CHICAGO — Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb came back just in time to lift the Green Bay Packers to the NFC North championship.
Rodgers fired a 48-yard touchdown pass to Cobb in the final minute, and the Packers beat the Chicago Bears 33-28 to capture the division title.
Back after missing seven games with a broken left collarbone, Rodgers found a wide-open Cobb on fourth-and-8 to wipe out a one-point deficit with 38 seconds left.
Green Bay will host San Francisco next weekend in the wild-card round.
The Bears had one final drive, but Jay Cutler’s deep pass to Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Sam Shields on the final play.
That gave the Packers (8-7-1) their third straight division title and fifth postseason appearance in a row. It also kept the Bears (8-8) out of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.
Things weren’t looking great for the Packers after Chicago’s Brandon Marshall spun away from Tramon Williams in the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 28-20. But the Packers answered with a touchdown drive.
Eddie Lacy ran in from the 6 after a 22-yard pass from Rodgers to Andrew Quarless went through safety Chris Conte’s hands, making it a one-point game.
Then, on the winning drive, Green Bay converted twice on fourth-and-1 before Rodgers eluded pressure unleashed that winning pass to Cobb.
It was a strong finish after a shaky start for the superstar quarterback, and it gave him some payback against the team that nearly ended his season.
Rodgers was intercepted on the Packers’ first two possessions, with Conte picking him off in the end zone on the first one. He also threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns in his first appearance since Nov. 4. He got knocked out of that game on an early sack by Shea McClellin at Lambeau Field, sending the Packers into a 2-5-1 slide.