Green Bay Packers

Thursday Morning Ramblings: Enjoy the Divisional Dominance While it Lasts

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As the Green Bay Packers prepare to face the Chicago Bears, I can’t help but wonder if this is the last time Aaron Rodgers will travel to Chicago in a green and yellow uniform.

Ok, I know, that’s a lot to hit you with on a Thursday morning. I get it. I’m sorry.

But with this being the potential “last dance” season, and with it already being mid-October, it’s hard not to feel just a little bit retrospective.

There’s a very real chance that after this season, the kingdom comes crashing down for the Green Bay Packers. This is a team that, for the most part, has ruled this division for nearly 30 years, with some brief interruptions here and there. And never has that dominance been more pronounced than when you look at what Aaron Rodgers has done to the Chicago Bears.

Just a few statistics that jump out for the Packers against the Bears with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback:

  • 20-4 record (Packers are 22-4 in the Rodgers era counting a Brett Hundley sweep in 2017)
  • Rodgers has a 107.2 passer rating with 55 TDs to just 10 INTs against the Bears in games he started and finished
  • The 2010s was the most lopsided win/loss margin in the history of the Bears/Packers rivalry, which stretches back to the beginning of the NFL

Under Aaron Rodgers, the Packers took the lead in the rivalry for the first time since before the overwhelming majority of people likely to be reading this article were born.

Rodgers led the Packers to several of the most memorable victories against the Bears in the history of this rivalry, including an NFC Championship Game faceoff, a win-and-you’re-in classic in Week 17 of the 2013 season, and a mammoth Week 1 comeback in 2018, featuring more Randall Cobb heroics.

That’s not to mention the time Rodgers and the Packers scored six touchdowns in the first half against the Bears.

I’m not trying to be all doom and gloom here. There’s still a long season ahead of us to enjoy, and we still have high hopes for a championship coming back home to Green Bay this season.

All I’m saying here is, enjoy it while it lasts.

Success is almost always fleeting in the NFL. The Packers have been a notable exception to that in the last 30 years. 

While some might quibble with the definition of success and bring up the Packers “only” having two Super Bowls in that time, it’s worth reminding ourselves that, for some of us, we’ve spent our entire lives where in any given year, there’s a good chance it’s basically assumed the Packers will plow over the division and reign as Kings in the North.

So in the spirit of the “last dance” season, enjoy watching Aaron Rodgers smack the crap out of the Bears at least two more times in a Green Bay uniform this season.

And never forget that the Bears still suck, and always will.

Quick Hits: Week Six

Here are some random thoughts I have related to the Green Bay Packers and football in general as we prepare for week six and the Chicago Bears.

  • Mason Crosby needs one game every several years where he just sort of forgets how to use his leg. It’s the source of his power. He’s good now for another three or four years.

 

  • Not specifically Packers-related, just an observation I had while watching the Bengals game. Joe Burrow is going to be good. Very good. He doesn’t have the most powerful arm in the world, but the kid has “it.” It’s obvious just from watching him. There’s no quit in him. The Bengals were lucky to be able to draft him. Hope he stays healthy.

 

  • Holy cow the field goal team still needs to tighten up its protection. This is getting scary.

 

  • The defense is so confusing. They did great in short-yardage situations and throughout much of the field. They forced a lot of three and outs. But this is a historically bad red zone defense. If the opposing offense gets anywhere close to scoring position, you may as well just hand the other team six and be done with it. That’s where we’re at right now. It has to get better situationally for this team to be a real contender.

 

  • Yet another strong game in pass protection from basically the Packers’ third-string offensive line. Not the greatest game in run blocking, however… but you can only ask for so much when you’re dealing with so many backups and young players.

 

  • This offense remains so much better when it flows through Aaron Jones and it’s so frustrating how easily Matt LaFleur gets away from that.

 

  • Aaron Rodgers is playing a lot like he did in 2019. Pressing, not taking the easy throws underneath, honing in on Davante Adams, appearing off rhythm and easily flustered. Not sure what it’s going to take for him to calm down, but he’s nowhere near his MVP form of a year ago. Still doing more than enough for the Packers to be successful, but he’s not lighting up the league. 

 

  • Speaking of Davante, he’s a superhuman. What the guy has been doing week in and week out is just absurd. I don’t think there could possibly be any debate any longer that he’s the best in the game.

 

  • Eric Stokes takes his lumps here and there, but he’s already a starting caliber NFL player and I’m really loving what I’m seeing out of him. He has some athleticism and speed that just can’t be taught, to go along with a healthy degree of confidence.

 

  • Speaking of corners, give Kevin King some props for a solid game. Outside of a classic “I’m going to give the wide receiver  a dozen yards of cushion when they only need five for a first” play, he had easily his best game of the season so far.

 

  • Randall Cobb on third down. That’s all I have to say about that.

 

  • The Packers need to find ways to get the tight ends more involved in the passing game. That will open up so much else for other players and help the Packers make better use of the middle of the field and underneath routes.

The prediction

The Bears are going to give the Packers everything they’ve got, because let’s get it straight–the two games they have versus the Packers are about the most meaningful football they’re going to see all season long.

Aaron Rodgers has owned the Bears throughout his career, and the Packers are 22-4 against this team in their last 26 matchups. There’s little reason for me to think the trends will shift.

The Bears still have Matt Nagy as a coach, still can’t really run the ball, have a quarterback who isn’t ready for the big time, and have a defense that, while still solid, doesn’t scare you the way it used to. They can stick with the Packers for a little while, but in the end this is going to be the first of two wins against the Bears this season for Green Bay.

Packers 30, Bears 17

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