CHICAGO - Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal with 11 minutes, 28 seconds left in overtime and the Bears overcame frigid conditions and the Green Bay Packers for a 20-17 victory last night to stay in the running for the playoffs.
Chicago's Alex Brown blocked Mason Crosby's 38-yard field-goal attempt with 18 seconds left in regulation to preserve a 17-17 tie and send the game into overtime.
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 minus-13, 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.
Kyle Orton (14-for-27, 142 yards) 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.
The win had an impact on the Eagles' playoff possibilities. The Eagles need to beat Dallas Sunday in combination with an Oakland win at Tampa Bay and either a Chicago loss at Houston or a Minnesota loss to the visiting Giants.
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.
Minnesota holds the tiebreaker over the Bears, so if both teams win on the final Sunday, the Vikings win the division.
Green Bay (5-10) dominated the first half, but lost its fifth straight after routing the Bears at Lambeau Field in mid-November, 37-3. Aaron Rodgers (24-for-39, 260 yards) threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Packers.
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. *