GREEN BAY – Some things are just meant to be.
Case in point, the Packers had several players reach personal milestones during Sunday night's 41-25 win over the Chicago Bears, which also happened to be the franchise's 100th victory over its longtime rival in the all-time series.
Davante Adams became just the fifth receiver in franchise history to catch 500 passes when he brought down a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the opening series of the game for Green Bay.
Moments later, on the first play of the second quarter, 15-year NFL veteran Marcedes Lewis registered his 400th reception off a 5-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers. In the process, Lewis became only the seventh tight end in NFL history to play in 200-plus games and register 400-plus receptions.
And finally there was Rodgers, whose 39-yard touchdown pass to tight end Robert Tonyan in the third quarter put him over 50,000 career passing yards. He's the 11th player in NFL history to reach that mark.
"There's a lot that goes into 50,000 yards. I'm proud of it," Rodgers said. "It's more of a longevity record, which playing behind (Brett) Favre you realize how important it is to stay on the field and play through injuries and I've always prided myself on trying to do that.
"It was a fun day of milestones. Hitting my 50,000 on the touchdown to Robert, Big Dog's 400th catch on a touchdown, Davante's 500th catch on a touchdown, as well."
Adams, who finished with a team-high six catches for 61 yards and a TD, joined an exclusive group of Packers receivers who notched 500 receptions in their careers – Hall of Famer James Lofton, Sterling Sharpe, Donald Driver and former teammate Jordy Nelson.
By reaching that milestone in his 95th career game, Adams bested Sharpe (96 games) for the fastest to 500.
"It's kind of crazy thinking about it," Adams said. "It's a lot of catches, especially knowing that Marcedes has played as long as he has. Obviously I'm a receiver, he's a tight end.
"But we ain't done yet. I'm definitely not looking up until this thing is done. So hopefully we can double that."
Perhaps most importantly, the Packers won their 100th game over the Bears on Sunday to take a five-game lead on Chicago in the all-time series. Rodgers has played a significant role in that, having won 20 of the 25 games he's played against Chicago.
"That's 20 percent of the wins, which is pretty special. It's been a great rivalry," Rodgers said. "It's special to be a part of this rivalry. There's few rivalries like this in all of sports – one or two in just about every league. This is one of the premier ones.
"(I'm) proud to be another one of the guys in the lineage of Green Bay quarterbacks who had an opportunity to lace them up against Chicago."
Linsley update/O-line shuffle: Head Coach Matt LaFleur said after the game that while the knee injury center Corey Linsley suffered near the end of the first quarter is "certainty a concern," it doesn't appear to be season-ending.
With Linsley out for the game, the Packers were again forced to move starting left guard Elgton Jenkins to center and insert rookie sixth-round pick Jon Runyan in Jenkins' previous post. The same scenario played out last week in Indianapolis when Linsley left in the first quarter with a back injury.
"Any time you're missing a guy like Corey, you're not going to be at your best because he is such a valuable piece, not only to our offense, but our football team," LaFleur said. "We're very fortunate that we've got guys that were able to step in, in his place, moving Elgton over to center, having Runyan come in at guard. We have really good depth, which is critical for us to be able to continue to function at a high level on offense."
The offensive line played well in spite of all the changes, not allowing a single hit on Rodgers, and paving the way for running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to combine for 163 rushing yards and a touchdown on 34 carries.
The Packers also were without starting right guard Lucas Patrick (toe) at the end of the game, which required Billy Turner to slide one spot over and veteran Rick Wagner to jump in at right tackle.
Both Turner and Wagner were successful in neutralizing Chicago's All-Pro outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who finished with just three tackles.
"You gotta tip your hat to Billy tonight," left tackle David Bakhtiari said. "Billy went out there against a very dominant player and matched up very well and kept him at bay. That speaks volumes to his preparation and who he is."
Lambeau Field hosted a matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020.
'The secret weapon:' Whether it was his blocking, pass-catching or penchant for finding the end zone, all the things Allen Lazard brings to the Packers' offense were on display against Chicago.
Lazard, in his second game back after missing two months with a core injury, finished with four catches for only 23 yards but was active in the run game to spark the Packers' offense early.
"He was in there blocking his butt off," said Jones, who rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries. "He made a huge difference and I'm glad we got him back, from seeing him insert and chopping guys down to straight up manhandling and taking them and driving them, he opens up lanes for us as well. That's like our secret weapon in a way when it comes to blocking."
Lazard also leapt to make a 2-yard TD grab in the second quarter that put Green Bay ahead 20-3 at the time. He left the game with five minutes to go in the third quarter after absorbing a hit from Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson but was cleared to return. Lazard tweeted after the game, reiterating that he was indeed OK.