OPEN HOLE, INSERT FORTE Sunday's Monsters of the Midway were the Bears' offensive linemen, who blasted open gap after gap for Matt Forte. The Bears' feature back was stopped here at the goal line, but he ran for 80 yards while QB Jay Cutler threw for 274 yards and accounted for four TDs (two pass, two run) in Chicago's 35--24 win over the Seahawks (page 36).
PHOTOPhotograph by Bob Rosato
TAKING IT ON THE CHIN The season of the NFC's top seed came to an ignominious end, as quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons stumbled and fumbled—this loose ball was one of two Atlanta lost in the fourth quarter—their way to a 48--21 loss to the Packers, setting up a long-awaited (69 years!) playoff showdown (page 32).
PHOTOPhotograph by David Bergman
THE BRADY CRUNCH Here's the story of the Patriots' Sunday: Quarterback Tom Brady was picked off for the first time in 340 pass attempts, knocked down seven times and sacked a season-high five times—including this third-quarter takedown, in New York's 28--21 upset (page 40), by Calvin Pace that led to a fumble (recovered by the Pats).