Flashback #94: Bears Vs. Packers In NFC Championship (2011)
As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.
January 23, 2011 – Bears vs. Packers in NFC Championship
The Bears-Packers rivalry is one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in all of sports.
During the 2011 playoffs, the two teams met in the NFC Championship game with a ticket to the Super Bowl on the line. The game had the city of Chicago — and most of the midwest — in a complete uproar of excitement.
For the Bears, however, the game didn’t turn out quite as the fans would have hope. The Packers defense shut the Bears out in the first half, and knocked starting quarterback Jay Cutler out of the game in the third quarter with a knee injury.
With the Bears trailing 14-0, 38-year-old backup quarterback Todd Collins replaced Cutler for just two series before he was pulled.
Third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie took over for Collins. The young quarterback had just 14 passes under his belt when he entered the biggest game of his life. Miraculously, Hanie was a play away from tying the game with 36 seconds to play.
The Bears cut the Packers lead in half when Chester Taylor scored on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, Hanie’s pass was intercept by defensive lineman B.J. Raji who ran the interception 18 yards for a touchdown, putting the Packers up 21-14.
Chicago would fight back, though, when Hanie hit Earl Bennett for a 35-yard touchdown, pulling the Bears within one score of Green Bay with 4:43 left.
After the Bears forced a punt and got the ball back with under three minutes left, Hanie drove the Bears to the Green Bay 29-yard line before he threw a fourth-down interception to Sam Shields.
The interception sealed the victory for the Packers, who would go on to win Super Bowl XLV.
After the game, Cutler received a great deal of criticism from fans, broadcasters and players for not finishing the game; however, it was later learned the quarterback had sprained his MCL.
The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary »