The Green Bay Packers overcame a 20 point deficit to defeat the Chicago Bears Sunday night. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers exited the game during the second quarter with a knee injury but returned at the start of the second half. He led the Packers to a 24-23 win in what will be remembered as another historical installment to the NFL’s oldest rivalry.
Here is a recap of what happened:
The Packers’ offense struggled to get going as the Bears defense forced a punt on the first four drives. Rodgers faced constant pressure from Chicago’s defensive line forcing him to get rid of a lot of throws. Meanwhile, opposing quarterback Mitch Trubisky got off to a hot start. He completed his first seven passes and scored on his very first drive running the ball in on a QB keeper from the two-yard line.
To start the second, the Bears knocked in a chip shot 26-yard field goal to push the lead to 10-0. Rodgers and the Packers offense continued to struggle after another three-and-out.
On the next drive Rodgers was forced to eat the ball on third down taking a nine-yard sack. Chicago defensive end Roy Robertson Harris landed on Rodgers’ knee forcing him to walk off the field very gingerly. Everyone at Lambeau field held their breath as the MVP quarterback left the sideline on a cart.
DeShone Kizer was the next man up and it only took him 13 plays to almost put the game out of reach. Khalil Mack stripped Kizer inside the goal line and then intercepted an attempted screen pass. He returned the pick 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 17-0 going into halftime.
Somehow someway Green Bay’s medical staff cleared Rodgers to return for the second half. Though the extent of his knee injury remained unclear, it was confirmed he could do no more damage by simply putting weight on it.
Chicago got the ball to start the half and capitalized scoring three points. Rodgers entered the game down 20 points, but he immediately established a rhythm. His first drive ended in a field goal, however, it was clear the Packers weren’t going away easy. Then, like they did for most of the second half, Mike Pettine’s defense shut down the Bears’ offense.
Already driving, Green Bay’s offense scored their first touchdown of the game in the beginning moments of the fourth. Rodgers threw a beauty of a pass down the sideline to receiver Geronimo Allison who made a great catch in the back corner of the end zone. With the deficit now cut in half, the Packers were ready to keep the momentum on their side.
Once again the defense forced a three-and-out that lasted only two minutes. Throwing solely from the pocket, Rodgers led the offense 75 yards in only five plays. This time it was Davante Adams who put a nice move on corner Prince Amukamara before running in a 12-yard touchdown pass.
On the ensuing drive, the Bears were able to find their first points since the beginning of the third quarter. It was a long six-minute drive, but Chicago could only muster up a field goal keeping the game within reach. Rodgers took the field down 23-17 with a chance to complete a miracle comeback.
The Packers faced a 3rd-and-10 with only 2:36 left in the game. Rodgers stepped up in a clean pocket and found Randall Cobb over the middle. Cobb ran 75 yards nearly untouched to take the lead.
Chicago had two minutes left to get a field goal, but the offense continued to find it difficult mvoing the ball on Green Bay’s defense. Clay Matthews even gave the Bears a second chance after a brutal roughing the passer penalty on fourth down. The Packers ended up getting a fourth-down stop later on to seal the win and begin the 2018 season 1-0.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. Brandon graduated from Longwood University in 2016 with a degree in mass media. He has covered the Packers for over two years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.