Bears 0-0-7-7 — 14
Packers 14-28-6-7 — 55
When the Chicago Bears limped away from New England two weeks ago after a 51-23 trouncing at the hands of the Patriots, it seemed impossible that things could get worse for Jay Cutler and Co.
Yet somehow, that’s exactly what happened Sunday night in Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers threw 6 first-half touchdown passes, the Bears offense was in complete disarray all night, and the Packers took their long-time rivals to the woodshed in a 55-14 beatdown that may have been even more lopsided than the final score indicated.
Aaron Rodgers Torched the Bears Defense All Night
With the Packers leading 45-7 with 7:44 left in the third quarter, Packers coach Mike McCarthy sent Matt Flynn into the game in place of Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers’ final numbers:
— 18 of 27 passes for 6 touchdowns and no interceptions
— A passer rating of 145.8, falling just short of his career high of 155.4
The Packers compiled highlights of all six of Rodgers’ touchdown passes, which you can watch here.
Flynn led the Pack on a scoring drive as soon as he entered the game, though it was a little less impressive than most of the ones Rodgers led: A 6-play, 46-yard drive that culminated with a 52-yard Mason Crosby field goal to make it 48-7 with 5:27 left in the third quarter.
The Pack made it 55-7 when Casey Hayward picked off Jay Cutler and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown, but Chicago answered with a 101-yard touchdown return by Chris Williams on the ensuing kickoff to make it 55-14 with 10:27 left in the game.
The Bears Didn’t Score Until the 3rd Quarter
Put this in the category of way too little, way too late. But the Bears finally got on the board in the third quarter when Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall connected on a 45-yard touchdown strike, Marshall stiff-arming a Green Bay defender and then diving across the goal line. The score made it 45-7 Green Bay with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
The 1st Half Was the Worst in Team History for the Bears Defense
How bad was the first half for the Bears defense? The 42 points scored by the Packers was the most ever surrendered in a half in the history of the Bears franchise.
On the flip side, Aaron Rodgers played by far the best half of his career, which is saying something given the career he’s had. The QB completed 18 of 24 passes for 315 yards, 6 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 156.2. The 6 first-half touchdowns tied the NFL record set by the Raiders’ Daryle Lamonica, who did it in 1969 and, like Rodgers, finished with 6.
Some other numbers from one of the most lopsided halves you’ll ever see:
— Jordy Nelson caught 6 passes on 6 targets for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns.
— The Packers outgained the Bears 358-161 in total yards and 315-127 in passing yards.
— Jay Cutler completed 12 of 23 passes for a respectable 145 yards, but he was sacked three times and turned it over twice: Once on an interception and once on a fumble.
— Seven Green Bay players caught at least one pass and five scored at least one touchdown.
— Green Bay held a relatively modest 16-11 advantage in first downs, mostly because the Pack scored three of its touchdowns on plays of 40 yards or more, doing away with the need for first downs.
— The 42-point lead at the half was the second largest in NFL history, trailing only the 45-0 lead the Patriots had during a 59-0 win over the Titans on October 18, 2009.
Eddie Lacy Scored on a 56-Yard Screen Pass
As if the Bears weren’t having enough difficulty stopping the Packers’ receiving corps, the Pack found another way to gash the atrocious Chicago defense when Eddie Lacy took a screen pass from Rodgers and scurried 56 yards for a touchdown that stretched the Green Bay lead to a mind-boggling 35-0 with 4:48 left in the first half. The TD strike was the fifth of the half for Rodgers, who had never thrown more than three in a half prior to Sunday night.
The Packers were on the verge of scoring again when Randall Cobb fumbled into the endzone and the Bears recovered. But that didn’t mean things were finally starting to go the Bears’ way.
Former Bear Julius Peppers stripped the ball loose from Jay Cutler and recovered it himself on Chicago’s ensuing possession and the Packers took over in Chicago territory.
Green Bay then took advantage of the turnover when Cobb redeemed himself for the fumble, making a spectacular diving catch in the back of the endzone on Rodgers’ sixth touchdown pass of the half to make it 42-0 with 14 seconds left in the half.
Aaron Rodgers Hit Jordy Nelson on Back-to-Back Amazing Touchdown Passes
The Packers were facing a 3rd-and-11 on their own 27-yard-line on their third drive of the game, but that was no problem for Aaron Rodgers.
He hit Jordy Nelson for a 73-yard touchdown that made it 21-0 with 14:48 left in the first half. The pass was the 16th in Rodgers’ career of 70 or more yards, breaking a tie with Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.
And amazingly, Rodgers and Nelson connected on an even more spectacular touchdown on the Packers’ next drive. With 12:09 left and Green Bay already leading 21-0, Rodgers rolled out to his right, threw the ball across his body and lofted it into the endzone, where Nelson made a nifty catch near the right sideline while keeping both feet inbounds.
Nelson moved into eighth place on Green Bay’s career touchdown list with the second TD.
Micah Hyde Picked Off Jay Cutler & the Packers Made Him Pay
The Packers got a big turnover on the Bears’ second possession when Julius Peppers appeared to get a finger on a pass from Jay Cutler, slowing it down just enough for Micah Hyde to pick it off for his first career interception.
The pick gave Green Bay the ball at the Bears 23-yard-line with 5:55 left in the first quarter, and the Packers cashed in with another Aaron Rodgers touchdown two minutes later — this one to Andrew Quarless — to go up 14-0.
The Packers Converted on 4th Down for a Touchdown on Their Opening Drive
After the Bears’ opening drive stalled out following two first downs, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on a 12-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Bostick on 4th-and-goal.
The strike came after the Bears got what appeared to be a big stop on 3rd down, when Eddie Lacy caught a pass out of the backfield and was brought down at the 1. But coach Mike McCarthy opted to go for it, and Rodgers delivered, putting the home team up 7-0 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.
Game Time Coming Up
We’re about 10 minutes to kickoff at Lambeau.
Here’s a look at both teams’ inactives:
Preview: Bears, Packers Both Trying to Bounce Back
The Chicago Bears are coming off their worst game of the season: A 51-23 drubbing at New England made even more embarrassing when defensive end Lamarr Houston tore his ACL while celebrating a sack on Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter.
The good news is that the Bears had a bye after the New England game, giving them an extra week to regroup. The bad news is that their return to the field comes tonight at Green Bay against a Packers team that won the teams’ first meeting convincingly on September 28 in Chicago.
The Packers are also coming off a bye and also suffered a blowout loss the last time they took the field: A 44-23 rout at New Orleans on October 26.
Green Bay (5-3) trails the Lions by a game and a half in the NFC North, while the Bears (3-5) are in the cellar of the division, a half-game behind the 4-5 Vikings.
Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. Eastern, with TV coverage on NBC. Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya have the call, with NBC’s Football Night in America preceding the broadcast. Check out this post for details on how to watch online and follow along below for live updates and highlights.