Packers vs.  Bears scores, takeaways: Aaron Jones runs wild as Green Bay rolls past Bears at Lambeau Field

Packers vs. Bears scores, takeaways: Aaron Jones runs wild as Green Bay rolls past Bears at Lambeau Field

Packers vs.  Bears scores, takeaways: Aaron Jones runs wild as Green Bay rolls past Bears at Lambeau Field

It wasn’t a perfect game for the Packers, but Sunday night’s primetime showdown 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 offense. Despite a few fumbles, the Packers left Week 2 with a win 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 immediate takeaways from “Sunday Night Football”:

Why the Packers won

Unable to consistently push the ball downfield due to a lack of elite weapons, Green Bay wisely pivoted to a balanced attack with Jones as the focal point. The dual threat delivered, turning average plays into elusive gains on nearly every drive, to the tune of 170 scrimmage yards. Rodgers played his quieter role nicely, mostly firing short-area rushing attacks, with Randall Cobb in particular stepping up on key downs. Sammy Watkins also showed up, including with a deep shot in the fourth quarter that all but iced the victory. The offense had its slips, inviting the 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 impress with splashy plays early, 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. Preston Smith headed that group and came off the edge. Jaire Alexander, meanwhile, sped across the field to pick off Fields in the closing minutes and put a bow on the game.

Why the Bears lost

They used up all the 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 due to a timely forced fumble as well as three early sacks on A-Rod. But Fields’ unit stalled after a confident start, averaging just 4 yards per pass attempt entering the fourth quarter. The Bears’ heavy reliance on the ground game was also bittersweet, as Fields, Khalil Herbert and a fresher-than-ever Montgomery (130+ total yards) all ripped off key runs but never mounted a companion air attack. Fields, in fact, didn’t hit double-digit pass attempts until the final two minutes, which may or may not be an indictment of the Bears’ trust in him (or lack thereof). Their decision making also left something to be desired, as evidenced by their failed Shotgun QB draw on fourth and goal with a chance to make it a one score game in the fourth.

Turning point

You can point to any of Rodgers’ 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 score on a fourth-down shotgun layup by Fields, with eight minutes remaining and the Bears threatening to make it a one-score game, pretty much sealed the deal for Green Bay. Fields gave it his all on the play, and that before, where he nearly scrambled for a TD by extending to the pylon. And replay may have indicated that Fields actually crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, things kept the ball – and the game – in the hands of the Packers.

The game of the game

This wasn’t a big-play frenzy a la Dolphins-Ravens, but rather a grunt-work special, which is why Rodgers’ rollout late in the second quarter to hit Cobb for a first down was so impressive. Not only did it show Rodgers still has enough in his legs to step up and scramble out of the pocket, but it helped extend Green Bay’s drive before the half and set up a 24-7 halftime lead.

What will be next

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 swept by the Broncos in Week 2.

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