Former Ram Caleb Hanie leads Bears to victory â€¦ almost.
Former CSU Ram quarterback Caleb Hanie almost played the hero to Chicago Bear fans Sunday but fell short on an end-of-game interception.
Facing a 14-0 deficit against the Green Bay Packers when he came into the NFC Championship game in the fourth quarter, the situation looked bleak for the Bears, whoâ€™d lost first-string quarterback Jay Cutler to a leg injury in the third quarter and second stringer Todd Collins to ineffectiveness shortly after.
But Hanie brought hope to a struggling Chicago offense, leading a long-drive for the Bearâ€™s first touchdown early in the fourth quarter. After a pair of defensive stops, Hanie had a chance to tie-up the score but instead threw the ball to Packersâ€™ defensive lineman B.J. Raji, who stumbled 18 yards to turn his interception into a touchdown.
Chicago fans may have thought they felt the wind come out the Hanie sails, but Hanie disagreed. With just under five minutes to play the 2007 CSU graduate hooked up with Earl Bennett on a 35-yard touchdown pass to again cut the lead to seven.
After forcing a punt, the Bears got the ball back for one more drive with less than 3 minutes to play. Hanie drove to the Green Bay 29 before throwing a fourth-down interception to Sam Shields to cement the Packersâ€™ 21-14 victory. The Packers move to the Superbowl.
Hanie finished the game with 13 of 20 completed passes for 153, one touchdown and two interceptions and a passer rating of 65.2, higher than both Cutlerâ€™s 31.8 and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogersâ€™s 55.4.