GREEN BAY – A patchwork offensive line and a handful of other injuries didn't stop the Green Bay Packers as they trounced the Chicago Bears, 35-14, on Thursday Night Football at Lambeau Field.
The Packers improved to 3-1 and will reach the quarter pole of the 2017 season tied for first place in the NFC North with the winner of Sunday's Detroit-Minnesota game. Chicago fell to 1-3.
With both starting offensive tackles injured, the Packers moved LG Lane Taylor to LT in place of David Bakhtiari and inserted Lucas Patrick at LG, with Justin McCray starting at RT for Bryan Bulaga. The result was an early lead, and the Packers never looked back.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was 18-of-26 for 179 yards and four TDs for a 128.0 passer rating before exiting after the first play of the fourth quarter. WR Jordy Nelson had four catches for 75 yards and two scores, while WRs Randall Cobb (4-44) and Davante Adams (2-13) added a TD apiece. Rookie RB Adam Jones, stepping in due to injuries to Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams, had 12 carries for 47 yards and a TD.
Green Bay's defense generated four turnovers, as Bears QB Mike Glennon was intercepted twice and fumbled twice. Glennon finished 21-of-33 for 216 yards with a TD and a 67.2 passer rating. RB Jordan Howard had 18 carries for 53 yards.
Here's a recap of all the action.
The Packers jumped on top of the Bears with two quick touchdowns and took a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
The Packers took the ball first after the Bears deferred on the coin toss and got on the board right away. RB Ty Montgomery carried five times for 28 yards before exiting the game with a chest injury, and WR Randall Cobb caught two passes for 16 yards, setting up third-and-1 from the Chicago 31.
On a play-action rollout, QB Aaron Rodgers found TE Martellus Bennett for a 26-yard gain down to the 5, and two plays later Rodgers connected with WR Davante Adams for the score. The Packers took a 7-0 lead just over five minutes in.
Green Bay quickly added another touchdown, as Chicago QB Mike Glennon got the ball knocked out by Packers LB Clay Matthews on the Bears' first snap. LB Jake Ryan recovered at the Chicago 3-yard line, and on third-and-goal from the 2, Rodgers found Cobb for the score.
The sack was the 75th of Matthews' career, moving him past Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and into first place on the Packers' all-time list.
The Bears got moving on a pair of passes covering 30 yards to WRs Kendall Wright and Joshua Bellamy, and a 15-yard personal foul on S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was tacked on, putting the Bears on the Green Bay 25. But after a 4-yard tackle for loss by LB Ahmad Brooks, the Bears botched a shotgun snap, and LB Blake Martinez recovered for Green Bay.
The Packers went three-and-out, as WR Jordy Nelson couldn't hang on while taking a big hit along the sideline on third-and-long. P Justin Vogel boomed a 62-yard punt, out of bounds, pushing the Bears back to their own 15.
Green Bay's defense got a three-and-out of its own, but an illegal block in the back nullified WR Trevor Davis' decent return and put the Packers on their own 15. Rodgers was sacked by LB Pernell McPhee on third down, and Vogel had to punt out of his end zone.
Vogel's punt appeared to hit the back of a Chicago player's leg while bouncing along, and the Packers recovered, but the officials ruled Bears ball. The Packers challenged, but the call was not overturned.
As the first quarter ended, the game was delayed due to a lightning warning. The players cleared the field.
The Bears finally scored in the waning seconds of the first half, and the Packers took a 21-7 lead into intermission.
After a roughly 45-minute delay, the Bears started the second quarter with first down on the Green Bay 47.
The Bears picked up one first down, but a holding penalty on G Josh Sitton wiped out a nice run by rookie RB Tarik Cohen. On third-and-long, Packers LB Joe Thomas made a nice play deep in coverage, breaking up a pass for Bellamy at the goal line, and the Bears punted.
It was announced that Montgomery would not return to the game, and on the first play of Green Bay's next possession, rookie RB Jamaal Williams was slow to get up and was helped off the field. It was announced he had a knee injury. FB Aaron Ripkowski and rookie RB Aaron Jones took over in the backfield.
Jones converted on third-and-1, but Rodgers was sacked by LB Leonard Floyd on the ensuing third down, and the Packers punted again. It was also announced Martinez was being evaluated for a concussion. He was later cleared to return to the game.
Starting from their own 34, the Bears immediately got to midfield on a 16-yard run by RB Jordan Howard. But the Bears committed their third turnover of the game, as Glennon was intercepted by Clinton-Dix on an overthrow.
It took the Packers just two plays to score. Rodgers found WR Jordy Nelson deep over the middle on the first snap for 58 yards, with Nelson getting pushed out of bounds at the 2. On the next play, Jones powered in for the TD, and the Packers led, 21-0, with 4:48 left in the half.
Green Bay's defense turned in a three-and-out, but Chicago returned the favor and the Bears took over on their own 28 with 1:41 left.
Passes of 14 yards to WR Deonte Thompson and 16 yards to TE Zach Miller got the Bears into Green Bay territory. A 29-yard catch-and-run by Miller made it first down on the Green Bay 13. A pair of passes to Cohen set up third-and-2 from the 5, and the Bears used their last timeout with 12 seconds left.
Glennon then found Wright for the TD with eight seconds left, and the Bears got on the board.
The Packers extended their lead to 28-7 after three quarters and were looking for more.
The Bears took the second-half kickoff and got moving right away. Passes of 22 yards to Wright, and 7 and 15 yards to Bellamy put Chicago on the Green Bay 29. The defense held there, though, and Bears K Connor Barth missed wide right from 47 yards out.
A pair of Bears penalties gave the Packers two first downs and the ball in Chicago territory. On third-and-8, Rodgers found Bennett right at the first-down marker at the 32, but the Bears challenged and won, setting up fourth-and-short. Rodgers ran a play-action boot and found Nelson for the first down at the 28.
From there, Jones ran three times for 20 yards, but a holding penalty on RT Justin McCray made it third-and-goal from the 16. Adams caught a short pass over the middle and took an illegal hit from LB Danny Trevathan. The personal foul made it first-and-goal on the 4. Adams was down on the field motionless for several minutes. He was wheeled off on a stretcher and up the tunnel to the locker room.
It was later announced Adams was being evaluated for a head and neck injury and a possible concussion. He was conscious with movement and feeling in all his extremities, and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
On the next snap, Rodgers found Nelson for the 4-yard TD, giving the Packers a 28-7 lead with 4:09 left in the quarter.
After a holding penalty on the Bears, Packers S Kentrell Brice picked off another Glennon overthrow. It was Brice's first career INT, and the Packers took over at the Chicago 42.
A 26-yard pass to Cobb converted on third-and-6 and made it first down on the 12. As the quarter ended, the Packers faced third-and-6 from the 8.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Rodgers found Nelson for his fourth TD pass of the game, and Nelson's second TD grab, pushing Green Bay's lead to 35-7.
The Bears put together a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that consumed 8:53 on the clock, with Howard finishing it off from 3 yards out. The Packers still led, 35-14, with 6:01 to go.
Brett Hundley took over at QB for the Packers, who went three-and-out.
Chicago ran out the rest of the clock.