Packers dominate mistake-prone Bears in costly victory
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers continued their recent dominance over the Chicago Bears in NFL on Thursday, winning 35-14.
The Packers capitalised on four Bears turnovers en route to victory at Lambeau Field but it may have been a costly victory after starting running back Ty Montgomery and wide receiver Davante Adams left with injuries.
Green Bay already began Thursday's game without starting tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, and then lost Montgomery on the first series with broken ribs.
Linebacker Joe Thomas later went down and the Packers lost Adams with a head and neck injuries following a helmet-to-helmet hit by Danny Trevathan late in the third quarter.
That hit was flagged, though Trevathan remained in the game, and the Packers scored on the very next play following an injury delay as Adams was taken off the field strapped to a backboard, though he gave the Lambeau crowd a thumbs up and was moving his extremities on the way to a local hospital.
After scoring on their opening series -- star quarterback Rodgers capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a five-yard pass to Adams -- the Packers capitalised on a turnover forced by Clay Matthews.
The Packers linebacker became Green Bay's all-time sack leader with a strip-sack of Mike Glennon on Chicago's first play from scrimmage. Rodgers threw his second touchdown pass three plays later with a two-yard toss to Randall Cobb.
The game was delayed between the first and second quarters for around 40 minutes because of lightning. The Packers offence stalled following the restart until another Bears turnover led to more Green Bay points. Packers safety HaHa Clinton-Dix picked off a badly thrown Glennon pass for Green Bay's first interception of the season.
Rodgers went deep on the very next play to find Jordy Nelson for a 58-yard gain to the Bears' two-yard line.
Rookie running back Aaron Jones, filling in for injured starter Montgomery, punched it in from there to give the Packers a 21-0 lead.
The Bears finally got into an offensive rhythm to get on the board before half-time and Glennon marched them into Packers territory to open the third quarter. But Connor Barth pushed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide and Green Bay maintained their 21-7 lead.
The Packers scored on the ensuing series and a second interception led to another Rodgers touchdown pass to cap the drive in which Adams was injured.
Rodgers made the Bears pay for their mistakes, but the Green Bay defence, led by Clinton-Dix and Matthews set the tone. Matthews finished with three tackles and two quarterback hits to go with his early strip-sack. Clinton-Dix had eight tackles, one for a loss, with a pass breakup and the interception. Fellow safety Morgan Burnett had a team-high nine tackles, including one for loss and a quarterback hit.
The Packers held the Bears, who ran for 222 yards in last Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, to 103 rushing yards on Thursday.
The Packers took 35-7 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter as Rodgers found a wide-open Nelson in the corner of the end zone.
Nelson had four catches for a game-high 75 yards and two touchdowns while Cobb had four catches for 44 yards and a score.
RODGERS SWEATING ON ADAMS INJURY
"It's tough. He's a great team-mate and a great friend of mine. I'm hopeful we'll get some good news," Rodgers said of Adams' injury during an interview with NFL Network. "Tough shot to see, see your buddy get knocked out on the ground like that."
STILL KINGS IN THE NORTH
With the win, the Packers (3-1) now hold the lead in the all-time series for the first time since 1933. The NFL's oldest rivalry was in a deadlock after 96 years and 194 games with each team winning 94 times and six ties. They were also separated by just four points entering Thursday's game with the Packers scoring 3,335 points against the Bears, who had tallied 3,331.
Green Bay gained 23 games on Chicago over the last 25 years, thanks to stability at quarterback with Hall of Famer Brett Favre and Rodgers, who is now 16-4 as a starter against the Bears.
The Packers are still the overwhelming favourites to win the NFC North and will hope to get healthy over the next 11 games before they play the Cowboys on October 8. They have the best quarterback in the division with Rodgers, who finished Thursday's game 18 of 26 through the air for 179 yards and four touchdowns.
Glennon went 21 of 33 for 216 yards with a touchdown, two interceptions and two lost fumbles as Bears fans are clamouring for rookie Mitchell Trubisky to get his first NFL start. It just might happen when the Bears (1-3) face the Minnesota Vikings on October 9.