Age-Old Problem for Bears Defense: Stopping Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers turns 37 next week and his efficency in the Matt LaFleur offense has reached a high point
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The difficult thing for the Bears in going against Aaron Rodgers is they just saw how the Colts beat him and realize the Green Bay Packers still scored 31 points against one of the league's best defenses in the process.

It took 34 points to beat Rodgers, who turns 37 years old next week.

And when was the last time the Bears could score 34 points? Hint: November of 2018, 34-22 at Soldier Field against the Lions.

So it's going to be difficult to hold Rodgers in check to the point where the Bears offense can score enough to win. 

If any team knows about Rodgers and his capabilities, it's the Bears after he has beaten them 18 out of 23 starts in the regular season and one playoff game, and has a regular-season passer rating of 104.0 against them.

"I think he's had only four or five picks on the season which is crazy but there is some times where he does, you know, he's Aaron Rodger, there's some times he's probably more confident than he probably should be in himself and the route," Bears safety Tashaun Gipson said. "In those instances you've got to be able to capitalize. The Colts did a good job."

The Colts took the ball away four times, which was only one less than the Packers had committed for the entire season prior to the game.

The Bears could learn a few things from this, but it's not a perfect match because of defensive styles.

"It's tough because the defense that (the Colts) run, it's not the same style of defense," Gipson said. "Essentially they do a lot more cover-2. We're not a heavy cover-2 kind of team. So you know, but they are efficient at what they were able to do.

"So if you just look at the tape and what they were able to do within their scheme I mean I thought that they did a heck of a job putting pressure on and being able to apply pressure and covering on the back end and being able to zone up and get to their spots and make life difficult."

The Bears can supply both, although the coverages can look different.

Gambling most likely will not work and neither will trickery. Rodgers has seen it all.

And now he knows the Matt LaFleur offense much better than last year. It shows in his league-best 115.8 passer rating and 8.2 yards per pass attempt.

"I think my times playing in Jacksonville against Patrick Mahomes, you know, he kind of gives you those types of vibes where it's tough, it's kind of frustrating because these are guys who can make every throw in the book and they do make every throw in the book," Gipson said. "They've got the players around them to make it.

"And they don't give you room for errors man. It's one of those things where it's tough. It's always tough to play against a guy like that. Helpless, no? Because we know the type of athletes we have over here."

Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano sees Rodgers as able to quickly analyze defensive personnel groupings and know tendencies.

"He's listening to the play or whatever's coming in, but he's watching our sideline and as soon as you try to get a different personnel group in, no matter where it’s at—we gave up that touchdown to Jimmy Graham in the first game (in Chicago) last year because we had a sub error and that was on me, because I was late and I thought I could get one in," Pagano said.

So it's not going to be a case where they can fool him with anything.

"What you have to be able to do is whatever you're going to do, whatever you have on the field, they have to be able to execute what you want to get done," Pagano said.

It's not impossible, Pagano maintains

"We've seen him play this well for a long, long time, but he's playing at such a friggin' high level right now he doesn't miss," Pagano said. "Shots down the field, the dimes that he's dropping, the receivers are making plays and 17 (Davante Adams) is all-world right now.

"I mean it's going to be a huge challenge for us to slow this group down. We are going to have to play really, really well."

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