While wearing all-white uniforms, the Green Bay Packers got a great performance by their defense against a moribund Chicago Bears offense as the green and gold won on Thursday Night Football by the score of 26-10.
However, the narrative will likely be dominated by the offensive dichotomy from the first half to the second. In the first 30 minutes, the Packers moved the ball fairly well but were repeatedly stymied when they got into Bears territory. After the team’s only turnover of the game at the very start of the third quarter, they had no further troubles, scoring touchdowns on three straight drives to pull ahead and away from the Bears over the course of the second half.
The stars on offense were wide receivers Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Ty Montgomery, each of whom had at least 13 touches on the night. Adams went off for over 130 receiving yards and two scores, while Cobb and Montgomery each put up over 100 total yards of offense as well. Meanwhile, Rodgers threw the ball over 50 times, but he was able to rack up over 300 yards through the air for the first time all year and dialed up three touchdown passes.
On defense, the Packers knocked one Bears quarterback out of the game and forced a pair of late turnovers out of another while allowing under 200 total yards of offense for the entire game. The Bears picked up just 69 yards on the ground, as Green Bay’s rushing defense returned to form.
Here’s how it all went down.
The Packers got off to a great start on defense, forcing a three and out on the Bears’ first drive of the game. They forced a no gain on a run on first down, then got two straight incompletions to force a punt. The offense looked crisp for much of the next drive, with Davante Adams hauling in a pair of passes for 15 yards and Randall Cobb catching a pair for 21. Aaron Rodgers completed six out of ten passes on the first drive, which ended with a drop by Cobb in the end zone, forcing a field goal attempt. Mason Crosby hit from 32 yards to give the Packers a 3-0 lead.
After Brian Hoyer hit Josh Bellamy for a 25-yard gain over Demetri Goodson on the Packers’ next defensive series, the Packers got another punt. Rodgers went right back to work, completing five straight passes (not including one deep ball to Jordy Nelson that went for a 44-yard pass interference penalty) to drive the team deep into Bears territory. Once again, however, the Packers game up short on third down, as Jeff Janis was tackled a yard short of the goal line. Mike McCarthy decided to go for it on fourth and goal from the one, however, but Ty Montgomery’s handoff off the left side was stuffed just inches short of the goal line.
That gave the Bears the football, but inside their own one. The Bears picked up 11 yards on a pass to Alshon Jeffery to get out of the shadow of their own end zone, but a big hit on Brian Hoyer by Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews knocked the Chicago quarterback out of the game. Green Bay’s offense did little on the next drive, and Matt Barkley took over under center for the Bears when they got the football back.
The Bears were able to move into Packers territory thanks to a big 24-yard run by Ka’Deem Carey. After picking up a few chunks of yardage, the Bears kicked a field goal to tie the game just after the two-minute warning.
That gave Green Bay the football with two minutes and two timeouts to go 75 yards. On third and five, a pass interference penalty on Chicago extended Green Bay’s drive, but Rodgers was sacked for a loss of nine on the next play, pushing the Packers back to their own 39. From there, he hit Adams for a gain of 19 and a first down, then went to Randall Cobb for a pair of passes to move the chains again. Cobb could not land both feet in the end zone on a third-down play, however, and the Packers had to settle for another field goal and a 6-3 lead at halftime.
Just 30 seconds into the second half, we saw the first touchdown of the game. Unfortunately, it was for the Bears, as Leonard Floyd hit Rodgers, stripped the football, and landed on it in the end zone, giving the Bears a 10-6 lead.
Ty Montgomery was the featured player on the Packers next drive, as he took a draw play 30 yards up the middle and then caught two straight passes to move the chains once again. Rodgers then found Cobb on a cross for 18 yards as Green Bay got into the red zone again. He hit Montgomery three plays later on a short third down and although Ty’s hands and the football touched the ground, he was ruled to have maintained possession, picking up the first down. Rodgers finally got his first touchdown of the day on third and goal from the five, throwing an end zone fade to Davante Adams (who made a ridiculous catch over the back of the Bears cornerback), putting the Packers back up 13-10.
The Packers got the benefit of several Bears penalties on the next drive, plus an overturn on review. Nick Perry appeared to force Matt Barkley into an incomplete pass, but upon review it was ruled that Barkley’s knee was down and Perry got credit for a sack. That made a 3rd and 9 a third and 19 instead, and then delay of game and ineligible man downfield penalties pushed the Bears back to 3rd and 29. A draw to Jordan Howard picked up 11 yards, and Chicago punted again.
Adams continued his big day on the Packers’ next series, catching two straight passes early for another 22 yards. Then Montgomery picked up 11 on a carry out of the backfield before Adams burned Jacoby Glenn on a double-move for another 24 yards, putting him over 100 for the day. Another 13 yards on a Montgomery reception set up a first and goal at the start of the fourth quarter. The Packers converted immediately, with Adams catching his second touchdown of the game on a blown coverage by the Bears and making the score 20-10 for the Packers.
Following another brief Bears drive, the Packers went to work once again, picking up big chunks of yardage with passes to Aaron Ripkowski and Adams, plus a spinning run by Cobb for 14 yards. A facemask penalty on Chicago also helped push the Packers deep into Bears territory, and a scramble by Rodgers set up another goal-to-go situation. A run by Cobb and a swing pass to Montgomery came up short, but Rodgers found Cobb in the corner of the end zone for another touchdown and a 26-10 lead. Mason Crosby missed the PAT (his first since the league moved them back, but the commanding lead remained intact.
The Packers got a late interception from Blake Martinez on a tipped pass with about 4:30 left in the game and ran most of the rest of the clock out before having a field goal blocked just inside the two-minute warning.