On a balmy and stormy Thursday night at Lambeau Field, the shorthanded Packers beat their rivals to the south, 35-14. In the process, the Packers didn't just move to 3-1 on the season and the top of the NFC North, they also took a 95-94-6 all-time series lead over the Bears, who dropped to 1-3 with the loss.
The last time the Packers owned an advantage in the series? 1933.
The game didn't officially end until after midnight, but by roughly 8:45 p.m. ET, it was over. That's how poorly the night went for the Bears, who continually insist on trying to win football games without a starting-caliber quarterback, Mike Glennon, when they have a potential franchise saving quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, on the bench.
But we'll get to that later. First, the game itself.
The Bears won the toss, deferred, and suffered the consequences. On the opening series of the game, the Packers marched effectively downfield, using a heavy dose of runs to journey inside the red zone. On the 10th play of the 75-yard drive, Aaron Rodgers found DaVante Adams for a five-yard touchdown.
Things didn't get better for the Bears. On their first offensive snap, Glennon dropped back to pass and waited for someone to get open. Lost in whatever it was that was developing downfield, he waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited until Clay Matthews jarred the ball loose.
Shortly after, Rodgers hit Randall Cobb in the end zone on a sweet route for another short touchdown pass, extending their lead to 14 points. The Bears gave the Packers the ball again on their ensuing drive when center Cody Whitehair snapped the ball into Glennon's knee, as the quarterback wasn't ready for the snap. The Packers recovered the loose ball.
And that's how the night went for the Bears. The only time they weren't getting slaughtered by the Packers? During a 47-minute lightning delay in between the first and second quarters.
When the bloodbath was over, the Packers had earned a 21-point victory, bragging rights over the Bears, and a momentary spot atop the NFC North standings. On Thursday night -- yes, against a bad team -- the Packers looked like the Super Bowl contender many thought they'd be entering the season.
The Bears? They earned a sick burn courtesy of a candy bar.
Read on for seven takeaways from the game.
- Aaron Rodgers is still a dragon
Breaking: Rodgers is still amazing at playing quarterback. On Thursday night, Rodgers went 18 of 26 for 179 yards, four touchdowns, no picks, and a 128.0 passer rating.
A week ago, Rodgers started slow against the Bengals. But he didn't waste any time burying the Bears.
After handing the ball off to Ty Montgomery on the first three plays from scrimmage, he proceeded to do what he does best: shred the Bears. The Packers' first drive ended with what appeared to a run-pass option. Rodgers chose to throw the ball, finding Adams for the game's first score.
After Glennon's first fumble, Rodgers made it 14-0 with another short touchdown toss, this time to Cobb.
So in less than half a quarter, Rodgers had already racked up two touchdowns. And that's how the Packers put the Bears in an early two-touchdown deficit.
And then, things slowed down. The Bears' defense, which shouldn't be blamed for the second touchdown considering the hole they were put in by their quarterback, held up. They kept the Bears in the game, forcing three straight punts. Until Glennon struck again, throwing an awful pick.
On the next play, Rodgers then did more Rodgers stuff, completing a bonkers pass to Jordy Nelson for a 58-yard gain.
The drive ended with a rushing touchdown, so Rodgers didn't complete the first half hat trick. That was pretty much the only disappointing part of the night for him.
He got his hat trick in the third quarter. His third touchdown went to his favorite target Jordy Nelson.
That touchdown ended any hope that the Bears might've been clinging to. And as we all know, rebellions are built on hope. Without any hope, the Bears folded, entering an early state hibernation.
Rodgers' fourth touchdown went to Nelson, who was apparently wearing an invisibility cloak.
In fairness, even Glennon probably could've thrown that one.
2. A Glennon-sized disaster
Mike Glennon is the reason why the Bears have no hope.
Glennon is a very tall human being. The Bears' website lists him at 6-foot-6. He is not, however, a very good starting quarterback in the NFL. He's proven that through the first three games of the season. And he proved it again on Thursday night.
After his two fumbles in the first quarter, he -- unlike Rodgers -- completed his first half hat-trick ... in turnovers. Here's turnover No. 3, an interception thrown to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix:
You'll notice that Glennon's receiver was actually wide open on the play. That should've been a decent-sized gain to set up a third-and-manageable. Instead, it was a turnover, which led to a Packers touchdown.
At least Glennon is consistent, though.
This is the second game this season Mike Glennon has had 3 turnovers in the first half. He had 3 in the first half in Week 2 at Buccaneers.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 29, 2017
He did, at least, respond at the end of the half. Trailing 21-0, Glennon led a seven-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a scoring toss to Kendall Wright just before halftime. It was a nice one, too.
