GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers helped the Green Bay Packers get another big win against the rival Chicago Bears and move closer to their second straight NFC North title.
Rodgers threw four touchdown passes as the Packers rolled to a 41-25 victory over the slumping Bears on Sunday night. Green Bay improved its overall record in this series to 100-95-6, including a 20-5 mark against the Bears in games Rodgers has started.
“It’s special to be a part of this rivalry,” Rodgers said. “There’s few rivalries like this in all of sports — one or two in just about every league. This is one of the premier ones.”
Green Bay (8-3) scored touchdowns on each of its first three possessions and grabbed a three-game division edge over Chicago (5-6) and Minnesota. Since winning five of their first six games, the Bears have dropped five straight.
“I just felt like they got after us the entire game from the first quarter until the very end,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “That’s basically where we’re at right now. Talked to the guys in the locker room afterwards. There’s guys that care. I think that’s what’s important to us.”
The Packers capitalized on mistakes by Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was making his first start since the third week of the season. Trubisky threw three touchdown passes — including two to Allen Robinson — but also committed three turnovers that led to Packers touchdowns.
Darnell Savage picked off a pair of Trubisky passes for his first two interceptions of the season. After Za’Darius Smith sacked Trubisky and forced a fumble, Preston Smith picked up the loose ball and ran 14 yards for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 27-3 lead late in the second quarter.
Trubisky went 26 of 46 for 242 yards while starting in place of Nick Foles, who injured his glute and hip in a 19-13 loss to Minnesota on Nov. 16. Rodgers was 21 of 29 for 211 yards.
“I can’t take the offense off the field like that, with sudden changes, and just putting the ball in harm’s way,” Trubisky said. “You’re just not going to win games, or be in games, if you turn the ball over.”
Chicago’s David Montgomery had 103 yards rushing — including a 57-yard burst — and also had a 3-yard touchdown catch. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones rushed for 90 yards, while Jamaal Williams ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay had struggled in its last two home games – a 28-22 loss to Minnesota and a 24-20 victory over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The Packers also had blown a two-touchdown halftime lead last week in a 34-31 loss at Indianapolis.
This time, however, the Packers took command early at Lambeau Field and avoided a second-half collapse. Green Bay led 41-10 before the Bears scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
“We knew it was going to be a physical football game, and I thought our guys did an outstanding job in every facet,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.
Rodgers capped Green Bay’s first series with a 12-yard scoring strike to Davante Adams, who had a touchdown catch for the sixth straight game. Rodgers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marcedes Lewis and a 2-yarder to Allen Lazard later in the first half.
Green Bay finally punted for the first time in its opening series of the second half, but Rodgers followed that up with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan.
All those touchdowns helped plenty of Packers reach career milestones.
Rodgers’ final touchdown throw of the night enabled him to become the 11th player in NFL history with at least 50,000 career yards passing.
“There’s a lot that goes into 50,000 yards,” Rodgers said. “I’m proud of it. It’s more of a longevity record, which playing behind Favre you realize how important it is to stay on the field and play through injuries and I’ve always prided myself on trying to do that.”
Adams’ touchdown also was his 500th reception in his 95th career game, making him the fastest Packer to reach that plateau. Lewis’ touchdown was his 400th career catch.
SPECTATORS AT LAMBEAU
For the first time this season, the Packers played in front of spectators on their home field
The Packers invited a group of team employees and their family members to attend Sunday night’s game to help evaluate Lambeau Field’s COVID-19 protocols just in case paying fans are admitted to games later this season. There appeared to be a few hundred people in the stands.
The Bears played without defensive tackle Akiem Hicks due to a hamstring injury.
Packers center Corey Linsley left with a knee injury in the first half and didn’t return. Savage injured his back and guard Lucas Patrick hurt his toe in the second half.
The Bears host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Packers host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.