Aaron Rodgers was carted off the field with a left leg injury. The Chicago Bears were one sack away from installing a Khalil Mack statue at Soldier Field after one game. DeShone Kizer looked like a carbon copy of Brett Hundley, just with a much cooler name.
At the half, the scoreboard read “Bears 17, Packers 0,” and the return of Rodgers -- for the season, much less the game -- was in doubt. It was time to slam the panic button at Lambeau Field.
But then out comes Rodgers, the two-time NFL MVP, hobbling on one leg out of the locker room. No. 12 buckled down and went on to complete one of his best comebacks, maybe ever, leading Green Bay to a resilient, 24-23 victory over the rival Bears.
Inspired by Rodgers’ toughness, the defense stepped up and held Chicago to six points and 134 total yards of offense in the second half. For the most part, the young core of defensive backs – Kevin King, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson – looked strong and contributed to a key stop (two actually, thanks to a Clay Matthews roughing the passer penalty) in the final minute to seal the win.
The GOAT. The savior. The greatest to ever do it. Aaron Charles Rodgers wrote another chapter in his legacy Sunday night, returning from a concerning leg injury to lead the Packers back from a 20-0 deficit. He finished the night 20-of-30 for 286 passing yards and three touchdowns, all thrown in the final quarter. In fact, in the fourth quarter alone, Rodgers was 9-of-12 for 212 yards, a trio of touchdowns and a nearly perfect 156.2 passer rating.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME
“Don’t forget about me” might have been Randall Cobb’s motto in the offseason. Rumors swirled around this summer about Green Bay cutting the 28-year-old receiver, due to his large $12.7 million cap hit. So how did he respond? By posting the biggest box score of his eight-year career. Cobb saw a team-high 10 targets and finished with nine receptions for a career-best 142 yards and a touchdown -- the game-winning score, by the way. It was Cobb’s ninth career game with nine or more catches, and his first time racking up 100+ receiving yards since Oct. 9, 2016.
On 2nd-and-2 from Chicago’s 39-yard line and the Packers trailing 20-3 in the fourth quarter, Rodgers stepped up in the pocket – well, more like bounced around on his right leg – and delivered a bomb to Geronimo Allison, who was streaking down the sideline in single coverage. The ball dropped right into Allison’s hands and he completed the catch in the end zone, falling to the ground for the Packers’ first touchdown of the season. At that moment, everyone watching was thinking “Rodgers isn’t going to do this, is he? Is he?!?” Oh, yes. He was just getting started.
17 – Coming into Sunday night’s game, the Packers were 0-107 when entering the fourth quarter trailing by 17+ points. Well, that changed, as Green Bay battled back from a 20-3 deficit after three quarters. Just for fun, the biggest comeback in Packers history was from 23 points down. On Dec. 15, 2013, Green Bay was trailing 26-3 to Dallas at halftime before Matt Flynn (yes, Matt Flynn … Rodgers broke his collarbone that year) tossed four touchdown passes in the second half to lead the Packers to a 37-36 victory. How’s that for a little Monday morning trivia?
THEY SAID IT
“We’ll do tests tomorrow, and I’ll give a better answer on Wednesday when I talk. As long as there’s no major issues, I’ll keep playing.” -- quarterback Aaron Rodgers
“Playing behind Brett Favre for three years, you realize you need to be tough to play this position. In that situation, it’s about coming back out and leading. If you can do it and deal with the pain, you should be out there.” -- quarterback Aaron Rodgers
“We’ve got the best quarterback in the game. We’ve got the best wide receiver corps in the game. … I really trust my guys.” – wide receiver Davante Adams
“Remarkable. For him to get back out there in the second half is remarkable. … These are the kind of games you love to win because there’s so much adversity.” -- head coach Mike McCarthy
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Green Bay’s tour around the NFC North continues as the Packers host the Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Lambeau Field on Sunday at noon. Whether he has two functional legs or not, Rodgers will want to play to get revenge on the team that ended his season a year ago. Minnesota won its first game against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, 24-16.