Packers vs. Bears score, takeaways: Aaron Jones runs wild as Green Bay rolls past Bears at Lambeau Field
The Pack are back to .500 in the NFC North
It wasn't a perfect game for the Packers, but Sunday night's prime-time matchup with the Bears was a marked improvement from Week 1 for Green Bay. Not only was Aaron Rodgers more productive spreading the ball to his makeshift receiving corps, but Matt LaFleur successfully unlocked his dynamic backfield duo, with Aaron Jones in particular breaking out as the centerpiece of the green and yellow attack. Despite a few fumbles, the Packers left Week 2 with a victory firmly in hand, rolling past Justin Fields and the Bears with a 27-10 decision that puts them back at .500 in the NFC North.
Here are some instant takeaways from "Sunday Night Football":
Why the Packers won
Unable to consistently push the ball downfield due to a lack of elite weapons out wide, Green Bay instead wisely pivoted to a balanced attack with Jones as the focal point. The dual threat delivered, turning average plays into elusive gains on almost every drive, to the tune of 170 scrimmage yards. Rodgers played his quieter part nicely, firing mostly quick short-area strikes, with Randall Cobb in particular stepping up on key downs. Sammy Watkins also emerged, including with a fourth-quarter deep shot that all but iced the victory. The offense did have its slip-ups, inviting Bears momentum with a couple of fumbled snaps/hand-offs, but always felt in control after its first touchdown drive.
Defensively, the Packers didn't necessarily wow with splashy plays early on, and they struggled mightily to contain David Montgomery as the game wore on. They also never allowed Justin Fields to settle in as a passer, daring the conservative Bears to let their young QB uncork it. Preston Smith headlined that group, coming off the edge. Jaire Alexander, meanwhile, sped across the entire field to pick off Fields in the closing minutes and put a bow on the game.
Why the Bears lost
They used up all their juice on the first drive. Matt Eberflus' defense kept just enough pressure on Rodgers to give Chicago a chance; even a 24-7 deficit didn't seal their demise because of a timely forced fumble, as well as three early sacks on A-Rod. But Fields' unit slowed to a halt after a confident start, averaging just 4 yards per pass attempt into the fourth quarter. The Bears' heavy dependence on the ground game was also bittersweet, as Fields, Khalil Herbert and a fresher-than-ever Montgomery (130+ total yards) all ripped off important runs, but never set up an accompanying aerial attack. Fields, in fact, didn't hit double-digit passing attempts until the final two minutes, which may or may not be an indictment on the Bears' trust in him (or lack thereof). Their decision-making also left a bit to be desired, as evidenced by their failed fourth-and-goal Shotgun QB draw, with a chance to make it a one-score game in the fourth.
You might point to any of Rodgers' pinpoint third-down darts to Cobb, or Jones' second TD of the night, a sweeping "catch" that put Green Bay up 10 in the first half. But the Packers' goal-line stand on a fourth-down Shotgun draw by Fields, with eight minutes left and the Bears threatening to make it a one-score game, all but sealed the deal for Green Bay. Fields gave it his all on the play, and the one before, in which he nearly scrambled for a TD by extending to the pylon. And replay may have indicated Fields did, in fact, cross the goal line. Alas, the stuff kept the ball -- and the game -- in the Packers' hands.
Play of the Game
This wasn't a big-play frenzy a la Dolphins-Ravens, but rather a grunt-work special, which is why Rodgers' late second-quarter rollout to hit Cobb for a first down was so impressive. Not only did it showcase Rodgers still has enough in his legs to step up and move out of the pocket, but it helped extend Green Bay's before-half drive and set up a 24-7 lead going into the break.
The Packers (1-1) will hit the road for a matchup with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (2-0), who beat the Saints on Sunday and, previously, Green Bay in the 2020 NFC Championship. The Bears (1-1), meanwhile, will return home to host the Texans (0-1-1), who were edged by the Broncos in Week 2.
Dillon picks up the first down and now Rodgers can kneel on it. Packers 1-1, Bears 1-1.
What a play by Jaire Alexander. After a great play by Fields to escape from pressure and try to throw it downfield. We're at the two-minute warning now and it's all over but the game-icing runs.