GREEN BAY – In the 195th game of a series that dates back to 1921, the Green Bay Packers won the rubber match.
The Packers trounced the Chicago Bears early and didn’t look back, winning 35-14 on Thursday night at Lambeau Field. Before the Bears had their second offensive snap, the Packers led, 14-0. The first half ended with the Packers scoring three touchdowns, and the Bears providing three turnovers.
Not even a 46-minute weather delay between the first and second quarters slowed them down.
The win improved the Packers to 3-1 this season, but there was even more historical significance. For the first time since 1933, the Packers lead the all-time series against their longest rival 95-94-6.
BOX SCORE: Packers 35, Bears 14
INJURIES: Montgomery breaks ribs; Adams carted off
GAME BLOG: Review Silverstein’s live coverage
Earlier this week, Packers coach Mike McCarthy emphasized the rivalry’s history.
“We understand what the records are, 94-94-6,” McCarthy said, “and that’s important for our fan base. It’s important to your tradition and history of the National Football League, being the longest rivalry that stands, and it factors. It factors in your preparation. We make that loud and clear each and every year.”
The 195th edition of Packers vs. Bears was a surprise drubbing given the Packers’ depleted offensive line. With starters David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga inactive because of injuries, the Packers were forced to start backups in three positions: Lane Taylor at left tackle, Justin McCray at right tackle, and left guard Lucas Patrick.
McCarthy altered his offense to mitigate the lacking pass protection, frequently rolling Aaron Rodgers away from pressure out of the pocket. When he stayed in the pocket, most of Rodgers’ passes were quick releases underneath.
From there, Rodgers was his usual self. He finished 18-of-26 for 179 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions with a 128 rating. Most important, he was only sacked twice before backup Brett Hundley replaced him in the fourth quarter.