A Thanksgiving Day Miracle

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The Chicago Bears pulled off the most unlikely victory against reigning MVP and perpetual Bear killer, Aaron Rodgers, and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving day — and shocked the world.

More people predicted Holly Holm to beat Ronda Rousey than they did the Bears to beat the Packers in Green Bay on Thanksgiving — on the day the Packers officially retired Brett Favre’s number, nonetheless.

The Bears came in and spoiled the party on a cold and rainy Wisconsin night. The  Packers looked like they thought the game was going to be a cake walk. After all, Jay Cutler has never had a performance at Lambeau that can be described as anything better than dismal. His career statistics at Lambeau going into the game read like this: 0-4 W-L, 51.1 comp pct, TD-INT 3-12 and a total QBR of 8.9.

Those numbers would be comical if they weren’t so depressing. Coming into Thursday night, Cutler threw four times as many interceptions as touchdowns at Lambeau. FOUR TIMES!!!

Those sort of putrid number are unheard of in any league.

But something crazy happened on Thursday night — something miraculous. Jay Cutler — yes, our Jay Cutler — didn’t turn the ball over once. Instead he paced himself. He kept his composure in the pocket and he led his team. Even when the Bears couldn’t move the ball at all in the first quarter, Jay still kept his cool and threw the ball away instead of taking sacks or trying to force bad throws. His stat line wasn’t epic — 19/31 passing and one touchdown — but he didn’t turn the ball over. And when Jay doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bears usually win.

It was actually the reigning MVP who threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter of the game. It looked like there was some confusion between Rodgers and his receiver on the play, but he threw the ball right into the chest of defensive back Tracy Porter. Porter had an exceptional game, making many key plays throughout the night, despite some very questionable calls that went against him.

I have to mention that the officiating was, once again, atrocious Thursday night. The officials made two phantom calls on the Bears early in the game that cost the Bears points, and then they let Eddie Lacy toss the ball away on the one-yard line and still gave him a touchdown. The calls went both ways, though, as the refs basically took a touchdown away from Randall Cobb on a play that was eerily similar to the gaffe referees made during the Patriots-Bills game on Monday night. That inadvertent whistle cost Danny Amendola and the Patriots what would have been an easy touchdown. The same thing basically happened to Cobb Thursday night.

It’s hard to tell if the referees are getting worse, or if they were always this awful and it’s just more noticeable now that we have two thousand different camera angles for every play. Being an NFL referee is surely a difficult job, but the NFL does need to do something about the problem. Whether it’s fines or suspensions for refs who repeatedly make egregious errors, or trying to bring in some more capable referees — they need to do something.

But the Bears won the game fair and square. They should be proud of themselves and the fans should be proud of them, too.

In a season that the Bears were expected to be woefully awful, and nobody predicted them to beat the Packers, they have given us something to truly be thankful for — a legitimately competitive team.