Game recap: 5 takeaways from Packers' win over Bears

Producing in the backfield, overcome injuries, improving in red zone all part of divisional triumph

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Packers running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon

The Packers won their fifth straight Sunday, 24-14 over the Bears at Soldier Field.

Here are five takeaways from the triumph.

1. The 1-2 punch in the backfield just continues to produce.

For the third consecutive game, running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon came close to compiling 200 yards from scrimmage.

After they combined for 196 rushing and receiving yards two weeks ago vs. Pittsburgh and 188 last week at Cincinnati, the number in Chicago was 169 with Jones (76 rushing, 34 receiving) catching his career-high fourth TD pass and Dillon breaking off a career-long 36-yard run.

"We have to get both those guys involved, there's no doubt about it," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said, adding that he changed from calling outside zone runs early to more downhill, gap scheme runs as the game progressed. "We kind of shifted mid-game."

Dillon's long run came on a power play with pulling linemen and it set up a go-ahead field goal late in the second quarter to make it 10-7. The Packers held that lead the rest of the way.

"We haven't run a lot of power here over the years," said quarterback Aaron Rodgers , crediting the run-pass flexibility provided by tight end Marcedes Lewis for the variety possible on offense. "If we have to win like this, it's great.

"We gotta get healthy, though."

2. The injuries keep piling up, and the Packers keep overcoming them.

Center Josh Myers exited early with a knee injury, though LaFleur said afterward he didn't think it was a season-ender. Safety Darnell Savage sustained a concussion, and outside linebacker Preston Smith left with an oblique injury. No update was provided on the defensive injuries.

Lucas Patrick came off the bench to take over at center, Henry Black filled in at safety, and Jonathan Garvin took more reps at edge rusher, getting his first full NFL sack and chasing Bears QB Justin Fields down on another play for just a short gain.

The depleted defense finished with four sacks in all of Fields, with Dean Lowry getting one, and Kenny Clark getting two in a span of three plays on what became Chicago's final drive in the fourth quarter. The two Clark sacks cost the Bears 23 yards, the last one taking them out of field-goal range when they might have made it a one-score game around the three-minute mark.

Clark was slow to get up on a play early in the game, but came back and finished strong.

"When he was down, I thought I was going to throw up," LaFleur said.

"It doesn't make it easier, that's for sure," he added regarding the injuries.

3. The defense and offense rose to the occasion in key moments.

Trailing 10-7, the Bears had the ball at the end of the first half with a chance to double-up, having deferred after winning the coin toss to take the ball first in the third quarter.

The sack by Lowry helped squelch the late second-quarter drive with Chicago closing in on field-goal range, and then the defense forced an early punt to start the second half. Neither end of the double-up materialized for the Bears.

From there, the Packers drove 90 yards for a touchdown to make it a two-score game. Then after the Bears got within 17-14 in the fourth quarter, the Packers responded with a 75-yard drive, capped by Rodgers' 6-yard scramble for the TD.

"It was a tough, gritty win out there," LaFleur said. "That's the best defense we've seen. We had to grind it out."

Soldier Field hosted a Week 6 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.

4. The red-zone offense got back to its more efficient ways.

A tricky shovel pass to receiver Allen Lazard from the 1-yard line produced the first TD, a play Rodgers said offensive line coach Adam Stenavich drew up.

The Packers went on to finish 3-of-4 in the red zone after converting TDs on just 55% of their chances through the first five games. The only failure came when receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was called for offensive pass interference in the end zone on an impressive throw and catch. Rodgers disagreed with the penalty.

Jones' TD reception came on a check-down throw, and he made a tackler miss in the open field. Rodgers executed a pump fake on his scramble to hold the defense and allow him to get to the pylon.

5. The two-game lead in the NFC North sure feels nice, especially after Week 1.

Following Green Bay's forgettable opener against New Orleans, no one would have predicted five weeks later the Packers would have a two-game lead in the division. But at 5-1, that's exactly what they have, with both the Bears and Vikings now 3-3.

"Nice to win five in a row, but we have to get healthy," Rodgers said. "We have an important stretch coming up.

"We've got a lot of guys banged up, a lot of guys we could use moving forward. But I really like where we're at, two up in the division after six and playing winning football."

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