Rodgers throws for 4 TDs, Packers beat Bears 38-17
CHICAGO (AP) — Aaron Rodgers figured the Green Bay Packers would fix the problems. How’s this for a solution?
Rodgers threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and Green Bay shook off one of its worst offensive performances in years with a 38-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
The Packers (2-2) recorded their 700th victory after breaking it open in the second half.
They went from managing just 223 yards, their lowest total since 2008, in last week’s 19-7 loss to Detroit to collecting 358 in this one. More impressive, the Packers scored on their first six possessions to go up 38-17.
They intercepted Jay Cutler twice in the third quarter to pull away from the Bears (2-2). That gave Green Bay five straight wins at Soldier Field, including the NFC title game four years ago and a playoffs-or-bust finale for both teams last season.
“I felt confident,” Rodgers said. “I always have confidence in myself, but it was a good week of practice. Some guys showed extra focus.”
Rodgers called on Packers fans to take a deep breath during the week, and he gave them reason to exhale with this performance.
Here are some things to know from the Packers’ win over the Bears:
HAVE TIME, WILL PRODUCE: Rodgers posted a 151.2 rating for the game, completing 22 of 28 passes, and had all the time he needed with five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen sitting out because of an illness.
He threw two touchdown passes each to Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and a fifth got called back by a penalty. That happened early in the third when a scrambling Rodgers got hit by at least one defender while unleashing an awkward, wobbly 34-yard pass that somehow connected with Davante Adams in the end zone.
Cobb had seven catches for 113 yards. Nelson had 10 receptions for 108 yards, and the Packers came away with the win despite allowing 496 yards.
“I just wanted to remind everybody that it’s a long season, and at some point, we’re going to get this thing figured out,” Rodgers said.
PUNTERS NOT NEEDED: Whether it was because the offenses were so effective or the defenses simply were not, neither team punted the ball.
That happened only once before in a regular-season NFL game, 22 years ago.
“Punters should be fresh for next week, I would guess,” Cutler said. “There wasn’t one punt? Geez.”
THE INJURY ISSUE: Injuries might be catching up with the Bears.
They’re down two starters on the offensive line since center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson suffered ankle injuries in the opener. Brandon Marshall has been limited ever since he sprained his right ankle in the season-opening loss to Buffalo and had only two catches this week after catching one against the New York Jets on Monday night.
Allen’s illness is just another blow to a defense missing some key parts. Cornerback Charles Tillman suffered a season-ending arm injury two weeks ago at San Francisco, and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff missed his second straight game with a concussion.
RUN GAME EMERGES: The Bears committed to the run and finished with 235 yards rushing, their highest total since 1988. After facing some strong defensive lines and leaning on the passing game the first three weeks, they went right at Green Bay. Considering the Packers have struggled against the run, that wasn’t a surprise.
Still, the numbers were impressive. Forte ran for 122 yards. Ka’Deem Carey added 72 and the Bears averaged 5.7 yards per carry.
The Packers finished with just 56 yards rushing — 48 for Eddie Lacy on 17 carries.
CUTLER’S CURSE: Chicago’s Jay Cutler just can’t seem to beat the Packers.
He wound up passing for 256 yards and two TDs but fell to 1-10 lifetime against Green Bay, counting the postseason, thanks to those interceptions.
The second one was probably more on Brandon Marshall. He went deep when he was supposed to cut back toward the quarterback. That resulted in an easy interception for Sam Shields, who returned it 62 yards to set up a TD.
“I thought we were playing well, I thought we were moving the ball well,” Cutler said. “We were changing it up. I thought (coach Marc Trestman) called a really good game. We just had some unfortunate things happen to us that kind of derailed us, and they didn’t.”
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