Rodgers threw four touchdown passes as the Packers clinched a 41-25 win over the free-falling Bears on Sunday night. Green Bay improved their overall record in this series to 100-95-6, including a 20-5 mark against the Bears in games Rodgers started.
“It’s special to be a part of this rivalry,” Rodgers said. “There are few rivalries like this in any sport – one or two in just about every league. This is one of the most important. ”
Green Bay (8-3) scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions and grabbed a three-game division advantage over Chicago (5-6) and Minnesota. Since winning five of their first six games, the Bears have lost five in a row.
“I just felt like they were following us the whole game from the first quarter to the very end,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “That’s basically where we are now. Afterwards, I spoke to the guys in the locker room. There are guys who care. I think that’s what’s important to us. ”
The Packers took advantage of the mistakes of Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was making his first start since week three of the season. Trubisky threw three touchdown passes – including two to Allen Robinson – but also made three turnovers that led to the Packers touchdowns.
Darnell Savage picked a pair of Trubisky assists for his first two interceptions of the season. After Za’Darius Smith sacked Trubisky and forced a fumble, Preston Smith recovered the ball and ran 14 yards for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 27-3 lead late in the second quarter.
Trubisky tallied 26 of 46 for 242 yards starting in place of Nick Foles, who injured his butt and hip in a 19-13 loss to Minnesota on Nov. 16. Rodgers finished 21 of 29 for 211 yards.
“I can’t take offense off the pitch like that, with sudden changes, and just put the ball in danger,” Trubisky said. “You’re just not going to win games or play games if you flip the ball. ”
Chicago’s David Montgomery racked up 103 rushing yards – including a 57-yard flurry – and also had a 3-yard touchdown. Aaron Jones of Green Bay ran for 90 yards, while Jamaal Williams ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay had struggled in their last two home games – a 28-22 loss to Minnesota and a 24-20 victory over the humble Jacksonville Jaguars. The Packers also lost a two-touchdown lead at halftime last week in a 34-31 loss to Indianapolis.
This time, however, the Packers took command early at Lambeau Field and avoided a collapse in the second half. Green Bay led 41-10 before the Bears scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
“We knew it was going to be a physical football game, and I thought our guys did an exceptional job in all areas,” said Packers coach Matt LaFleur.
Rodgers capped Green Bay’s first series with a 12-yard strike to Davante Adams, who landed a touchdown for the sixth straight game. Rodgers threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Marcedes Lewis and a 2 yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard later in the first half.
Green Bay finally kicked in for the first time in their second-period opener, but Rodgers followed with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan.
All of these touchdowns have helped many Packers reach career milestones.
Rodgers’ last touchdown of the night saw him become the 11th player in NFL history with at least 50,000 career yards.
“There’s a lot of stuff that goes into 50,000 yards,” Rodgers said. ” I’m proud of it. It’s more of a longevity record, and playing behind Favre you realize how important it is to stay on the pitch and play against injuries and I always take pride in trying to do that. ”
Adams’ touchdown was also his 500th reception in his 95th career game, making him the fastest Packer to reach that plateau. Lewis’s touchdown was his 400th career take.
For the first time this season, the Packers have played in front of spectators on their home ground.
The Packers have invited a group of team employees and their family members to attend Sunday night’s game to help assess Lambeau Field’s COVID-19 protocols in case paying fans are admitted to games later this season. There seemed to be a few hundred people in the stands.
The Bears played without defensive tackle Akiem Hicks due to a hamstring injury.
Packers center Corey Linsley left with a knee injury in the first half and did not return. Savage injured his back and goaltender Lucas Patrick injured his toe in the second half.
The Bears host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Packers host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.