Aaron Rodgers had his hand hit as he was attempting a pass in the second quarter. The ball bounced out on the turf, where everybody assumed it was an incomplete pass. Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin picked up the ball and stood around casually for a moment before realizing the play was still alive, then scampered into the endzone for a score.
Several Bears had a chance to pick the ball up and take it back the other way, but assumed the play was dead.
The refs reviewed the call and confirmed that Rodgers's hand was not moving forward at the time he lost the ball, meaning the fumble and touchdown were upheld.
Here's former NFL Vice President of Officiating and current FOX analyst Mike Pereira explaining why Green Bay was able to advance the ball after the fumble.
In response to your tweets: GB #11 could advance the fumble because it wasn't under 2 minutes nor was it 4th down— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) December 29, 2013
All this made the internet explode:
If only one Bears' defensive lineman hadn't had his season cut short by injury...
I'm yelling at the tv to pick up the ball!!!! I knew it was a sack fumble!— Henry Melton (@HenMel) December 29, 2013
Of course, this flukey thing led to criticism of Marc Trestman -- including from former Bears:
One thing that Lovie Smith's defense always did was jump on a loose ball. He preached that no matter situation.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) December 29, 2013
I run the gamut of emotions on that play, but guess what: that would NEVER happen to a Lovie Smith coached defense. #Bears— Hunter Hillenmeyer (@hthill) December 29, 2013
And some people just bewildered:
Seriously. What the hell, Chicago. RT @jh_moore: The defenders ALWAYS pick it up and run too. Every play. Except that one.— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) December 29, 2013