Banged-up Green Bay Packers rout Chicago Bears 35-14
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, and the Green Bay defense forced four turnovers as the Packers trounced the Chicago Bears 35-14 on Thursday.
It was a costly victory for the beat-up Packers, though. Running back Ty Montgomery sustained broken ribs on the first series, and receiver Davante Adams was taken to a hospital after a wicked helmet-to-helmet hit late in the third quarter.
With starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle) inactive and backup tackles Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy and Don Barclay on injured reserve, the Packers got by with a makeshift offensive line that didn't include any career tackles.
Left guard Lane Taylor started at left tackle, with Lucas Patrick stepping in at left guard. Justin McCray, who competed at guard and centre during training camp, started at right tackle.
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up with Martellus Bennett #80 and Kyler Fackrell #51 before the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 28, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.Getty Images
The only starters in their usual spots were center Corey Linsley and right guard Jahri Evans.
Nonetheless, the Packers opened the game in explosive fashion, producing a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. A 26-yard catch-and-run by tight end Martellus Bennett on a third-and-1 bootleg set up a first-and-goal at the 5. One play later, Rodgers threw a quick pass to Adams, who powered through cornerback Marcus Cooper for a 5-yard touchdown.
On Chicago's first offensive play, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews drilled quarterback Mike Glennon from the blind side. The ball popped loose and was recovered by linebacker Jake Ryan at the Bears 3-yard line.
On third-and-goal from the 2, the Packers spread the field with four receivers and a tight end. Rodgers hit receiver Randall Cobb, who was in the left slot, for an easy touchdown. That made it 14-0 barely six minutes into the game.
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 28, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.Getty Images
The Packers (3-1) tacked on a second-quarter touchdown after Glennon badly overthrew his receiver and was intercepted by safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. On the next play, Rodgers went deep to receiver Jordy Nelson, who caught the underthrown pass in front of cornerbacks Cooper and Kendall Fuller. The defenders collided, which allowed Nelson to get to the 2 for a gain of 58.
Rookie running back Aaron Jones, who was getting his first snaps from scrimmage after Montgomery and primary backup Jamaal Williams were hurt, easily scored on the next play.
Chicago (1-3) scored just before halftime. Glennon completed passes of 29 and 16 yards to tight end Zach Miller before connecting with receiver Kendall Wright on a corner route for an easy 5-yard touchdown.
Glennon connected on 21 of 33 passes for 216 yards but had three turnovers.
With Green Bay leading 21-7 and in scoring position late in the third quarter, Rodgers completed a pass to Adams. As Adams fought for extra yardage, linebacker Danny Trevathan drilled Adams in the head with the crown of his helmet. Adams' mouthpiece flew out of his mouth as he fell to the ground. Nelson and Cobb immediately waved the training staff onto the field.
Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers is carted off the field after being injured in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 28, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.Getty Images
Adams, who gave a thumbs-up to fans as he approached the tunnel leading to the locker room, was being evaluated for a concussion and neck injury, according to the team. He was conscious with movement in all his extremities and was been taken to a hospital for further testing.
Trevathan was penalized but not ejected. On the next play, Rodgers found Nelson all alone in the flat for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 with 4:09 left in the third quarter. Rodgers fired another touchdown pass to Nelson to start the fourth quarter, and he finished the night 18 of 26 passing for 179 yards.
Even with all the injuries up front, Rodgers was sacked only two times. He had been the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL entering Week 4.