The Green Bay Packers are in full control of the NFC North.
Green Bay defeated the archrival Chicago Bears 41-25 in Sunday's clash at Lambeau Field and improved to 8-3 in the process. Aaron Rodgers led the way for the victors, who are now three games clear of the rest of the division heading into the season's stretch run.
As for Chicago, its 5-1 start is firmly in the rearview mirror. A solid showing from Allen Robinson was not enough to prevent a fifth consecutive loss for a Bears team that is in complete free-fall mode.
Notable Player Stats
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB: 21-of-29 for 211 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
- Aaron Jones, RB, GB: 17 carries for 90 yards
- Davante Adams, WR, GB: 6 catches for 61 yards, 1 TD
- Mitchell Trubisky, QB, CHI: 26-of-46 for 242 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
- David Montgomery, RB, CHI: 11 carries for 103 yards; 5 catches for 40 yards, 1 TD
- Allen Robinson, WR, CHI: 8 catches for 74 yards, 2 TDs
Aaron Rodgers Torches Overmatched Rivals
There may be more likely Super Bowl winners than the Packers, but they will remain on the short list of contenders as long as Rodgers and Davante Adams are on the field.
Rodgers averaged 313.7 passing yards and three touchdown throws per game during his previous three contests, while Adams hauled in eight touchdown catches in his last five outings. The matchup between the pair of Packers playmakers and Chicago's stout defense was a headliner coming in and figured to set the tone from the start.
Fittingly, Rodgers capped the first possession of the game with a strike to Adams and then added to his totals with touchdown passes to Marcedes Lewis and Allen Lazard in the first half.
It didn't help from Chicago's perspective that it had to go against the juggernaut that is Rodgers without defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who is the one who eats double-teams in the middle, stuffs the run and opens blitzing lanes on the outside for others. Aaron Jones had no trouble finding rushing lanes with Hicks out, which forced defenders up and only made things easier for Rodgers.
The wizardry continued for No. 12 after halftime with a long touchdown to Robert Tonyan, and the future Hall of Famer became the 11th player in NFL history to throw for 50,000 yards in a career.
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Aaron Rodgers finds Robert Tonyan for a 39-yard TD, Rodgers' 3rd TD on play action tonight and 14th this season, five more than the next closest QB. ➤ Air Distance: 44.7 yards ➤ Receiver Separation: 1.9 yards ➤ Completion Probability: 33.2% #CHIvsGB | Powered by @awscloud https://t.co/bkt6Tjq23a
It's Super Bowl-or-bust for the Packers, and it may be up to the offense to cover up some lingering defensive concerns come playoff time.
As long as Rodgers plays like he did Sunday, that might just happen.
Same Old Story for Bears
Time is a flat circle for the Bears.
The franchise that seemingly always has a stellar defense and quarterback problems that hold it back started the year with Mitchell Trubisky under center, switched to Nick Foles because the 2017 No. 2 overall pick wasn't effective enough and is now back to Trubisky looking for a spark.
Things went exactly as expected, as Trubisky threw an interception to Darnell Savage in double coverage and lost a fumble that Preston Smith returned for a touchdown. He also didn't get much help when Cole Kmet and Robinson couldn't bring in well-thrown potential touchdown passes on Chicago's opening drive.
The wheels were completely off by the time Green Bay established a 27-3 lead in the second quarter, and it was nowhere near a stretch to suggest head coach Matt Nagy was firmly on the hot seat.
Fantasy football players surely appreciated Robinson's multiple touchdown catches, but he and David Montgomery—who also caught a touchdown and ran for more than 100 yards—were the only bright spots for a game that was never truly in doubt.
Trubisky threw another interception to Savage in the second half and consistently made the wrong read while throwing into double and even triple coverage before he racked up some stats in garbage time.
It was the same old Bears, only this time the defense didn't even come close to bailing them out.
Both teams host NFC foes in Week 13 when the Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bears face the Detroit Lions.