The Green Bay Packers head to Chicago to take on the Bears in another installment of the NFL’s most historic rivalry. This game has something special looming over it, as both franchises are tied for wins in NFL history with 786 all-time wins. In a season that is all but lost for both teams, the Packers and Bears duke it out for sole possession of the NFL’s all time winningest franchise title.
The Packers are coming off of a hard fought 33-40 loss against the NFL’s top team where both the offense and defense had their moments, but could never play well at the same time. The defense gave up a monstrous 156 rushing yards to QB Jalen Hurts, and this week they will face another mobile QB in Justin Fields. Fields, who is having a breakout season despite the team’s struggles, will be a real threat on the ground and could hurt the Packers defense if they can’t contain him. De’vondre Campbell makes his return to action today, hopefully his return will help shut down the Bears run game. Offensively, the Packers are in a favorable matchup against a secondary that is dealing with a ton of injuries. Despite the loss of David Bahktiari earlier this week, the Packers could still offensively dominate the injured Bears defense. Rodgers could potentially put up his first 300+ yard passing game today.
Aaron Rodgers has had a successful career against the Bears, especially in recent years with his last loss to them dating back to 2018. Will Rodgers continue his dominance over the Bears or will Fields mobility be simply too much for the Packers defense?
If you were expecting the Packers defense to have learned from their mistakes against the Eagles last week, for your own safety do not watch. Justin Fields continued his breakout campaign against a struggling Packers defense as the Bears jumped out to a quick 10 to nothing lead while the Packers offense struggled to score early on. The Packers offense was able to move the ball effectively, leaning into the run game as the duo of AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones helped drive the Packers down the field, but failures to convert in the red zone on third and fourth down hurt the Packers as the only mustered a single field goal on their first three drives. The defense was simply gashed repeatedly save for a forced fumble by Rasul Douglas. The Packers couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, and the Bears came back with a quick two play drive: a 56 yard catch by former Packer Equanimeous St. Brown over Jaire Alexander followed by a seven yard run by David Montgomery. The following drive would be more of the same for the Packers offense, able to move the ball well, but falter in the red zone. The Packers went for it on fourth and four and Rodgers found Christain Watson for a 14 yard touchdown to close the gap. The Packers went into the half down 16-10. Fields absolutely lit up the Packers defense in the first half, going seven-for-nine for 126 yards to go along with 76 rushing yards, including a 56 yard scamper for a touchdown in the first quarter.
The second half started slow for both teams but the Packers would eventually come alive in the fourth quarter. Both offenses would trade punts to open the half, but the Bears offense would take their second drive all the way to the Packers redzone. It was at this point the defense would lock it down. An offensive holding and back-to-back stuffed runs by the Packers defense would be too much for the Bears to overcome as they would settle for a field goal to extend their lead 19-10. The Packers offense would absolutely dominate the injured Bears defense the rest of the game, starting off by taking their next drive down the field and finding the endzone on a 21 yard rush by AJ Dillon. The defense would give up a big chunk play as Jaire got beat by N’keal Harry for a 49 yard completion, but that would be it as the Packers defense would continue to contain the run game and force a field goal attempt. The Packers defense would come up clutch and block the kick to keep it a two point game. Just like we’ve seen numerous times before, Rodgers would drive the Packers offense down the field and kick a field goal to go up 20-19, their first lead of the game.
From that point, the Packers defense would get the best of Justin Fields, as Jaire would get his revenge and pick off Justin Fields, giving Rodgers and the Packers a chance to ice the game with under four minutes left. And ice the game they did, as a 49 yard jet sweep by Christain Watson for his second touchdown of the game and a two-point conversion pass to Mercedes Lewis would put the Packers up 28-19, a two score game that would be nearly insurmountable with under two minutes left. A Keisean Nixon interception on the Bears next drive would be the nail in the coffin as the Packers complete the 13 point comeback and get their fifth win of the season.
Players of the Game
Once again Christian Watson is one of my players of the game thanks to his third two-touchdown performance in four weeks. Watson has cemented himself as the number one wide receiver for this Packers offense and continues to dominate opposing defenses with his speed. Watson has clearly made up for his early season miscues and has regained the trust of Aaron Rodgers. At this point, Watson could make a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year if he continues his dominance.
With Aaron Jones suffering a shin injury early in the game, the Packers turned to AJ Dillon to be the workhorse back and he delivered. Dillon racked up 93 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown to go along with three catches for 26 yards. An over 100 yard performance and his best since week one against the Vikings. Dillon continues to be a good complement to Jones, but today he proved he is capable of being the main back if Jones is unable to go.
Aaron Jones left the game with a shin injury in the second quarter, he did end up returning to action, but in a limited capacity.
After a rough first half outing that saw them down 16-3 early in the second quarter, the Packers were able to recover and battle back to steal a win from their rival. Whether it was because the Bears chose to not run with Fields in the second half or because of scheming changes, the Packers defense began to shut down the Bears offense outside of a couple big plays. The Packers defense forced three turnovers today, the first being a fumble that killed a Bears drive that easily could’ve put the game out of hand for the Packers. Jaire got beat on two separate 40+ yard plays but came up big when it mattered. Only time will tell if Jaire getting beat by two unimpressive receivers was a fluke or not but his performance today was concerning nonetheless.
For the majority of the season, Kenny Clark and the defensive line in general have been subpar, but today they played great. Clark and Wyatt were great today and helped to lock down the run game in the second half. A promising look for the rest of the season.
The offense was able to move past the loss of Aaron Jones today and still put up 25 points without him on the field. While in the past the offense has struggled without Jones on the field, today they proved they are capable of playing well without their best player on the field, whether that be because of the emergence of Watson as a star player or not, it’s still a promising look.
The unsung heroes of today are without a doubt the offensive line, specifically rookie Zach Tom. David Bahktiari was unable to play today due to an appendectomy he endured this week. Tom filled in for Bahktiari and played outstanding, not giving up any sacks and the run game didn’t miss a beat. Rodgers had all day to throw today thanks to the performance of the offensive line today.
The now all-time winningest Green Bay Packers get their fifth win of the year as they head into their bye week to rest and get healthy before facing the Los Angeles Rams (3-8).