A heads-up play by Jarrett Boykin gave the Packers an early lead. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)
The Packers had to feel pretty fortunate entering Week 17, what with getting Aaron Rodgers back from injury just in time for a shot at the division title against Chicago. They may have received definitive proof that the NFC North is theirs for the taking on a bizarre touchdown in the second quarter.
On a 2nd-and-10 from the Chicago 17, Rodgers was hit from behind on a pass attempt, jarring the football from his hand as his arm came forward. Just about everyone on the field reacted as if it was an incompletion, including Bears LB James Anderson, who failed to scoop the football up on a bounce.
But none of the officials on the field blew the play dead, allowing Green Bay receiver Jarrett Boykin to scoop it up and race to the end zone -- after some encouragement from his sideline and Rodgers -- for a wild touchdown.
The play, via Bleacher Report:
Referee Clete Blakeman reviewed the play (all scoring plays automatically draw a second look from the replay booth) and ruled that the correct call had been made on the field. That none of the officials blew the play dead was something of a marvel in itself given how much it initially looked like Rodgers had thrown an incomplete forward pass.
However, the Packers benefited from their own heads-up response and Chicago's lack of awareness to take a 10-7 lead.