PACK­ERS BLOW BIG LEAD BUT STRETCH WIN STREAK TO 4

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - The As­so­ci­ated Press

chicago» Aaron Rodgers and the Pack­ers were rolling along with a big lead, look­ing as though they would take an­other step to­ward a play­off berth and the top of the NFC North.

Once it dis­ap­peared, they still found a way to pull out the vic­tory.

Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson with a 60-yard pass to set up Ma­son Crosby’s 32-yard field goal as time ex­pired, lift­ing the Pack­ers to a 30-27 win over the archri­val Bears on Sun­day in one of the cold­est games ever played in Chicago.

Wide re­ceiver-turned-run­ning back Ty Mont­gomery rushed for a ca­reer-high 162 yards and two touch­downs. Micah Hyde broke up a po­ten­tial go-ahead touch­down pass, and the surg­ing Pack­ers posted their fourth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory de­spite blow­ing a 27-10 lead in the fourth quar­ter at Sol­dier Field.

They also moved ahead of Min­nesota for sole pos­ses­sion of sec­ond place in the NFC North and pulled within a game of di­vi­sion leader Detroit.

The Bears had tied it on a field goal by Con­nor Barth with 1:19 left. The Pack­ers took over at their 27, and on third-and-11 at the 26, Rodgers un­leashed a deep pass down the mid­dle of the field to Nelson, who got be­hind Cre’Von LeBlanc.

With no time­outs left, the Pack­ers downed the ball be­fore Crosby kicked the win­ning field goal.

SUN­DAY’S HIGH­LIGHTS

Odell Beck­ham Jr. made an­other one-hand touch­down catch to de­light re­play fa­nat­ics, the de­fense turned in an­other sti­fling per­for­mance and the Gi­ants inched closer to their first play­off berth since 2011 with a 17-6 win over the Lions that snapped a five-game win­ning for NFC North-lead­ing Detroit. The Gi­ants’ for­mula was the one the team has fol­lowed in Ben McA­doo’s first sea­son as their coach: Just enough of­fense and a tough stingy, pass-rush­ing de­fense that has now come up with big back-to­back ef­forts against two di­vi­sion lead­ers (Dal­las and Detroit), giv­ing up nine to­tal points. Eli Man­ning (20-of-28 for 201 yards) threw a 6-yard touch­down pass to Ster­ling Shep­ard on a 75-yard open­ing drive, then the iced the win with a 4-yard TD pass that Beck­ham caught with his left hand and pranced into the end zone for an 11-point lead with 5:20 to play. … An­drew Luck threw for 250 yards and two touch­downs as the Colts rolled to a 34-6 vic­tory over the Vikings. Robert Turbin rushed for two touch­downs, Mike Adams forced a fum­ble and added an in­ter­cep­tion for the Colts. Frank Gore rushed for 101 yards and In­di­anapo­lis won on the road for the fourth time this sea­son. Adrian Peter­son had just 22 yards on six car­ries and lost a fum­ble in his first game back from a knee in­jury. Luck com­pleted 21-of-28 passes and was barely touched all af­ter­noon, hit­ting Erik Swoope for a 27-yard touch­down in the sec­ond quar­ter that gave the Colts a 17-0 lead. … Ezekiel Elliott ran for 159 yards and a touch­down, Dak Prescott com­pleted 32-of-36 passes for 279 yards and the Cow­boys won their 12th game, 26-20, over the Buc­ca­neers. Elliott gave Dal­las a 10-3 lead in the sec­ond quar­ter with a 2-yard score. Jameis Win­ston gave Tampa Bay a 20-17 lead in the third quar­ter with a 10-yard touch­down pass to Cameron Brate. Dan Bai­ley, who missed two ear­lier field goals, kicked three in the fourth quar­ter to tie the game, then in­creased the Cow­boys’ lead. … The Browns are two losses from be­com­ing the NFL’s sec­ond team to go 0-16 in one sea­son. LeSean McCoy had a sea­son-best 153 yards rush­ing and scored twice, and the Bills kept their slim play­off hopes alive with a 33-13 win. The Browns dropped to 0-14, match­ing the sec­ond-worst start to a sea­son set by the 1976 Buc­ca­neers and 1980 Saints. The 2008 Lions are the only NFL team to fin­ish with­out a win in a 16-game sea­son. … Devonta Free­man ran for three touch­downs, Matt Ryan passed for two more and the Fal­cons clinched their first win­ning sea­son since 2012 with a 41-13 rout of the hap­less 49ers. … Drew Brees threw for 389 yards and four touch­downs, lead­ing the Saints past the Car­di­nals 48-41 in the high­est-scor­ing game in the NFL this sea­son.

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