The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears have been playing football against each other for 63 years. It would take some searching to find a game in that series more bizarre than today's.
The game was won, 20-14, by the Packers (7-8) when third-string quarterback Rich Campbell threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Phil Epps with 34 seconds left.
Campbell appeared to be going down on the third-down play, but held on and hit Epps, who beat defensive back Terry Schmidt and went in for the touchdown.
"I thought it was going to hit Schmidt in the head," said Campbell. "Epps came back and got the ball."
Before the touchdown, Chicago Coach Mike Ditka made two critical decisions in the final two minutes. At the Green Bay 28 with a 14-13 lead and 1:53 remaining, he elected to try for the first down on fourth and one. The Packers held and started on their winning drive.
On the play before Campbell's touchdown pass, Green Bay was called for holding and Ditka elected to take the penalty, moving the Packers out of field-goal range.
The victory spoiled an outstanding day by Chicago's Walter Payton, who made his debut as an NFL quarterback.
Payton, who gained 175 yards in 35 carries, scored one touchdown and threw for another.
Payton, inserted as quarterback late in the first half after starter Randy Lisch had four fumbles, attempted one pass as a shotgun quarterback. That was intercepted by Tom Flynn.
"I sure as heck don't want to make a living out of it," Payton said.
Both teams started backup quarterbacks, Lisch for Chicago (9-6) and Randy Wright for Green Bay. The Bears' Jim McMahon is out for the year and Steve Fuller out until the playoffs. Wright started in place of Lynn Dickey, out with headaches as a result of a back injury.
Wright's knee buckled late in the first half and he was replaced by Campbell, who threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Ed West for a 7-0 halftime lead.
Payton threw a two-yard option touchdown pass to Matt Suhey in the third quarter to tie the game at 7.
Del Rodgers returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 Packers lead.
Late in the third quarter, Payton broke two tackles and raced seven yards for a touchdown.