Adams put the ball on the Chicago 12, and Adams took a short pass, made a shake move, and beat the Bears to the pylon for the touchdown. Crosby's PAT made it 20-17 Chicago with 9:01 left.

19.85% win probability

Bears 23, Packers 17 (2:42 remaining in Q4)

Bears K Cody Parkey's 32-yard field goal put the Bears up, 23-17, with 2:39 to go.

68.29% win probability

Packers 24, Bears 23 (2:13 remaining in Q4)

Starting from their 25, the Packers faced third-and-10, and Rodgers found Cobb over the middle. With no Chicago defenders near him, Cobb took off straight up the field and went all the way to the end zone, 75 yards for the touchdown. Crosby's PAT put the Packers up for the first time in the game, 24-23, with 2:13 to go.

81.93% win probability

Packers 24, Bears 23 (1:06 remaining in Q4)

From their own 18, the Bears were flagged for an ineligible receiver downfield on first down, making it first-and-15 at the 2-minute warning. It came down to fourth-and-9 from the 19, and Trubisky's pass was incomplete, but LB Clay Mathews was flagged for roughing the passer, keeping the Bears alive.

Trubisky hit Robinson for 12 yards to the 46, and three straight incompletions set up another fourth down. Perry got to Trubisky for the sack, knocking the ball out, and Clark recovered at the Chicago 41 for the Packers with 58 seconds left.

100% win probability

Packers 24, Bears 23 (Final)

The Packers ran the clock out to secure victory.

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