Green Bay Packers: 55, Chicago Bears: 14.
Now that’s how you start the second half of a season — by curb stomping your biggest rival. The Packers effectively ended the Bears’ season, dropping them to 3-6, while improving to 6-3 themselves.
At really no point was this game competitive.
After the Bears took the ball to open the game and were forced to punt, the Packers took their first possession and marched down the field. That drive was capped by a fourth-and-goal conversion that saw Aaron Rodgers hit tight end Brandon Bostick for a one-yard score.
The pretty much set the tone.
On the next Bears’ possession, Jay Cutler was his marvelous Cutty! self, when he threw a pick to Micah Hyde. That gave the Packers great field position and Rodgers would hit Andrew Quarless from four yards out shortly thereafter.
That was all the scoring in the first quarter, but the Packers would put up 42 to the Bears’ zero in the first half. Things got really wild in the second quarter, when Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson on pass plays of 73 and 40 yards, Eddie Lacy took a short pass and rumbled 56 yards and Randall Cobb atoned for a red zone fumble by making a one-handed grab for an 18-yard score.
And after that, who cares?
With their backs against the wall, the Bears couldn’t even put forth one quarter of competitive football. Too bad for them.
Rodgers, who exited in the third quarter, was obviously sharp. He finished with 315 yards, six TDs and no picks. Nelson had 152 of those yards and Cobb had 72.
The last time the Packers played the Bears, they got killed on the ground and by tight end Martellus Bennett. The Bears didn’t look like they wanted to run this time around and they netted only 55 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Bennett only had two catches for 45 yards.
Defensively, the star for the Packers was Clay Matthews and that’s the first time we’ve said that all season. Matthews finished with 11 tackles and a sack, easily his finest game of the yeah.
Matthews actually looked like he wanted to be the complete linebacker he always talks about instead of just a pass rusher for the first time maybe ever.
He wasn’t alone though. Safety Morgan Burnett, returning from a calf injury, also made his presence known, finishing with six tackles and a sack. Sam Barrington and Julius Peppers added sacks, with Julie also forcing a fumble.
Although it was meaningless, Casey Hayward rubbed some salt in the Bears’ wounds by returning a pick 82 yards for a score in the fourth.
Couple that with a Jarrett Boykin blocked punt and two Mason Crosby field goals, on of which was from 52, and even the special teams had a nice day (yeah, we’re going to ignore that kickoff return).
All in all, a hell of a way to start the stretch run.