Bears-Packers rivalry renewed with fresh QB confrontation
Justin Fields versus Aaron Rodgers will be a go on Sunday when the Chicago Bears host the longtime rival Green Bay Packers.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said Fields will be under center for Chicago after the rookie hyperextended his left knee during a Week 5 road victory against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Fields returned to the game after being examined to guide Chicago (3-2) to a win. The Bears are aiming to take control of the NFC North from the Packers (4-1).
Fields knows the tales of Rodgers’ dominance of the Bears and is excited for his opportunity to shift the narrative.
“I’m excited,” Fields said. “Of course Aaron Rodgers is a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s a great quarterback. He’s been playing since as long as I can remember. I know it’s gonna be a good matchup between him and our defense. Our defense has been playing well. I’m excited to see him play.”
While the Bears long have staked their team identity behind defense, Rodgers often has looked the other way.
The three-time NFL MVP is 20-5 against Chicago in his career with 55 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 107.2 passer rating.
Rodgers was 27-for-39 for 344 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in last week’s 25-22 overtime victory at Cincinnati. He vaulted into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time touchdown passes list while continuing his connection with Davante Adams, who had 11 receptions for a career-best 206 yards.
Will Adams carry any extra motivation into the Chicago game?
“I hate everybody I play against,” he said. “So like I said last week, when I go out there, I try to murder you. They’ll get the same treatment this week.”
For Green Bay and Rodgers, another cast change for Chicago is not a surprise.
Fields is set to become the 20th different Bears quarterback to start against the Packers since 1992.
Green Bay boasts a 44-15 edge against Chicago since 1992 while starting just three quarterbacks in that time — Brett Favre, Brett Hundley and Rodgers.
The Bears have won two straight following an abysmal offensive output in a Week 3 loss at Cleveland.
At Las Vegas, running backs Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams, filling in for the injured David Montgomery, combined to rush for 139 yards, while Cairo Santos connected on two 46-yard field goals in the fourth quarter.
Couple that with a steady D and increasing confidence from Fields, and the Bears feel optimistic about their season trajectory.
“We’re paying complementary football right now,” Bears safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. said. “Offense is doing what they need to do. Defense is playing phenomenal right now. Special teams is coming up big for us right now.”
Green Bay welcomed offensive linemen Elgton Jenkins (ankle) and Josh Myers (finger) back to practice this week.
“We’re going to need them,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “This (Chicago) is a really sound and physically gifted defense. It’s going to be a physical game.”
LaFleur added the Bears are “the best defense we’ll have played” in 2021, lauding the combination of the team’s scheme and personnel.
Green Bay posted 19- and 16-point wins over the Bears last season. The Packers have a 19-4 advantage over Chicago since 2010.
The Packers are 101-95-6 against the Bears — the biggest edge they’ve held against their rival all-time.
–Field Level Media