Mitchell Trubisky commits turnovers.
Aaron Rodgers throws touchdown passes.
It can’t be put much more simply than that. Rodgers, to no one’s surprise, outplayed Trubisky to ridiculous proportions in a quarterbacking mismatch. And the Green Bay Packers all but wrapped up the NFC North title by beating the Chicago Bears, 41-25, Sunday night at Lambeau Field in a game not nearly as close as the final score suggested.
The Packers led by as much as 31 points, at 41-10, on their way to improving their record to 8-3. They’re three games ahead of the second-place Bears, who are 5-6 and on a five-game losing streak, and Minnesota Vikings with five games remaining in the regular season.
Rodgers threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers in a 21-for-29, 211-yard passing show for Green Bay. His touchdown throws went to wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard and tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan. Tailback Jamaal Williams added a touchdown run and Green Bay scored a touchdown on defense on Preston Smith’s return of a fumble recovery.
Rodgers was not sacked and headed to the sideline in the game’s final moments as backup Tim Boyle took over. The only blemishes for the Packers were a missed extra point by Mason Crosby and a knee injury suffered by center Corey Linsley.
Rodgers became the 11th quarterback in NFL history to surpass 50,000 career passing yards. In the season after the Packers used a first-round draft pick on a prospective eventual successor to Rodgers, Jordan Love, Rodgers is in the thick of the league MVP conversation. He was the NFL’s top-rated passer entering the weekend and he has 33 touchdown passes and four interceptions on the season.
Thanks mostly to Rodgers’s ongoing excellence, the Packers are very much in the Super Bowl-contending mix in the NFC.
When the Bears were 5-1, it appeared they were destined to be in that group as well. That seems like a very long time ago now. Coach Matt Nagy has been unable to get the offense going, and the quarterback situation has become a mess. Trubisky, the former No. 2 overall selection in the NFL draft who was benched by Nagy earlier this season in favor of Nick Foles, regained the starting job after Foles suffered a hip injury in the Bears’ final game before their bye week.
But Trubisky was back to doing Trubisky things. He committed three turnovers, throwing two interceptions to Packers safety Darnell Savage and losing the fumble on a sack that led to Smith’s touchdown. Trubisky did throw three touchdown passes, two of them to wide receiver Allen Robinson. But two of those three touchdowns came long after the outcome was decided.
Even the spirits of those on the Chicago defense seemed to sag. The Bears displayed some sloppy tackling, particularly on Williams’s touchdown run. That prompted analyst Tony Dungy, the former Super Bowl-winning coach, to say on the NBC broadcast, “This is the Bears defense basically giving up here.” (Final score: Packers 41, Bears 25)