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Big-Time Bounce Back: Packers Beat Bears 27-10

After quiet openers, Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones had big games as the Green Bay Packers defeated the rival Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The bounce-back Pack did it again.

The Green Bay Packers, humbled last week at the Minnesota Vikings, beat the Chicago Bears 27-10 on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. In his fourth year on the job, coach Matt LaFleur has not lost back-to-back regular-season games in the same season. In the process, LaFleur improved to 7-0 against the Bears and Rodgers improved to an overwhelming 23-5 against Chicago.

LaFleur lamented the lack of opportunities last week for Aaron Jones. Against the Vikings, Jones had eight touches for 76 yards. Against the Bears, he had 10 touches for 92 yards with one touchdown run and one touchdown catch in the first half alone as Green Bay raced to a 24-7 lead at the break.

Jones’ 8-yard touchdown catch on an 8-inch flip by Rodgers put the Packers on top 17-7 late in the second quarter. It was the 450th career touchdown pass for Rodgers, the fifth player in NFL history to reach that milestone. With a half-minute left in the half, Allen Lazard, inactive for Week 1 against the Vikings, caught a 5-yard touchdown to make it a 17-point game.

For the second consecutive week, Green Bay’s defense gave up an opening-drive touchdown. That was it, though, for the remainder of the first half. After that 71-yard scoring match, the Bears managed just 13 yards the rest of the half. Green Bay had a commanding 233-84 edge in yards and a 17-4 lead in first downs.

Green Bay took a 10-7 lead on Jones’ 15-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter. The defense took the baton and hit the gas. Preston Smith had a first-down sack and Rasul Douglas blew up a receiver screen to force a three-and-out punt. That series was one of five in a row for the Bears in which they failed to gain a first down.

Some miscues on offense kept the Bears in the game and forced the Packers’ defense to rise to the occasion one more time. It did. On fourth-and-goal just inches from the goal line midway through the fourth quarter, the Packers stuffed a Justin Fields keeper. Needing to flip the field, Rodgers hit Sammy Watkins on a deep ball for a gain of 55. That set up the clinching field goal.

Moments later, Jaire Alexander put the exclamation mark on the victory with an interception.

Rodgers finished the night 19-of-25 passing for 234 yards with two touchdowns and a 131.1 passer rating. The Packers finished the night with 38 carries for 203 yards.

Game Ball

Good things happen when Aaron Jones gets the football. Jones carried 15 times for 132 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 38 yards and another touchdown. That’s 170 total yards and two scores. He was incredibly hard to bring to the turf. More on that in a moment.

Questionable Call

Whatever tackling work the Packers do every day, they need to work twice as long on different drills. Bears running back David Montgomery is one of the tougher backs to bring down but he bounced off Packers defenders like a pinball. On the fourth-quarter drive that ended with the pivotal goal-line stand, Montgomery had runs of 14 and 28 yards in which he broke a total of four tackles – two vs. sure-tackling linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

Turning Point

With Green Bay shooting itself in the foot offensively and clinging to a 24-10 lead, the Bears went for it on fourth-and-goal. Needing just inches for the score, quarterback Justin Fields used his 228 pounds to try to bully his way to the goal line. Preston Smith, Jarran Reed and De’Vondre Campbell were in on the tackle, and Jaire Alexander helped push Fields backward. The Bears challenged but there was no view of the ball and the Packers took over on downs with 8:07 to play. Moments later, Sammy Watkins got behind the Bears for a gain of 55.

Key Stat

Aaron Jones was unstoppable. Through three quarters, Jones had 150 total yards and two touchdowns. Almost as impressively, he forced 11 missed tackles, by our unofficial count. He added another midway through the fourth quarter. By our annual counts, he had never forced 10 missed tackles in a game in his career.

Up Next

The Packers will play at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. Kickoff is set for 3:25 p.m. on Sunday. Tampa Bay improved to 2-0 by winning at New Orleans 20-10 on Sunday. Tom Brady, with a depleted receiver corps, threw for only 190 yards. But the Bucs’ defense has allowed only 13 points in two games. That unit picked off Jameis Winston three times.