“I still own you!”
Those words from Aaron Rodgers to Bear’s fans in the end zone at Soldier Field in mid-October are no doubt on the minds of Chicago players and coaching staff as they invade Lambeau Field tonight to renew the NFL’s oldest rivalry.
“No one wants to be ‘owned,’” said Mike Ditka, former Bears HOF tight end and head coach. “I love Aaron Rodgers—he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league. But I didn’t like that comment. Of course it can be used as motivation. But the Bears have to do something about it on the football field and back it up.”
Aaron Rodgers is well aware his comments after being flipped off (a double bird mind you) by a female Bears fan will be used as bulletin board material and motivation. But the veteran Green Bay quarterback has no regrets.
“At some point I’m sure what I said will be used against me, but I have no regrets about what I said,” Rodgers said. “And the record speaks for itself.”
With Rodgers under center, Green Bay is 22-5 against Chicago and has won 10 of the last 11 contests against the antediluvian rivals, as legendary former Packers PR director Lee Remmel coined it.
Rodgers’ record against Chicago ranks among the best of all time. Tom Brady is 32-3 against the Buffalo Bills and Ben Roethlisberger is 24-3-1 against the Cleveland Browns.
Ditka said the key to a Chicago upset of the Packers, undefeated in five games at Lambeau Field this season, is the play of the Bears defense in stopping the run and keeping Rodgers from having a big game. Rookie Justin Fields must also minimize mistakes and David Montgomery will have to run effectively against a stingy Green Bay defense to keep Rodgers and the offense on the bench.
“The Bears have struggled at times this season,” Ditka said. “But when it’s the Bears and Packers—throws out records. A great rivalry. I know I played in it. Our first goal with coach Halas to today is to beat the Packers. It was an honor for me to play against Coach Lombardi and all those great Packers teams with Starr and Hornung and Nitschke and Davis. One of the greatest rivalries and the team that is supposed to win doesn’t always win.”
Week 14 NFL Picks
Packers 30, Bears 17
Rodgers and Green Bay prevail in a hard-fought game over out-matched Chicago. Rodgers, Adams, Jones, and an opportunistic defense that creates turnovers for short fields.