Facing off against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football is one of the best ways for the Green Bay Packers to face a long-time divisional rival, and their Week 15 matchup certainly fit that bill, as the Packers use a strong second-half to earn their 10th win of the year, 45-30.
The start to this game was one that favored the Bears, as they took an early 10-0 lead over Green Bay, with rookie QB Justin Fields looking stout and able to read Joe Barry’s defense every time he stepped back to throw. But the Packers quickly answered as Aaron Rodgers found Allen Lazard on fourth down from the 2 to put up GB’s first points of the game.
Rasul Douglas has a nose for the end zone ever since he joined the Packers, and he found paydirt again, stepping in front of a pass intended for Darnell Mooney and took it to the house to give the Packers their first lead of the night at 14-10.
The Bears were able to regain the lead shortly after, as Fields produced a 54-yard TD pass to Damiere Byrd – after the Packers quickly had to punt the ball back to the Bears, Jakeem Grant (who took a pass 46 yards to the house for CHI’s first TD of the night) decimated the putrid Green Bay punt coverage and gave the Bears a 24-14 lead on his 94-yard punt return TD. This punt return TD was the longest in the history of the Bears, and it’s fitting that the Packers were the team responsible for letting that happen.
Rodgers finally connected with Davante Adams for something meaningful, as they hooked up for a 38-yard score to help bring the score back to a one-possession game. The Bears tacked on a field goal right before halftime, putting the game at 27-21 after the first two quarters.
This game was the epitome of the tale of two halves, the second being the one where Green Bay decided to show up and play the kind of football that they are known for – even if their special teams unit continues to hold them back.
Scoring the only points in the third quarter, the Packers turned a six-point deficit into an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Two TDs from Aaron Jones within one game minute of each other helped the Packers get back into the lead.
A three-yard rush and a 23-yard reception from Jones helped improve his night, and the third-quarter scoring was capped off by a short field goal by Mason Crosby.
The fourth quarter saw both teams fail to score for the majority of it until Rodgers found Adams for his second TD of the night, this time on a nifty slant route from three yards out. The Bears only put up three points in the second half on a Santos field goal with less than two minutes left in the game.
A stifling shift on the defensive side of the ball for the Packers helped shut down the Bears in the second half, limiting Fields and the offense to 210 passing yards and 16 first downs. In a quirky stat, the Bears controlled the ball for exactly 25:00 minutes and the Packers controlled for 35:00 minutes.
The Packers face the Baltimore Ravens next week, where they will have a chance to clinch the NFC North, which can happen either with a win or a Vikings loss.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23