Aaron Rodgers wasn’t lying.
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The words were directed into the stands. And no reasonable person can disagree with him. Rodgers is now 22-5 against the Bears in his career (including an NFC Championship Game victory) with 57 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“Sometimes you black out, in a good way,” Rodgers said. “I looked up into the stands and all I saw was a woman giving me the double bird. So I’m not sure exactly what came out of my mouth next.”
The truth. That’s what came out.
It’s a bitter reality Bears fans don’t deserve, but Rodgers has completely owned this rivalry. If that ends up being the lasting image of the man wearing green and gold at Soldier Field, then, sadly, it’s perfect.
“Obviously this is a big rivalry and we get to play them again later in the year and I’m sure we’ll keep that in mind when we play them next time,” Bears tight end Cole Kmet said.
It used to be a big rivalry. Back when Kmet was a small child. Now he’s a giant NFL tight end and already 0-3 against the Packers in just his second season. Frankly, it’s up to the Bears to make this a rivalry again. The Packers have won 20 out of 23 meetings. It’s embarrassing.
Naturally, it didn’t take long for the Chicago Bears’ Wikipedia page to list Aaron Rodgers as the team owner. Hey, maybe that’s how he ends his feud with the Packers — by buying the Bears. Oh, the Bears can only hope.
“It’s pretty frustrating. He’s just really good. He’s a really good player,” Kmet said. “And just the way that they’re able to handle themselves on that side of the ball, they showed a lot of discipline out there. They don’t really make a lot of mistakes, and if you’re going to beat a team like that you’re going to have to be perfect. He’s obviously the leader of all that and he’s obviously a Hall of Fame player, so really cool to watch.”
More often than not, the Bears are the ones making the mistakes against the Packers. And that continued again in this meeting. Multiple questionable officiating decisions didn’t help, but the Bears had their share of dropped passes, missed tackles and stupid penalties. All of those turn out to be gifts for Aaron Rodgers.
Justin Fields provides some hope that this can be a rivalry again, but his first crack at the Packers did not go well. There were a handful of extremely encouraging NFL throws, but there were also two or three unnecessary sacks taken and mistakes made.
“I think I should have played better,” Fields said. “I didn't play as well as I wanted to. I think the drive before the second half ended, I think we should've got points right there so that's on me.”
Fields took sacks on the final possession of each half, ending both with zero points as the sacks took the Bears out of field goal range. Of course, the coaches deserve some blame for not running a quicker, simpler play for easy yards to set up a field goal on 3rd-and-15 when the Bears were trailing by 10 with three timeouts and 3:02 left in the game.
“We had the opportunity if it was there to be able to get the first down,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said. “There’s also protection, good protection for us and then check downs if you can get a catch and be able to get down into that area where you can get three. Justin knows that. He understands that.”
In other words, the Bears were looking for the first down on 3rd & 15 first and then the short yardage for the field goal second. Instead, Fields took a sack and the Bears were left with a Hail Mary on 4th-and-26.
These are the situations that seem to separate the Bears and Packers in this rivalry. The Bears needed at least 10 points and have a kicker who has made 34 field goals in a row. Why not take the easy three points and leave yourself enough time to get the ball back?
“In a perfect situation you’d love to be able to come out of there, worst-case, with three. We didn’t,” Nagy said. “Against a team like this, with the quarterback they have, you want to be able to execute and take advantage of the situations.”
More often than not, the Bears don’t do that in crucial situations against the Packers. And you know who does.
The guy that owns them.