Aaron Rodgers made sure not to leave Chicago without reminding Bears fans that he runs the show whenever he visits Soldier Field.
After rushing for a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that sealed the Green Bay Packers’ 24-14 win over the Bears in Week 6, Rodgers broke out his signature belt celebration before quickly popping up to his feet and repeatedly shouting taunts at the Chicago home crowd that could be heard on the broadcast as: “I’ve owned you all my f****** life! I own you! I still own you!”
Rodgers’ rushing touchdown marked only the second time his 13 career starts in Chicago that he has taken it in himself for a touchdown, which might have contributed to his exuberant celebration in Sunday’s win. It also could be the fact that Rodgers has now won 10 of those 13 starts at Soldier Field and seen the Packers come away from the Bears’ historic venue with a victory in 11 of their last 12 matchups.
Either way, it added up in the right kind of way for the Packers (5-1) in Week 6 as they defended their place atop the NFC North against the Bears (3-3) and won their fifth straight game since a blowout loss in the season opener. Rodgers threw for fewer than 200 yards for only the second time in 2021, but he also zinged a touchdown pass to both Allen Lazard and Aaron Jones to keep Green Bay ahead.
Rodgers’ two touchdown passes tied him with Brett Favre for most touchdown passes thrown against the Bears at Soldier Field (25) in Packers franchise history. He also extended his franchise record for overall touchdown passes against the Bears to 57.
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Rodgers Gives Explanation for Celebration in Postgame
In the postgame, Rodgers provided a little more context for his explosive celebration — and no, he hadn’t specifically come into the matchup looking to verbally harass Bears fans on touchdowns. The actual reason for his outburst came from what he saw after he finished scoring his touchdown when he looked up into the stands behind the end zone.
“Sometimes you black out on the field. In a good way,” Rodgers joked in the postgame. “I’ve definitely blacked out from a concussion, which isn’t a good way. I looked up in the stands and, in the front row, all I saw was a woman giving me the double bird. I’m not sure exactly what came out of my mouth next.”
While it might have gotten a celebratory rise out of him, a midgame reaction like that from a Bears fan couldn’t have come as any surprise to Rodgers. He had actually spoken earlier in Week 6 about similar interactions with Bears fans throughout his career where they have been “not very cordial” with him; though, he understands and “respects” their reasons for doing so as rivals.
“I’ve always enjoyed the city, enjoyed the fans even though they haven’t really enjoyed me,” Rodgers said. “That’s fine, I get it. Maybe there’ll be a little more love when my time comes to an end playing here, but I do have a lot of respect for the city and the sports fans they’ve got there.”
Has Rodgers Played Final Game at Soldier Field?
While it may not have influenced Rodgers’ passionate celebration, it is possible that the three-time NFL MVP quarterback has beaten the Bears on their home field for the last time given his contract situation with the Packers after this season. Rodgers restructured his deal back in July in a way that eliminated one of the two remaining seasons after 2021 and raised his cap hit so substantially — to more than $46 million — for 2022 that the Packers will be forced to either sign him to a new deal or cut/trade him.
The presence of 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love would seem to make the latter scenario more likely, especially after Rodgers and the Packers were at odds with one another for the majority of the past offseason. Rodgers even admitted once he returned that retirement had been a legitimate consideration for him and that he had not truly known what he was going to do, return or otherwise, until days before he actually did.
Now, a championship this season could potentially change Rodgers’ feelings about the organization — or the Packers’ feelings about him — but the foundation has been laid for Green Bay to move forward with a quarterback transition in 2021 should one or both sides want things to come to an end. Love will also be entering the third year of his rookie contract, making it an optimal time to genuinely see what he can do.
Unfortunately, the Bears can’t completely rule out seeing Rodgers again if he departs from the Packers. The 37-year-old quarterback is still playing at a high level after winning the league’s MVP award in 2020 and would have value to a number of teams looking for a quarterback next season if he became available. The Packers might not be inclined to trade him within the NFC, but it is always possible that Rodgers finds his way back to Soldier Field if he finds a new team.