Packers win first game without Rodgers, beat Bears 23-16
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
Nov. 12, 2017
CHICAGO (AP) — The Green Bay Packers finally found a way to win without Aaron Rodgers. All they had to do was show up at Soldier Field.
Brett Hundley threw for 212 yards and a touchdown, Nick Perry had three sacks and the Packers beat the Chicago Bears 23-16 on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak.
Hundley, starting his third game for an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Davante Adams to make it 23-13 with 5:29 to play, and the Packers (5-4) hung on to beat the Bears (3-6) for the eighth time in nine games.
"It feels amazing," Hundley said. "It's truly amazing, especially a rivalry game. There was a lot going into this game. I just thank the team. Not only the offense, the offensive line, receivers, running backs — but the defense played their butts off, too."
Hundley completed 18 of 25 passes — even though his hamstring tightened during the game — to help the Packers win their eighth straight at Soldier Field counting the playoffs. He also became the first Green Bay starting quarterback other than Brett Favre or Rodgers to win against the Bears since Don Majkowski on Dec. 17, 1989.
"Today, he had more opportunities," coach Mike McCarthy said. "The two prior games, the sample size wasn't the size it was today."
Though he got sacked five times, Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky threw for a career-high 297 yards. The No. 2 overall draft pick hit Josh Bellamy for a 46-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but the Bears dropped their second in a row after winning back-to-back games.
"I thought statistically and poise-wise, in handling situations, I thought his play was probably the best to date," coach John Fox said. "Was it perfect? No. It seldom is. But I was impressed with the young guy."
The win was Green Bay's first since a narrow victory at Dallas on Oct. 8. A week later, Rodgers got driven to the turf by the Vikings' Anthony Barr in a loss at Minnesota week and the Packers haven't been the same since.
Ty Montgomery ran for a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but sat out the second half because of a rib injury. That left the Packers without their top two running backs after Aaron Jones hurt his knee in the first quarter.
Green Bay shut down the Bears' run game, holding Chicago to 55 yards rushing. Jordan Howard ran for 54 on 15 attempts.
The Bears had a replay challenge backfire in a big way as they were threatening to score in the second quarter. And the offense stalled after Mason Crosby missed a 35-yard field with just over a minute left, giving Chicago one final chance.
The Packers led 10-3 in the second quarter after Montgomery went untouched through the line for his big TD run.
The Bears were then driving deep in Green Bay territory when their replay challenge near the goal line backfired in a huge way.
Benny Cunningham was ruled out at the 2 after turning a short pass into a 23-yard gain. The Bears challenged the spot, with Fox thinking at the time that it was a touchdown. Worst-case scenario: He figured they would have first-and-goal.
He did not envision this.
Replay officials ruled Cunningham didn't have control when he hit the pylon, and with the ball landing out of bounds, Green Bay took over at the 20.
The Bears didn't lose a timeout, since the call was overturned, though that's a loss they would have gladly taken. Fox screamed at line judge Bart Longson after the ruling and the crowd continued to boo as the Packers took possession.
But Cunningham said the call was correct.
"When I watched the review, I felt like they made the right call," he said. "Just a bad play on my part. The refs got it right."
McCarthy blamed poor communication by himself for the Packers wasting a timeout at the end of the first quarter.
Green Bay had a fourth down at its own 29. Hundley called time with 5 seconds left even though he could have just let the game clock expire.
"I didn't make it clear what we trying to get done there," McCarthy said.
Packers: Hundley didn't sound too concerned about his hamstring, saying, "You figure it out and you keep playing." ... McCarthy had no update on Montgomery and Jones. ... S Morgan Burnett sat out with a groin injury.
Bears: The Bears held out RG Kyle Long (finger). With Long out, Cody Whitehair started at right guard and Hroniss Grasu at center. ... LB Danny Trevathan (calf) and TE Dion Sims (illness) were inactive.
Packers: Host the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 19.
Bears: Host Detroit Lions on Nov. 19.