It was a tale of scoring runs for the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field in Week 15.
After being tied at 10 going into halftime, both teams executed big scoring quarters in the second half, but in the end it was Green Bay that pulled out a 30-27 win.
The Packers scored 20 unanswered points in the second and third quarters, beginning with a Mason Crosby 34-yard field goal just before the half that tied the score at 10.
Green Bay scored on their next three drives. posting a field goal and two rushing touchdowns to pull ahead 27-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
RB Ty Montgomery set the tone for the Packers rushing offense early and had two rushing touchdowns in the game. He finished with 162 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Chicago turned the ball over on four-straight drives, including a Hail Mary that was picked off as time expired in the first half.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, former Bears DL Julius Peppers strip sacked Barkley, forcing the second turnover of the game. After a Packers touchdown, Barkley then proceeded to throw two interceptions on back-to-back drives.
Green Bay put together a third quarter in which they outscored Chicago 17-0 and gained control of the game.
But the Bears refused to lay down and put together a big fourth quarter of their own.
Barkley orchestrated three-straight scoring drives in the fourth, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to receiver Alshon Jeffery that cut the lead to 27-17.
Rookie running back Jordan Howard added a 9-yard touchdown run to get the Bears to within 3 points. After a defensive stop, Chicago’s offense went back to work with 5:42 left in the game.
Barkley marched the Bears down the field and the offense had first-and-goal from the 3-yard-line, yet failed to get it into the end zone.
On third down the Bears attempted a pass play to receiver Cameron Meredith, which fell incomplete. Instead of going for it on fourth down, Chicago settled for a 22-yard field goal to tie the score at 27.
With the ball at the 4-yard line, head coach John Fox made the decision to kick a field goal, instead of going for a touchdown.
“I think, that’s one of those [difficult] decisions,” Fox said. “We tied the game, had an opportunity to go to overtime, didn’t quite get there.”
Barkley finished the game completing 30 of his 43 attempts for 362 yards and two touchdowns. He played his best in the fourth quarter and nearly led the Bears to a comeback victory.
"Obviously we dug ourselves a hole but he responded, our team responded," said Fox. "That's the good news. Bad news is we didn't do the things necessary to win the game. We'd like to avoid those picks and hopefully, at some point, we will."
Even with Green Bay’s fourth-quarter struggles, the Bears left Aaron Rodgers with just over a minute on the game clock and he made them pay.
Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson for a 60-yard completion on third down and 11. The play set up a Mason Crosby 32-yard field goal to win the game and send the Bears to 3-11 on the season.
The win now ties the all-time series between the two teams at 94-94-6. It’s the first time the series has been tied since 1933.
Chicago will host the Washington Redskins in their home finale in Week 16.