Presented By Bears Insider

NBC Sports Network will replay 2015’s Bears-Packers Thanksgiving game on Thursday night 8:30 p.m. CT, a game that was supposed to be a celebration of Brett Favre’s career. His No. 4 jersey was retired that night at Lambeau Field, and what better opponent to play than the one Favre so thoroughly tormented during his career in Green Bay, right?

“That’s like they’re scheduling a homecoming game, like a high school team is gonna schedule a homecoming game where they know they’re gonna whoop up on somebody so they can celebrate their homecoming,” ex-Bears tight end Zach Miller recalled. “I feel like they’re throwing this Brett Favre celebration on Thursday night, Thanksgiving, against us trying to have their ultimate celebration where they can celebrate the career he had.”

Only there was a hitch in the Packers’ plans: The Bears went into Lambeau Field and won, 17-13. It was a high point of the John Fox era — maybe the only high point — even if it didn’t change the course of Matt Nagy's predecessor's otherwise-forgettable three-year tenure in Chicago. 

The game itself was awfully sloppy, played in brutal conditions — rain, sleet, cold — and the score reflected that. 

“Pregame warmups, I don’t think I’ve seen more dropped football in my entire career in a matter of 20 minutes because of the rain and sleet we had coming down,” Miller said. “Literally the worst weather combination you could have if you want to throw the ball around. And guys were taking gloves off, guys were switching gloves and it still wasn’t working. I had footballs flying off my hands left and right. Going into this thing I was man, we’re gonna run the ball like 80 times.”


Then-offensive coordinator Adam Gase didn’t call 80 runs, though — 31 passes to 31 rushing attempts were the Bears’ final totals (balance!). But there were five fumbles, with the Bears recovering one of the Packers’ and turning it into a game-tying touchdown in the second quarter. 

Miller was the recipient of a three-year touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to end that drive, and remembered how worried he was he was going to embarrassingly drop a wide-open touchdown — one of the easiest of his career. 

“If you watch the tape, I turn my hands over and catch the football like a loaf of bread,” Miller laughed. “Normally I would have my hands, I would reach out and catch it, but I couldn’t just because I wanted to make sure that I was securing this thing. I’m sitting there, the ball’s flying at me and I’m like alright baby, just please catch this thing.”

The most remarkable thing about this game, though, was that Aaron Rodgers *didn’t* complete one of his patented fourth quarter comebacks against the Bears. 

As you’re watching this game on Thursday night, you might feel like your memory fails you (I know I did). We've seen this story so many times, with Rodgers driving the Packers into the end zone for a last-minute, game-winning touchdown against the Bears. He had to do it this time, right? This is Aaron Rodgers! Against the John Fox Bears! How could he possibly not get the job done?

After grabbing three first downs in succession inside four minutes, Rodgers was picked off by Tracy Porter. But the Bears couldn’t run the clock out and did the thing they’ve so often regretted — they gave the ball back to Rodgers with another chance to win the game. 

Rodgers drove the Packers to the Bears’ eight-yard line, and on fourth down rifled a pass to Davante Adams. Instead of Adams catching the pass over Bryce Callahan for a game-winning touchdown, it slipped through his cold, wet hands. The Bears won. 

The Fox era didn’t have many other memorable moments (maybe Eddie Jackson’s two-touchdown game against the Panthers in 2017?). But hey, Bears fans, when there’s an opportunity to re-watch a win over the Packers, you’re gonna take advantage of it no matter what, right?

8:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network. I’ll be watching it. I hope you will too. 

“Cool for us to go up there and I guess spoil it in a sense,” Miller said. “I know they’re always going to remember the day they retired Brett Favre’s jersey, they got beat by the Chicago Bears.”  

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