Green Bay – The stagnant Packer offense was jolted to life in a record-setting second-half performance by Aaron Rodgers and receiver Davante Adams in a 26-10 victory over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.
Former Chicago head coach Mike Ditka said the Bears, who lost starting quarterback Brian Hoyer to a broken arm in the second quarter, has yet to play a complete game in a dismal 1-6 season.
“All that matters is Green Bay won,” Ditka said. “The Bears played hard, but you don’t expect miracles from your #2 quarterback and you especially don’t from your #3 quarterback. They play well in stretches, but don’t finish games. The Bears were up 10-6 in the third quarter before all hell broke loose.”
With the victory, Green Bay improved to 4-2 on the season and has won three of four games at Lambeau Field this season. The loss keeps the Bears firmly in cellar of the NFC North, which 5-0 Minnesota leads. Detroit is 3-3.
“Both teams were stressed from a medical standpoint,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “We did what we needed to do tonight. A lot of production on offense. Our offensive line played big.”
The depleted Green Bay team utilized Montgomery and Randall Cobb in a makeshift backfield with starting running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks out with injury. Lacy was placed on injured reserve and will be eligible to return after eight weeks.
Undrafted free agent Don Jackson, just activated from the practice squad, left the game early with a hand injury. Newly acquired Knile Davis, obtained in a trade with Kansas City on Tuesday, was not ready to play on the short week as he arrived in Green Bay on Wednesday.
Despite losing Hoyer after a tandem tackle by linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews in the second quarter, Chicago trailed just 6-3 after a lackluster first half. The Bears stopped the Packers on a 4th-down-and goal at the Chicago 1 and also broke up a pass in the end zone that Randall Cobb had in his hands for a split-second as the Green Bay offense continued its recent struggles.
Chicago then took the lead, courtesy of its decimated defense. Rookie linebacker Leonard Floyd competed a defensive version of a hat trick, sacking Rodgers, forcing a fumble, and then ultimately recovering it in the end zone after a mad scramble for a 10-6 Bears lead. The fans showered the Packers offense with a chorus of boos after the score.
Then A Determined Rodgers Took Over
Getting in a rhythm against an overmatched Chicago secondary, Rodgers set a franchise record by completing 38 passes (in 56 attempts), breaking a record set by Brett Favre against the Bears in 1993. Rodgers passed for 326 yards and three touchdowns for a 102.2 passer rating, silencing critics who had questioned his recent play.
Davante Adams, cleared to play just hours before the game after suffering concussion-like systems against Dallas, recorded the game of his career with 13 receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The 13 catches tied legendary Don Hutson for second-most receptions in a game.
On this night, the Packers had three players with double-digit receptions, a rare feat at the professional level. Cobb finished with 11 receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown, while Montgomery had 10 catches for 66 yards.
The versatile Montgomery can add running back to his job title, as he shouldered the load with 9 carries for 60 yards as the Packers dominated the time of possession by a 39:36-20:24 margin. Meanwhile, the Green Bay defense limited Chicago to just 13 first downs, 69 rushing yards, and 189 total yards.
“This is how we’re going to have to play until we get Don and Knile up to speed,” said Rodgers, who also lauded the play of his offensive line. “I’m really proud of the way Ty played. . . and we got the win.”