That's where the good stopped. The Bears appeared to mount a halfway decent drive to begin the second half, using no-huddle, but penalties killed the series. After the Packers took a 28-7 lead, Glennon responded by -- you guessed it -- throwing another interception, the kind of interception that left us all wondering if Glennon is actually a Packers double-agent doing his best to bring down the Bears.
Well, mission accomplished.
Good look at the Glennon interception pic.twitter.com/qGybM9WxCB— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) September 29, 2017
Glennon's final stat line looked better than he performed: 21 of 33 for 218 yards, one touchdown, two picks, two fumbles, and a 67.5 passer rating.
3. Packers shut down Bears' running game
In Week 3, the explosive running back duo of Jordan Howard (the workhorse) and Tarik Cohen (the smaller, shiftier, but more elusive back) single-handedly pushed the Bears past the Steelers in overtime, combining for 268 yards and two touchdowns. The duo was nearly shut out by the Packers.
Howard and Cohen totaled 111 yards and one touchdown, which came in garbage time, along with a bunch of their yards. They were bottled up. Obviously, the Packers' offense putting up 35 points and leaping out to an early 14-0 lead impacted the Bears' running game, but the Packers' defense, which was missing arguably its best player in defensive tackle Mike Daniels, deserves a ton of credit. They were stellar against one of the best ground assaults in football.
4. Packers overcome injuries
Yet the Packers' offensive line held up in pass protection and in run blocking. That's a great job by a makeshift offensive line against a foe that prides itself on its front seven.
The injuries didn't stop there. Montgomery went to the locker room with a chest injury during the first series of the game. He never returned. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, he broke his ribs.
More trouble: On the Packers' first offensive play in the second quarter after the lengthy delay, Montgomery's backup, Jamaal Williams,went down with a knee injury. He also didn't return. Replacing the Packers' first two running backs, Aaron Jones rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He could be a hot commodity on the Fantasy Football waiver wire next week.
The worst of the injuries happened to Adams in the third quarter. After catching a screen on third-and-goal, Adams was wrapped up by the Bears' defense when inside linebacker Danny Trevathan head-shotted him so hard that his mouthpiece ejected itself out of his place. Immediately, players signaled for the trainers.
Adams was eventually carted off the field, giving a thumbs-up on the way out. According to the Packers, he was taken to the hospital for testing, but he did have movement in his extremities.
Adams is conscious and has movement in all his extremities. He's been taken to a hospital for further testing.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 29, 2017
Hopefully Adams is OK after taking a completely dirty and unnecessary hit from Trevathan, who inexplicably wasn't booted from the game. There's no place for that kind of hit in football. Trevathan could, however, face a fine and a suspension.
And kudos to the Packers for coming away with a short-handed win.
5. National anthem tracker
Before the game, Rodgers asked fans to join the Packers by standing and linking arms during the national anthem to demonstrate unity. Most of the fans didn't join in, but both the Packers and Bears did link arms on their respective sidelines during the national anthem.
Here's a look at the Bears' sideline:
And here's a look at the Packers' sideline:
6. What's next?
The Packers, at 2-1, will head to Dallas for a date with the Cowboys a week from Sunday. Meanwhile, the 1-3 Bears will host the Vikings on Week 5 of "Monday Night Football," which means they have a lengthy gap between games. It's practically a mini-bye week for the Bears.
And that leads us to ...
7. It's time to start Mitchell Trubisky
The Glennon era needs to end in Chicago. I've written about this before -- after Week 1. Nothing has changed since then. Sure, the Bears won a game over the Steelers. But Glennon did nothing positive during that win. The Bears won despite him.
What the first four games of the season prove is that the Glennon experiment failed. It was a bad idea to begin with -- to give a long-time backup quarterback $18.5 million guaranteed -- and it's a bad idea today.
Glennon is not a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. He turns the ball over a ton, he's allergic to throwing downfield, and he's a statue in the pocket. The Bears, with their dominant ground game and lack of talented receivers, could use a quarterback with actual athleticism, mobility, and upside. That quarterback is the quarterback the Bears loved so much in the draft they traded up one spot to grab him with the second-overall pick. That quarterback is Mitchell Trubisky.
The timing makes sense. The Bears don't play again until Oct. 9. This is the time to make the move.
Fox leaves door open for QB change: “We need to make a lot of changes. We will evaluate everything."— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) September 29, 2017