Green Bay used a balance attack on offense and got key plays from its defense to earn a 27-10 win over Chicago on Sunday night at Lambeau Field.
RB Aaron Jones
After getting just eight touches in the Week 1 loss to Minnesota, Jones was a featured part of the offense along with AJ Dillon. He carried 15 times for 132 yards and a touchdown, while also grabbing three passes for 38 yards and another score. His 170 total yards were the most for him in a game since posting a career-best 236 against Detroit in Week 2 of the 2020 season. As a duo, Jones and Dillon combined for 237 yards on 37 touches.
Coach Matt LaFleur knew he needed the ball in the hands of Jones and Dillon more than the first week and we were reminded again why that is.
QB Aaron Rodgers
The four-time MVP was efficient, going 19-for-25 for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He spread the ball around with nine different receivers getting at least one catch. Rodgers was especially sharp near the end of the first half, finding Randall Cobb on a scramble drill for 14 yards. Two plays later he hit Allen Lazard for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Packers a 24-7 lead at the half.
WR Sammy Watkins
Watkins has said he has played well in his career when healthy and right now he is, so it should not have been a surprise to see him catch three passes for 93 yards on Sunday night. It included him getting behind a pair of Chicago defenders late in the game for a 55-yard grab. It helped flip the field for the offense and allowed them to run more time off the clock and salt the game away.
LB Preston Smith
It’s clear Chicago doesn’t have a ton of confidence in its passing game right now. Some of that is a second-year quarterback still working to improve in Justin Fields and some of it is the Bears struggle to protect him. Despite throwing just 11 passes all night, the Packers had three sacks and five quarterback hits. Two of the sacks came courtesy of Smith, who finished with a team-high seven tackles.
After Chicago went right down the field on their first drive, the Packers got the momentum back with a three-and-out on the next possession, highlighted by a Smith sack to put them behind the chains early. It was the first of four three-and-outs for Chicago on a night when it had just nine possessions and ran 41 plays.
CB Jaire Alexander
The Packers top corner, Alexander showed why on the play that officially ended Chicago’s chances of a comeback. He chased Equanimous St. Brown across the field and stepped in front of a Fields’ pass for a diving interception. It was his first pick since Week 3 of last year.
Chicago defensive end Trevis Gipson gave the Packers some bulletin board material early in the week by saying, “We gonna win. You’ve got my word. … Our coach told us this morning – we’re better than they are.”
It appears some Packers, including linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, didn’t forget.
— Green Bay got back two key players from injury in wide receiver Allen Lazard and right tackle Elgton Jenkins. Lazard missed the first week with an ankle injury. He had three catches for 13 yards and a score. Jenkins was playing for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury last November.
— The Packers are still waiting for David Bakhtiari to return. He was listed as questionable for a second straight week but was not cleared to play. He’s seen just 27 snaps since injuring his knee at the end of the 2020 season.
— The first Lambeau Leap of the season came from Aaron Jones after he scored in the second quarter.
Inside the Numbers
783 – That is how many all-time wins the Packers have. It leaves them one short of Chicago for the most in NFL history. The Bears have been the all-time leader since 1921.
82.1 – That is Aaron Rodgers’ winning percentage against Chicago in his career. Rodgers is 23-5 overall, including 17-2 in the last 19. He’s thrown 44 touchdowns and just four interceptions in those 19 games.
48 – That was how many yards passing the Bears had. It was the fewest the Packers have given up since allowing 27 against Minnesota in 2006.
202 — That was how many yards rushing the Packers had. It was their first game topping 200 yards on the ground since Week 16 of the 2020 season.
6.7 – That was Chicago’s rushing average on the night while gaining 180 yards. That included 122 from David Montgomery.
3 — That is how many turnovers Aaron Rodgers has had in the first two games of the season after losing a fumble Sunday. Rodgers had a total of four turnovers all of last year.
Green Bay (1-1) will head to Tampa Bay (2-0) to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday.