Chicago Bears (8-5) 21, Green Bay Packers (3-10) 10
Sunday December 11th 1977 (at Chicago)
(CHICAGO) - Five weeks ago, the Chicago Bears' record dropped to 3-5 and the NFC Central Division co-leaders were virtually counted out of the playoff picture. Today, after reeling off five straight victories, including Sunday's 21-10 triumph over the Green Bay Packers, Chicago's post-season hopes are very much alive with an 8-5 record. Walter Payton, the NFL's leading rusher with 1,805 yards, rushed 32 times for 163 yards and scored two touchdowns to pace the victory over the Packers. The win wasn't spectacular, but Pardee insisted that the Bears demonstrated they area playoff-caliber team. Green Bay dropped to 3-10 on the season and Packers Coach Bart Starr said his team's lack of consistency made the difference in the game. The Bears defense, which shut out the Packers 26-0 six weeks ago in Green Bay, gave up 276 net yards - 161 rushing and 115 passing - but the Packers' offense sputtered after the first half. Chicago took an early lead on Bob Avellini's 11-yard touchdown pass to James Scott with 3:50 left in the first quarter, but Green Bay narrowed the lead with a 19-yard field goal by Chester Marcol early in the second period following an interception by Tom Toner. Payton capped a six-play, 63-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge which gave Chicago a 14-3 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. Less than two minutes later, the Packers were on the scoreboard again with Barty Smith climaxing a three-play, 74-yard drive with a one-yard TD run which made it 14-10. Payton, whose fifth straight game of more than 100 yards rushing left him 198 yards short of O.J. Simpson's single-season rushing record of 2,003 yards, sealed the victory with a 7-yard touchdown burst in the fourth quarter. Starr felt the turning point in the game came in the closing seconds of the first half when the Packers, trailing 14-10, were approaching field goal range and fumbled at the Chicago 20-yard line.
GREEN BAY -  0 10  0  0 - 10
CHICAGO   -  7  7  0  7 - 21
                       GREEN BAY       CHICAGO
First downs                   16            25
Rush-yards-TDs          35-161-1      49-234-2
Comp-Att-Yd-TD-INT 10-24-122-0-0 12-20-128-1-2
Sacked-yards                 1-7          1-14
Net pass yards               115           114
Total yards                  276           348
Fumbles-lost                 3-1           5-1
Turnovers                      1             3
Penalties-yards             9-80          5-54
SCORING
1st - CHI - James Scott, 11-yard pass from Bob Avellini (Bob Thomas kick) CHICAGO 7-0
2nd - GB - Marcol, 19-yard field goal CHICAGO 7-3
2nd - CHI - Walter Payton, 1-yard run (Thomas kick) CHICAGO 14-3
2nd - GB - B.Smith, 7-yard run (Marcol kick) CHICAGO 14-10
4th - CHI - Payton, 7-yard run (Thomas kick) CHICAGO 21-10
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Barty Smith 16-86 1 TD, Nate Simpson 14-66, Willard Harrell 2-8, David Whitehurst 2-1, David Beverly 1-0
CHICAGO - Walter Payton 32-163 2 TD, Roland Harper 9-55, Bob Avellini 4-11, Johnny Musso 2-7, Vince Evans 1-0, Bo Rather 1-(-2)
PASSING
GREEN BAY - David Whitehurst 22-9-89, Willard Harrell 1-1-33, Brian Dowling 1-0-0
CHICAGO - Bob Avellini 20-12-128 1 TD 2 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Nate Simpson 3-22, Ollie Smith 2-36, Steve Odom 2-32, Willard Harrell 2-27, Barty Smith 1-5
CHICAGO - James Scott 7-94 1 TD, Steve Schubert 2-22, Roland Harper 2-10, Greg Latta 1-2