Aaron Rodgers Still Owns the Bears with Another MVP in Sights After SNF Win

Brent Sobleski@@brentsobleskiNFL AnalystDecember 13, 2021

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

No one is quieting Aaron Rodgers anytime soon, especially not the Chicago Bears. 

The Green Bay Packers quarterback told reporters this week he knew his comments about owning the Bears would eventually be used again him. The three-time league MVP didn't care. 

"It is what it is. I don't regret saying it at all," Rodgers said

The Bears had one job to do: shut Rodgers up. Instead, the veteran signal-caller continued to own the supposed rival with yet another outstanding performance during the Packers' 45-30 victory Sunday at Lambeau Field. 

Rodgers' 341-yard, four-touchdown performance extended an already impressive track record. The Packers are now 22-5 against the Bears with Rodgers in the lineup. The quarterback now has 62 career touchdown passes when facing Chicago. Over the teams' last four meetings, Rodgers posted quarterback ratings of 147.9, 132.3, 128.0 and 141.1. 

"The majority of stats don't really mean all that much, but this rivalry does mean a lot to me," the quarterback told reporters

Maybe. Or, he could revel in his performance. Rodgers could go to social media and schedule the same message every time these two squads meet: "I still own you. I still own you."

The 38-year-old veteran claimed his previous response erupted when a Bears fan gave him a double-finger salute. Head coach Matt LaFleur even tried to play it off as an act of passion during a high-adrenalized professional football contest. 

"Listen, all I can say is: A lot of stuff gets said on the field that nobody ever hears," LaFleur said after the Week 6 contest. "It's one of those moments of competition where things get said and ... I don't know what Aaron said about it, I'm sure you guys asked him. ... Again, it's a competitive game, and I think that's one of those moments where you see the competitor in Aaron come out."

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 12: Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the first quarter of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Imag
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Frankly, Rodgers is a highly intelligent person who picks and chooses his words quite carefully. The fact he didn't regret his previous comments—not that he should—shows exactly how he feels. He's earned the right through his on-field performance. 

The Bears, meanwhile, are still playing catch-up as they stare down the possibility of another organizational reset. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported there's "a heavy expectation around the league that Nagy [will be] let go" at some point during or after this season. 

Whoever takes over for Nagy, if the reports prove to be true, will be tasked with taking back some of this rivalry and building a competitive team around quarterback Justin Fields. But those thoughts are of the future and unlikely to occur with the Packers' current signal-caller behind center. 

Rodgers serves as the ghost of Christmas present. His potential parting gift to Packers faithful and his current organization is another MVP award. 

With the Packers improving to 10-3, Rodgers is once again in the mix to be named the game's best individual performer. Much like the league's playoff picture, consideration for the league's top hardware is a wide-open race that should go down until the final moments of the regular season. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady will receive plenty of support to reset his own record as the oldest MVP in any professional sport, and deservedly so. At 44 years old, Brady continues to astound. He's the league's leading passer in both yardage and touchdowns. He's averaging the second-highest passing yards per game in his career and still has an outside shot of upstaging his 50-touchdown performance from 14 years ago (yes, it's really been that long).

Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

The thought of Brady being named MVP for the fourth time may be anathema to some after he's experienced so much success for so long, but options aren't too plentiful with Rodgers being a primary candidate. 

Strong finishes from the Los Angeles Rams' Matthew Stafford or Arizona Cardinals' Kyle Murray could shake up the hierarchy a bit. A push from the Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herbert wouldn't be a surprise, either. But they have some ground to cover. 

Meanwhile, Rodgers has plenty going for him and his Packers. Aside from being a win away from capturing yet another division title, Green Bay's future Hall of Fame signal-caller certainly will have support after calling out of the Packers' front office for what he felt was unfair treatment of a player of his stature. Rodgers wasn't necessarily wrong with anything he said prior to the season, either. Furthermore, his one-game absence while on the reserve/COVID-19 list showed the futility of the Packers' season when he's not in the lineup. 

Most importantly, Rodgers has excelled when he's on the field. Since the Packers' surprise stumbling against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, Rodgers has completed 68.3 percent of his passes with a 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He entered Sunday's slate as one of five quarterbacks with a QBR higher than 65. He's the league's best passer when operating "in rhythm," per NFL Next Gen Stats

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 14: Billy Turner #77 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field on November 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Amazingly, Rodgers continues to be as good as he has despite playing behind a patchwork offensive line. Green Bay entered their latest matchup with three backups starting on the left side. Then, right tackle Billy Turner had his leg rolled up and didn't return. Rodgers didn't flinch. He and the offense just kept rolling with 24 second-half points to pull away from the Bears. 

Improved health could improve Rodgers' odds, too. From a team perspective, the Packers could get help from cornerback Jaire Alexander, left tackle David Bakhtiari and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith if/when they return. Rodgers continues to battle through a painful injured toe as well. 

"I don't know what kind of setback I had tonight, but we'll look at it tomorrow," he said. "But definitely took a step back tonight."

Plus, the quarterback is partially tasked with overcoming the Packers' atrocious special teams' play. In the first half alone, Green Bay allowed a 97-yard punt return for a touchdown, two kickoff returns over 40 yards, a muffed punt and muffed kickoff. For most teams, these mistakes would doom the entire outcome. Rodgers and Co. are good enough to offset those issues. 

"One of the factors in continuing to play would be, 'Can I still play? Do I still have it? Can I still be effective and efficient and make the plays I'm capable of making?'" Rodgers ruminated when asked if Sunday's affair was his last against the Bears. "And I think the answer is yes."

Since Rodgers continues to own the Packers' hated foe, he could play for significantly longer at an MVP level. 

Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @brentsobleski.