The Green Bay Packers had a game for the ages on Sunday Night at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers threw for 315 yards and six touchdowns (all in the first half!) as the Packers routed their arch-rival Chicago Bears by a score of 55-14.
The game was the Packers third straight victory over the rival Bears and the Packers' fifth win in the last six games overall. Leading the way as a receiver was Jordy Nelson, who caught six passes for 152 yards and two scores. Eddie Lacy ended up with 118 total yards, including a long score on a screen pass.
The Packers move to 6-3, a game back of the Detroit Lions, while the Bears fall to 3-6 and last place in the NFC North. With this result, the Bears became just the second team in the history of the NFL and the first since the 1920s to allow 50 or more points in consecutive games.
Here's how it all went down.
The Bears won the toss and elected to receive, but were pinned at their own six following a poor kickoff return and a penalty. The Packers started out with Clay Matthews at inside linebacker, and partially due to his play (as well as a Nick Perry tackle for loss) the Bears were forced to punt early.
Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson helped the Packers get into the red zone on Green Bay's first drive, as Lacy had a reception and a few first-down carries while Nelson had a big gain over the middle and another short gain up the sideline to get the Packers inside the five-yard line. On third-and-goal, a dump-off pass to Lacy got the Packers down to the one. Mike McCarthy went for it on fourth down, and Aaron Rodgers found Brandon Bostick in the back of the end zone for the first score of the game to make it 7-0 Packers.
On the ensuing drive, Jay Cutler was Jay Cutler again - he floated a ball towards Martellus Bennett that was easily picked off by Micah Hyde. The Packers found the end zone quickly - a short pass to Davante Adams was followed up with a few runs before a bootleg by Aaron Rodgers on third-and-goal helped him find tight end Andrew Quarless in the end zone for another score and a 14-0 Packers lead.
Matthews made his impact felt on the next drive, as he began rushing the passer from his traditional outside linebacker spot during passing downs. After a pair of Bears first downs, Matthews turned left tackle Jermon Bushrod into a pylon and blew by him for an easy sack of Jay Cutler on a third and long, forcing a punt just before the end of the quarter.
Shortly after the second quarter began, Jordy Nelson struck. On a third-and-11, somehow Nelson got wide open behind the Bears' defense, and Aaron Rodgers found him. Nelson evaded a pair of Bears tacklers downfield to get into the end zone for a 73-yard score, extending the lead to 21-0.
After a three-and-out by Cutler and company, the Packers took over once again. A few plays into the drive, this happened:
Yeah. That made it 28-0.
The Bears' next drive finally got the Chicago offense moving a bit, as they made it down inside the 10-yard line. They did so thanks partially to a personal foul on rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, as well as a few runs and receptions from Matt Forte. They kept the offense on the field on fourth-and-goal, but were discombobulated - a poor pass to Jay Cutler probably would have been a pick-six by Sam Shields, but the Packers corner dropped the ball. Still, it was a turnover on downs and the Packers took over at their own five.
Done? I think not. Eddie Lacy busted loose on a screen pass on second-and-18, and with a convoy of blockers (including Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb hustling downfield) Lacy rumbled for 56 yards into the end zone for his first receiving score of the year and a 35-0 lead.
The Packers threatened again before the half, but Randall Cobb fumbled at the five-yard line instead of getting into the end zone. On the ensuing drive, Julius Peppers recorded a sack-strip and recovery on Cutler, and Cobb redeemed himself with a bonkers one-handed touchdown catch to make the score 42-0 at the half.
Surprisingly, Rodgers returned for the first part of the third quarter instead of giving way to Matt Flynn. The Packers traded three-and-outs, but Jarrett Boykin blocked the Bears' punt (note: he actually kicked the ball with his foot before the Bears' punter did, meaning it is technically a forced fumble instead) and gave Rodgers and company the ball at the 8-yard line. They couldn't do much, though, and settled for a Mason Crosby field goal to extend the lead to 45-0.
On the next drive, the Bears finally got on the board. Following a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on Clay Matthews, Cutler was able to find Brandon Marshall deep on the left side, and he took it into the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 45-7.
That was when Matt Flynn finally took the field in Rodgers' place (along with Lane Taylor and JC Tretter subbing in for T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton, respectively). Flynn got the benefit of a pass interference penalty on Kyle Fuller, and was able to lead the Packers just inside Mason Crosby's field goal range, as Crosby hit from 52 to make it a 48-7 game.
In the early fourth, the Bears got moving again. A long drive got the Bears inside the Packers red zone. Then, Same Old Jay struck once again. His pass to Matt Forte hit lineman Kyle Long in the helmet, and the deflection was caught by Casey Hayward. The Packers' defensive back had nothing but green in front of him and covered 82 yards easily on his way to the end zone, his first career Lambeau Leap, and a 55-7 Packers lead.
Chris Williams for the Bears followed that score up with a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown, but nobody really seemed to care much. Probably of more importance on that play was the fact that Hayward let up on the play and reached briefly for his right hamstring, so that will be something to monitor this week even though Hayward did return on defense. That score made it 55-14.
The Packers and Bears would trade a few more series before the end of the game, but 55-14 ended up being the final score. The Packers move back to 6-3 and within a game of the Lions, while the Bears now sit at 3-6 and well behind the leaders in the NFC North.