Rodgers leads Packers in 55-14 rout of Bears
GREEN BAY -- For Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, about the only thing that wasn't perfect about his first half against the Chicago Bears was his passer rating.
GREEN BAY - For Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, about the only thing that wasn’t perfect about his first half against the Chicago Bears was his passer rating.
In a blowout practically unrivaled in this ancient rivalry’s history, the Packers blasted the Bears 55-14 on Sunday night at Lambeau Field.
For the second time this season, Rodgers destroyed the Bears’ defense. When Green Bay won 38-17 in Week 4, he threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns. On Sunday, Rodgers threw for 315 yards and six touchdowns, even while watching the final quarter-and-a-half from the bench. That gave him a two-game total of 10 touchdown passes (vs. only 15 incompletions) and a passer rating of 149.0.
It was a typical Rodgers vs. Jay Cutler matchup. Cutler is now 1-10 for his career against the Packers, including 1-9 with Chicago. He threw 21 interceptions in those games with Chicago, including at least one in all 10 games. Rodgers is 12-3 vs. Chicago, including the game against the Bears at Lambeau Field on Nov. 4, 2013, in which he sustained a broken collarbone and missed half the season. He’s thrown 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Receiver Jordy Nelson caught six passes for 152 yards and two long touchdowns, giving him 16 catches for 260 yards and four scores in the two matchups vs. Chicago. Clay Matthews, starting at inside linebacker rather than his usual outside linebacker, sparked a strong performance from a defense that entered the game ranked 32nd against the run, 25th in total defense and 19th in points allowed.
Green Bay (6-3), which has won six in a row following bye weeks, remains a game behind Detroit (7-2) in the NFC North. Chicago (3-6) has lost three in a row and five of its last six.
Trailing 45-0, the Bears finally got on the board midway through the third quarter on Cutler’s 45-yard touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Marshall, who broke a tackle by cornerback Sam Shields and stretched the ball over the goal line while being dragged down by safety HaHa Clinton-Dix. After Cutler threw a pick-six to cornerback Casey Hayward, Chicago’s Chris Williams returned the kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown to make it 55-14.
The Packers led 42-0 at halftime. At intermission, Rodgers had completed 18 of 24 passes for 315 yards and six touchdowns. That gave him a rating of 156.2 on the NFL’s 158.3 scale. His six touchdowns tied the NFL’s first-half record, set by Oakland’s Daryle Lamonica against Buffalo in 1969. The six touchdowns matched the Packers’ single-game record, set by Matt Flynn vs. Detroit in 2011 and Rodgers vs. Houston in 2012.
The 42 points in a half were the third-most in Packers history; it was the most allowed by the Bears.
The Packers wasted no time taking charge. Green Bay forced a punt on Chicago’s first series - a noteworthy fact considering neither team punted in the Week 4 matchup - and drove 71 yards for the opening touchdown. On fourth-and-goal at the 1, the Packers lined up with three tight ends, and Rodgers hit rarely used Brandon Bostick for the score.
Two plays later, Cutler was intercepted by Micah Hyde, who returned the ball to Chicago’s 23. It appeared former Bears defensive star Julius Peppers, playing outside linebacker for the Packers, got a finger on the ball, which allowed Hyde to get in front of tight end Martellus Bennett. On third-and-1, Rodgers booted right and fired a bullet to tight end Andrew Quarless for the touchdown.
The Packers then knocked out the Bears. On third-and-11, Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson for a 73-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. Rodgers then hit Nelson for a 40-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 28-0.
On both plays, the Bears blew coverage. On the first, cornerback Tim Jennings appeared to be expecting help from the safety, but it was far too late. Nelson caught the ball at the Bears’ 40 and cut inside of rookie safety Brock Vereen at the 30. On the second, Rodgers escaped pressure and again hit Nelson, who was well behind Jennings and standing in the end zone when he made the catch.
A 53-yard screen pass to Eddie Lacy made it 35-0 and an 18-yard pass to receiver Randall Cobb, who made an excellent over-the-shoulder catch against cornerback Demontre Hurst capped the first-half destruction.
-- WR Randall Cobb’s touchdown catch at the end of the first half extended his streak to six consecutive games with a touchdown, the third-longest streak in franchise history.
-- Packers P Tim Masthay punted on the first possession of the second half. He did not punt in the Week 4 game against Chicago and he didn’t punt in the game before the bye against New Orleans, either.
-- Green Bay’s only first-half possession that didn’t result in a touchdown ended with LB Lance Briggs’ strip of Cobb at the Bears’ 3 late in the first half. Ryan Mundy recovered for Chicago.