After beginning to look like a snoozer, the NFC Championship took a turn for the wild and weird as Caleb Hanie, of all people, rallied the Chicago Bears. First, it was Jay Cutler leaving with an apparent leg injury. Todd Collins was next, leaving the game with a severe case of ineffectiveness. In stepped Hanie to make things interesting and give the Green Bay Packers a scare — just like we all expected.
As the Packers held a 14-0 lead, keeping the Chicago offense easily in check, it looked like the game was all but over. Suddenly, the Bears knight in shining armor, Hanie, stepped in, guiding the Bears to the end zone and cutting the Packers lead in half.
A B.J. Raji interception return for a touchdown (side note: it was as hilarious as it sounds) put the Packers back up by 14, but Hanie answered the bell again. 80 seconds later, the deficit was seven again after Hanie found Earl Bennett for the score. A timely defensive stop gave the Bears one more shot to tie it up late.
Hanie and the offense got rolling, driving deep into Green Bay territory. Sadly, Hanie’s dream ended as Sam Shields stepped in front of his fourth down pass to seal the game for the Packers to give them a 21-14 win. At the very least, it was fun while it lasted.
The Packers return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998. They took the road less traveled to the Super Bowl, making it as a six-seed, playing all three of their playoff games on the road.
The Packers move on to the Super Bowl on Feb 6, where they’ll face either the New York Jets or Pittsburgh Steelers. Those two will face off in the AFC Championship at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.