CHICAGO – Another day, another win over the Chicago Bears for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
But maybe the last one?
Rodgers has seen better days against the Bears, but the results were the same as always: a 28-19 victory Sunday that kept Green Bay’s playoff flame flickering a bit. Rodgers improved his regular season record against the Bears to a staggering 24-5. If he includes the 2010 NFC Championship Game win at Soldier Field and discounts the loss at Lambeau Field in 2013 in which he suffered a broken clavicle on the opening possession, his record would be a ridiculous 25-4.
“A win against the Bears is always a little more special,” Rodgers said. “There were other things involved: All-time win total was great, another comeback in the fourth quarter. I told the guys in the locker room that we’ve played well enough to beat anybody in the league and at times we played bad enough to lose to anybody. Our highs have been pretty solid.”
Rogers is not stupid. The Packers are 5-8. In the grand scheme of things, a win over a team that played without four-fifths of its starting secondary, its best receiver, its explosive No. 2 running back and two standout defensemen traded before the trade deadline might not mean a mountain of beans . The Packers needed an 18-0 fourth quarter to beat the worst team in the NFL north of Houston. But Rodgers enjoyed the team’s 11th victory in his last 12 trips to Soldier Field.
“I definitely didn’t want to go in here losing to the Bears. It’s been a good eight in a row for us,” he said.
Rodgers turned 39 on Friday. Even as he savored a victory, Rodgers recognized his personal realities. Do you want to play in 2023? Without Davante Adams, this season has been a struggle. With Christian Watson, the future looks bright.
“I left Cal and I could have gone back with Desean Jackson at receiver and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield,” Rodgers said. “I don’t regret it because things have turned out quite well. But it would have been interesting to play with those two guys; he played with Marshawn for a year.
“But I say that because of the way Christian developed, you definitely have to feel good for the organization with his development. It’s a fast and wild development, and it’s hard to think of another player going from a here-and-there guy with minimal production to a home run-player type of player. I mean, it looks like he had two touchdowns of 60+ yards: last week he caught and ran on a short, final one. quite special.
Then came the last sentence.
“So everything will influence, but there must be a mutual desire on both sides.”
Rodgers’ wishes, Jordan Love’s future and the salary cap will be part of those conversations.
At this point, the Bears could offer the Packers endless first-round picks just to not suffer two automatic losses to Rodgers.
Throughout three quarters, it looked like Chicago was about to slay the dragon in the No. 12 jersey. The Bears led 19-10. They led by 84 yards, averaged 6.3 yards per carry and held Rodgers to 137 passing yards.
And then, in a story as old as time, the Packers took over. In 2013, it was Randall Cobb with the winning touchdown. In 2016, it was Jordy Nelson for 60 to set up the winning field goal. Last year, it was Adams for 41 who organized the famous Rodgers fight. On Sunday, it was Watson. He caught a 15-yard pass on third-and-7 and took a 38-yard interference penalty to set up a touchdown, then looked like Usain Bolt on a 46-yard touchdown run.
“You definitely get a lot of confidence and good memories out of this matchup,” Rodgers said. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of success during my time against them. I have enjoyed playing here, many good memories here over the years. It has been a special rivalry that I have been able to be a part of.
“There were probably a lot of people who felt good about 19-10. Me too.”