Injury-riddled Packers beat mistake-prone Bears 35-14
Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers celebrates a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
By Genaro C. Armas, Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers keep finding ways to win despite more key injuries.
The Chicago Bears never recovered from a miserable start by quarterback Mike Glennon.
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, and the injury-riddled Packers converted three turnovers into scores in an eventful 35-14 victory over the mistake-prone Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Rodgers connected with Davante Adams and Randall Cobb on short touchdown passes to help build a 21-0 lead in the second quarter of a game delayed 45 minutes by lightning between the first two periods. The Packers overpowered the Bears down the stretch to slog out a win as intermittent rain fell at Lambeau Field.
“We knew were going to get into a grind of a game. The turnovers were huge for us,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
The Packers (3-1) lost two more key players to injuries. Adams left the field on a stretcher after getting hit in the head during a tackle by Danny Trevathan in the third quarter. Running back Ty Montgomery was knocked out in the first quarter with a chest injury.
But the Packers capitalized on an awful start by Glennon, who accounted for four turnovers.
“The number one thing I obviously have to fix is the turnovers,” Glennon said.
He fumbled on his first snap on a strip sack by Clay Matthews. Rodgers hit Cobb for a 2-yard touchdown pass three plays later for a 7-0 lead.
The rout was on.
Glennon fumbled on his next series, too, but the Packers couldn’t score on that drive.
It was only a matter of time because the mistakes kept mounting.
Glennon threw his second interception with 2:54 left in the third quarter. Six plays later, receiver Jordy Nelson caught his second touchdown pass, an 8-yarder from Rodgers, to make it a 28-point lead.
“This was a big character win for us,” Rodgers said. “It’s been a next-man-up, no-excuses policy.”
Rodgers was 18 of 26 for 179 yards. He picked apart the Bears (1-3) on short, quick passes, a game plan in part necessitated by a patchwork offensive line. The Packers played without starting tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, and their three backup tackles are already on injured reserve.
The injury to Adams cast a pall late in the third quarter. The game was delayed for about 5 minutes while medical personnel tended to the receiver, who gave a thumbs-up signal as he was wheeled off the field.
The Packers said Adams was conscious and taken to a hospital for evaluation for possible head and neck injuries, and that he had feeling in all of his extremities.
“The news I was given on Davante — everything looks positive. That’s a great sign,” McCarthy said.
Green Bay at least gets a long weekend to rest after another costly week on the field. Both the Packers and Bears were coming off overtime wins Sunday.
For Chicago, questions from Bears fans will persist about whether coach John Fox should turn to No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback following another lackluster night for Glennon. He finished 21 of 33 for 216 yards and one touchdown.
“Obviously a very poor performance. I think it starts at the top. We got outcoached, we got outplayed in every area,” Fox said.
The Packers are 95-94-6 against the Bears, their first lead in the series since 1933. It’s the oldest rivalry in football, dating to 1923. ... Matthews’ sack on Glennon in the first quarter was the 75th of his career, breaking the franchise record since 1982 held by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.
RUN IT UP
Bears: Jordan Howard ran for 53 yards on 18 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Packers: Rookie Aaron Jones, a fifth-round draft pick, had a team-high 49 yards on 13 carries and a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He was the only active running back left on the roster with Montgomery and backup Jamaal Williams (knee) both knocked out of the game.
Players, coaches and other staffers locked arms on the sidelines during the national anthem. Many fans at Lambeau Field cheered and chanted “USA! USA!” while a large American flag was unfurled at midfield before the anthem.
Packers players released a statement this week saying they would intertwine arms before the game as a show of unity. They asked fans to join in the stands and at home, though it didn’t appear that many fans locked arms. Many people in the crowd held up small flags during and after the anthem.
Bears: Host the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 9.
Packers: Visit the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 8.