CHICAGO – At halftime on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers had 73 passing yards, Aaron Jones had 42 total yards and Davante Adams had 37 receiving yards.
The Green Bay Packers’ indomitable duo is too good to be held down for too long, even against a top-flight defense like the one fielded by the Chicago Bears.
So, by game’s end, Rodgers had 214 total yards and three touchdowns, Jones had 110 total yards and one touchdown and Adams had 89 receiving yards. With Green Bay’s Big 3 coming up big with 261 yards in the second half, the Packers scored touchdowns on two of their three true possessions to pull away for a 24-14 victory.
It was yet another win at Soldier Field for Rodgers, who continues to own the Bears. But he couldn't have done it without the help of his friends.
“I think it’s a total team effort,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “Certainly, he’s the driving force on offense. He’s the guy that leads us, he’s a great leader of this football team, and it’s a credit to every man in that locker room. We always say football’s the ultimate team sport, it takes all 11, and that’s true each and every Sunday.”
Jones loomed large among those 11 on the opening drive of the second half. With a 10-7 lead, Green Bay motored 90 yards for a big touchdown. After an 11-yard completion to Adams to open the drive, Jones burst up the middle, got a pancake block from center Lucas Patrick and gained 28 yards. Of that, 11 yards came after he broke a tackle.
Later, on third-and-1, the Jones and Josiah Deguara lined up in the “I” formation. Instead of a run, Jones burst into the left flat, with Rodgers hitting him for a gain of 10 to the 12. On the next play, he scored a touchdown that was quintessential Jones and unlikely Jones all at once. First, the pass. With nobody open, Rodgers dumped off the ball to Jones. What should have been a negative-yardage play turned into a score when Jones stiff-armed his way into the open field.
“The play was not meant for him at all,” Rodgers said. Rather, the progression was Allen Lazard to Adams to Marcedes Lewis. “I just tried to dart it to him quickly because I felt like the guy was closing on him. After he broke that tackle, he did the rest with a block from Marcedes.”
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Jones took his foot off the gas and went airborne to celebrate the touchdown. Little did he know that outside linebacker Robert Quinn was in hot pursuit. Quinn crushed Jones to the turf, though it was too late to prevent the touchdown.
“I heard about it when I got to the sideline,” Jones said. “I just apologized and said I’ll finish the play. I won’t relax next time. It won’t happen again. After I caught the ball and made the stiff-arm and headed outside, I thought I kind of left him. Once I got behind ‘Cedes, I was like, ‘I’m going to score.’ I didn’t know he was that close. Once I got to the sideline, I apologized to everybody. It won’t happen again.”
The Bears cut the margin to 17-14 with 8:44 remaining in regulation. The Packers needed a big drive. The Bears had the momentum. Something had to give. Someone had to deliver.
That someone – or someones – were Rodgers and Adams. On second-and-10 from the 38, LaFleur called for a quick pass to Adams. Rodgers audibled to a double move with a simple nod in the direction of his prolific partner in crime.
“I told him in the locker room,” Rodgers said, “the thing that I will miss 20 years down the line is moments where you make a subtle adjustment, you look over at the guy and it’s a stud like 17 and he just went like this (head nod). My whole body started tingling. I just knew it was going to be one of those special plays.”
Rodgers threw a beautiful ball to Adams, who caught the ball in stride at the Bears’ 38. Only safety Eddie Jackson’s shove prevented a touchdown, but not before Adams walked the tightrope in a remarkable show of balance to take it to the 21.
“Davante is a beast,” Jones said.
Three plays later, the Packers were in the end zone with Rodgers’ shout heard ‘round the world. If Rodgers owns the Bears, then Adams and Jones served as CEO and president.
“I love it,” Jones said of Rodgers’ viral moment in the end zone. “That’s A-Rod. I love it. What can you say? He’s right.”