PLAY OF THE GAME
The Packers had just taken a 7-0 lead, thanks to Aaron Rodgers’ 1-yard touchdown pass to seldom-used tight end Brandon Bostick on fourth-and-goal. The game turned for good two plays later, when Jay Cutler was intercepted by Micah Hyde.
The Bears sent receiver Alshon Jeffery to the left, receiver Brandon Marshall to the right and tight end Martellus Bennett in the right slot. Backup tackle Charles Leno lined up as a tight end to the left. Green Bay was lined up in its new-look nickel package, with Julius Peppers as the left outside linebacker, Nick Perry the right outside linebacker and Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk the inside linebackers. Because of Leno, safety Morgan Burnett lined up in the box as an extra run defender, with nickel back Micah Hyde in coverage against Bennett.
Cutler faked the handoff to running back Matt Forte and tried hitting Bennett, who ran an out about 10 yards downfield. Peppers made the play. He worked outside of right tackle Jordan Mills and used his enormous reach to get a finger on the pass. That took just a bit of the velocity off throw and allowed Hyde to get under the route for the interception. Four plays later, Rodgers hit tight end Andrew Quarless for a 4-yard touchdown on third-and-1. That made it 14-0 and the rout was on.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Who else could it be but Rodgers? At halftime, he had as many incompletions as touchdown passes, with those six scoring tosses tying Daryle Lamonica’s NFL record for most touchdown passes in a first half. Rodgers showed he was past his hamstring injury on a bootleg that resulted in the touchdown to Quarless and a scramble that resulted in a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson. He showed his arm on the 73-yard touchdown pass to Nelson. He showed his accuracy on the 18-yarder to Randall Cobb. It was his typical domination of the Bears.
With 25 touchdown passes and three interceptions giving him a league-leading ratio and a league-high 120.1 rating, he is squarely in the MVP hunt if the Packers can get on a roll into the playoffs.
GAZE INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL
Who knows what this game means? The Bears are finished. Up next is Philadelphia. The Eagles, who are 6-2 pending Monday night’s outcome against Carolina, will have Mark Sanchez at quarterback rather than Nick Foles, which should help. It’s a game the Packers should win and must win. The Packers (6-3) remain in seventh place in the NFC with San Francisco (5-4) looking incredibly dangerous in eighth place.
NUMBERS WORTH NOTING
.889: The Packers’ record following the bye under coach Mike McCarthy. That 8-1 is a .889 winning percentage, which ties Marv Levy for the best winning percentage in NFL history (minimum nine games).
2: Difference between the teams in the 190-game series, with Green Bay now trailing 93-91-6. The Packers have won 34 of the past 46 games, thanks to Rodgers and Brett Favre.
2: Touchdowns by the Packers’ tight ends. The tight ends had two touchdowns in the first eight games of the season. Green Bay’s tight ends caught five passes in the game after entering the week with a 28th-ranked 23 receptions on the season. Chicago’s Martellus Bennett caught two passes after entering the week ranked second among NFL tight ends with 47 grabs.
5: First-drive touchdowns in the last six games by Green Bay.
6: Touchdown passes thrown by Rodgers in the first half, which tied Daryle Lamonica’s 45-year-old NFL record. Rodgers also tied the franchise’s full-game record of touchdown passes (Rodgers in 2012 vs. Houston and Matt Flynn in 2011 vs. Detroit).
9: When Rodgers threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game, that gave him nine touchdowns vs. nine incompletions vs. the Bears this season. He “went cold” and settled for 10 touchdowns and 15 incompletions.
10/0: Rodgers became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 10 touchdowns and no interceptions against an opponent in one season.
16: Career touchdown passes of 70-plus yards thrown by Aaron Rodgers in his career. That broke a tie with Peyton Manning and Brett Favre for No. 1 in NFL history. Since 2008, Rodgers has thrown all 16; the second-most is 10 by Eli Manning.
24/4: Rodgers has thrown 24 touchdowns against four interceptions in his last seven matchups against the Bears (no including last year’s game at Lambeau Field, in which he played only one series). The Packers are 7-0 in those games. 37.8: The average disparity in passer rating between Rodgers and Cutler in the 10 matchups in which they’ve both started and finished. Rodgers was plus-75.0 on Sunday night. Not surprisingly, Rodgers owns a 9-1 record in the win-loss column.
42: Points scored by the Packers in the first half. That’s the third-most points in Green Bay’s history and the most since scoring 49 vs. Tampa Bay on Oct. 2, 1983. It’s the most points allowed in a half by the Bears. That broke a 2-week-old record, 38 points vs. New England before the bye.
45: Consecutive points to open the game by the Packers. In their last three home games, they’ve taken a 42-0 lead over Minnesota, 28-0 lead over Carolina and 45-0 lead over Chicago.
50: Points allowed, in back-to-back games, by the Bears, a dreadful first in the 94-year history of the franchise.
54: Rushing yards by Chicago’s Matt Forte. He had rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the last three matchups.
69: Consecutive points scored by the Packers against the Bears – the final 24 of the Week 4 game and the first 45 on Sunday.
87: The Bears have been outscored 94-7 in the first half the past two games.
email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.