Rodgers helps Packers jolt Bears, clinch top seed in NFC
Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns to help the Green Bay Packers pull away for a 35-16 win over the host Chicago Bears on Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
Rodgers completed 19 of 24 passes for 240 yards and Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and tight ends Robert Tonyan and Dominique Dafney each hauled in touchdown reception for Green Bay (13-3). Safety Adrian Amos, a former Bears defender, had an interception late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed 33 of 42 passes for 252 yards to go along with his interception. David Montgomery scored the lone touchdown for Chicago (8-8), which still sneaked into the NFC playoffs as the No. 7 seed by virtue of the Arizona Cardinals’ loss against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Packers scored a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes to put the game away. Aaron Jones scored on a 4-yard run with 3:47 remaining, and Adams snared a 6-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers with 2:56 to go.
Rodgers finished the regular season with a career-high 48 touchdown passes, surpassing his previous mark of 45 in 2011.
Green Bay built a 21-13 lead at the half.
Chicago opened the scoring on its first possession. Montgomery avoided serious injury when he planted his right leg awkwardly during the drive, prompting an injury timeout, but he returned to punch in a 2-yard touchdown.
Green Bay evened the score at 7 when Rodgers found Tonyan for a 3-yard score. It was the 11th touchdown of the season for Tonyan, who grew up about 50 miles northwest of Chicago in McHenry, Ill.
A 30-yard field goal by Cairo Santos pushed the Bears’ lead to 10-3 early in the second quarter.
Rodgers took command for the remainder of the half. He heaved a pass over the middle of the field to Valdes-Scantling, who took advantage of a mismatch against Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan for a 72-yard touchdown to make it 14-10.
Less than five minutes later, Rodgers increased the Packers’ lead to 21-10 with a 13-yard strike to Dafney.
The Bears pulled within eight points on Santos’ 27-yard field goal with six seconds left before intermission.
Another field goal by Santos, this time from 20 yards, cut Chicago’s deficit to 21-16 with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
–Field Level Media