Winning out in their final five regular-season games in the only way the Green Bay Packers have any shot—with a lot of outside help—at returning to postseason play for the

It did not come easy, but step one was accomplished Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in Chicago as the Packers scored 18 unanswered points in the game’s final 15 minutes to rally and defeat their antediluvian rival Bears, 28-19.

Chicago, in the midst of rebuilding season, lost its sixth straight game and fell to 3-10.  Green Bay, 5-8, now heads into its bye week with some momentum and the chance to rest and recharge for the final four-game stretch of the season.   

And they also became the National Football League’s all-time victory leader.  For 102 seasons, it’s been the Chicago Bears, but the Packers’ victory gave them a 787-786 edge in regular season wins.

Head coach Matt LaFleur and his coaching staff can go into their usual self-scout mode during their bye week on a high note.

“Just really proud of our team,” LaFleur said in his post-game press conference.  “Just the resiliency we showed to be down 13 points on the road.  It was pretty inconsistent, I would say, for a lot of the game, where we just—we always talk about complementary football. . .  but our guys just kept battling.  We stuck together.  We talk about you don’t flinch.  And they didn’t.  And it was great to see to see contributions in all three phases.”

While Rodgers had a mundane stat line with 18 completions in 31 attempts for 182 yards and a touchdown, but he proved he still owns the Bears and increased his record against Chicago to 25-5 overall.

He had plenty of offensive help from a line that kept him protected all game, A.J. Dillon who rushed 93 yards, and rookie Christian Watson who continued his amazing run with two more touchdowns—a 14-yard touchdown catch at the end of the half and the game-clinching 46-yard reverse in the closing minutes to capitalize on Jaire Alexander’s interception of Justin Fields.

“A win against the Bears is always a little more special,” Rodgers said.  “There were other things involved.  All-time win total was could.  Another fourth-quarter comeback.  I told the guys in the locker room, we’ve played good enough to beat anybody in the league, and at times played poor enough to lose to just about anybody.  But our highs have been pretty solid.”

And it helps immensely when the Packers did something they’ve rarely done in the 2022 season:  win the turnover battle.  The Packers did not commit a turnover, while they forced three from Chicago.

Green Bay trailed 13-0 in the second quarter and down 19-10 entering the fourth quarter.  But there was no panic from Green Bay.

Dillon ran for a 21-yard score early in the final stanza and Mason Crosby’s 32-yard field goal gave the Packers their first lead at 20-19 with under five minutes remaining—and Chicago had a 40-yard field goal attempt blocked on the previous series.

The Bears drove to the Green Bay 43 before Alexander came through with his big play, stepping in front of a Fields pass intended for Equanimeous St. Brown.  Three plays later Watson sprinted around left end on a reverse, untouched.

Green Bay enjoys a much-need bye before hosting the reeling Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field on Monday, Dec. 19.