Rodgers throws 4 TD passes, Packers defeat Bears 45-30

NFL

Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams celebrates his touchdown catch with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard (13) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns to continue his mastery of the NFL’s oldest rivalry as the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 45-30 on Sunday night.

The Packers scored the first 24 points of the second half to erase a 27-21 halftime deficit.

Green Bay (10-3) took a four-game lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North and moved closer to its third straight division title. Chicago (4-9) has lost seven of eight.

Rodgers went 29 of 37, throwing two TD passes to Davante Adams and one each to Allen Lazard and Aaron Jones. Rodgers has 61 career touchdown passes against the Bears, the most all-time against Chicago and one more than his predecessor, Brett Favre.

The Packers are 23-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers had started. Rodgers yelled, “I still own you!” to the Soldier Field crowd after his fourth-quarter touchdown run in a 24-14 victory on Oct. 17.

Chicago tried to deliver some payback Sunday and led after a wild second quarter that featured a combined 45 points.

But the Bears couldn’t keep it up.

Chicago’s Justin Fields went 18 of 33 for 224 yards with two touchdown passes, but he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Jakeem Grant scored twice, including a 97-yard punt return.

Jones scored a pair of touchdowns less than a minute apart to put the Packers ahead for good.

He capped the opening drive of the second half with a 3-yard run that gave Green Bay a 28-27 lead. On the Bears’ next series, Preston Smith sacked Justin Fields and forced a fumble that Rashan Gary recovered at Chicago’s 23-yard line.

On the next play, Jones caught a pass from Rodgers at about the 13 and ran into the left corner of the end zone to make it 35-27.

The Bears took a 10-0 lead in the first 20 minutes as Grant set up a field goal with a 34-yard punt return, then caught a flip pass in the backfield and turned it into a 46-yard touchdown.

The scoring really picked up after that.

The teams combined to score five touchdowns in a span of 5:18 as the lead changed hands twice.

Green Bay scored on Rodgers’ 2-yard pass to Lazard on fourth-and-goal, Rasul Douglas’ 55-yard interception return and Rodgers’ 38-yard strike to Adams.

Chicago’s touchdowns came on a 56-yard completion from Fields to Damiere Byrd and Grant’s punt return.

Douglas joined Hall of Famer Herb Adderley as the only Packers to score on interception returns in back-to-back games. Grant’s punt return was the longest for any Bears player since at least 1960, which is as far back as the team’s data on that statistic goes.

Cairo Santos’ 44-yard field goal closed the first half and put the Bears ahead 27-21. It was the fourth time since 1991 that teams have combined to score at least 45 points in a quarter.

INJURED

Bears: LT Jason Peters injured his ankle in the first quarter. … CB Xavier Crawford left to get evaluated for a concussion. … S DeAndre Houston-Carson went to the locker room in the third quarter with an arm injury. … DL Khyiris Tonga injured his shoulder. … LB Roquan Smith hurt his hamstring in the second half. … DL Akiem Hicks (ankle) missed a fourth straight game.

Packers: RT Billy Turner injured his knee in the second quarter and didn’t return. … WR Malik Taylor had an abdominal injury. … WR Equanimeous St. Brown left to get evaluated for a concussion. … TE Dominique Dafney injured an ankle.

TAGLIABUE HONORED

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was honored during a halftime ceremony recognizing his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

UP NEXT

Bears: Host Minnesota on Dec. 20.

Packers: At Baltimore on Sunday.

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