(WLAX/WEUX) – Aaron Rodgers continued his mastery of Green Bay’s oldest rival, improving his record against the Chicago Bears to 22-3 as a starter.
And he had a few choice words after his belt celebration (“I still own you, I still own you.”) for jeering Bears fans in the corner of the end zone after putting the game away with a 6-yard touchdown run for a 24-14 cushion with 4:30 remaining.
Green Bay won its fifth straight game to improve to 5-1 and hold a two-game lead in the NFC North division over 3-3 Chicago and Minnesota. Detroit is 0-6.
Rodgers was his usual efficient self, completing 16 of 16 passes under 20 yards and finishing 17 of 23 for 195 yards and two touchdowns with a 128 passer rating.
His touchdown passes were a creative 1-yard shovel pass to Allen Lazard and a 12-yarder to Aaron Jones, and he connected four times with Davante Adams for 89 yards, including 32- and 41-yard chunk strikes. Rodgers also ran seven times for 19 yards and a touchdown, including a long of 16.
Rodgers joked afterward in his post-game press conference, shown live in the Packers Blitz post-game show on FOX 25/48, that he “blacked out” after doing his championship belt celebration in the end zone and looked up to see a woman in the stands giving him a “double bird.”
After that, “I’m not sure what words came out of mouth,” Rodgers said.
The Packers quarterback seems to be having fun and enjoying his “Last Dance” season in Green Bay, though Packer fans hope that is not the case. Only time will tell.
Mike Ditka, former Bears head coach and tight end, said Saturday the key to Chicago’s success was slowing down Rodgers. Ditka and his wife, Diane, have already headed south for the winter and watched the game from their home in Florida.
“You’ve got to disrupt Rodgers to have a chance to stop the Packers,” Ditka said. “As I’ve said, Aaron and Tom Brady are two exceptions to the rule (of aging QBs). They’re special: hall of fame players with the physical talent and great leaders who make everyone else around them better. Rodgers knows how to win and makes the Packers go.”
The Green Bay defense also did their part. Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary spearheaded a unit that gave up a touchdown to Chicago on their first series but then adjusted to hold Fields and Chicago to just 14 points—a recipe for success on the road in the NFL.
Clark has played at a high level each week since the Saints opener, and had a signature game against the rival Bears Sunday. The stat sheet will show a team-high six pressures, three total tackles and two sacks. But Clark does what Pro Bowlers do: step up in critical moments of game, dominating and prevailing through double-teams to sack Justin Fields twice on a Chicago’s final series after the Bears drove to the Green Bay 32.
His sacks on first and third down pushed the offense back 23 yards and forced a desperation deep heave on fourth down that fell incomplete to seal the victory.
Rodgers enjoys being a part of NFL’s oldest rivalry, and was complimentary of Bears fans and the rivalry in the week leading up to the game.
“I’m just a small part of this journey,” Rodgers said. “It’s been over 100 years of playing and fortunate to have this little time right now to be able to be a starter and impact the all-time series.
“Little Green Bay was getting beat up for a long time by our foes to the South and then Favrey (Brett Favre) showed up and we closed the gap and then we’re overtaking them. But I don’t think it’s the most important part of the all-time legacy. . . It’s always a battle against them and always fun when we can beat ‘em.”
The Packers won for the 20th time in the last 23 meetings in dominating the series, which Green Bay leads 101-95-6 all-time.
Next up for banged up Packers is Washington at 12 noon Sunday at Lambeau Field—a game televised exclusively in Western Wisconsin on FOX 25/48.