Detractors of Green Bay Packers (5-1) MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers try to suggest that he’s aloof and perhaps not fully invested in his team. Those criticisms became somewhat legitimate after an offseason in which Rodgers considered not playing for the Packers and perhaps even retiring.
Any questions about Rodgers’ emotional connection to this season were answered, though, when he scrambled for a six-yard touchdown run with 4:30 to go in the Packers’ Week 6 tilt against their bitter rival, the Chicago Bears (3-3).
The touchdown put the Packers up, 24-14, and essentially acted as the dagger that stole all the air out of Soldier Field. In fact, 24-14 was the final score.
After the run, Rodgers was visibly pumped up. After flashing his signature “Discount Double Check” belt celebration, the MVP had some choice words while taunting the deflated Chicago crowd.
Aaron Rodgers taunted Bears fans, but he still spoke truth: “I’ve owned you all my f****** life! I own you, I still own you.”
Though he was clearly emotional after the touchdown run, another take on Rodgers’ trash talk is that the MVP was simply presenting facts for the Chicago crowd.
They may not have liked his presentation (it was actually a bit more profanity-laced than the provided clip) but it’s clear as day that whether at home or on the road, Rodgers is absolutely dominant against the Packers’ biggest rival.
Rodgers improved his record to 22-5 overall against the Bears. He’s thrown for 6,013 yards and 55 touchdowns against Chicago, compared to just 10 interceptions. His passer rating against the Bears is an incredible 107.2.
Rodgers is 11-3 overall when playing the Bears at Soldier Field. He absolutely owns the Windy City.
The Bears haven’t beaten the Packers since the 2018 season, and remember, these two division rivals play twice a season. Chicago’s last win against Green Bay was at Soldier Field in December 2018. To put that into context, Mike McCarthy had been fired by the Packers earlier in that season and Joe Philbin was serving as Green Bay’s interim head coach. Mitchell Trubisky was in his second season with the Bears.
Things have changed a ton since that game, and things have obviously changed a ton since Rodgers entered the rivalry as a full-time starter for the Packers all the way back in 2008.
His dominance over the Bears has remained the only constant for both franchises.
The Green Bay Packers are on a roll
After a disappointing and frankly, discouraging, loss to start the 2021 season, the Packers have apparently gotten their mojo back. Green Bay’s win over Chicago marks their fifth in a row, and with The Washington Football Team (2-4) up next on the slate, the Packers appear to be poised to keep rolling.
Critics will say that Green Bay looks much the same that we’ve seen over years past. That they’re a great team but don’t have what it takes to get over the hump and get back to the Super Bowl. That remains to be seen, but the Packers have displayed more toughness and grit than they have in years past, and perhaps that can be the difference for this team in the playoffs.
The truth is, Chicago was not an easy out for the Packers. In fact, there were times in the game when the Bears seemed to be far more physical.
Chicago’s home-field advantage was clear when the Bears jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and it was even more evident in the fourth quarter when Chicago stole the momentum back from Green Bay. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields had just led the Bears on a 10-play drive that spanned 80 yards and ended in a touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney. Fields completed 5-of-5 passes on that drive and the Bears seemed to be in control of the game with the crowd at their back.
Rodgers countered on the next drive by hitting Davante Adams for a 41-yard strike to flip the field for Green Bay. Three players later, his clutch touchdown run gave the Packers a ten-point lead and they never looked back.
The Packers showed grit and mental toughness against a tough opponent once again, and they didn’t let the ups and downs of the game take them out of it mentally. They outscored the Bears 24-7 after Chicago jumped out to the early lead.
Rodgers has had the efficiency of an MVP in 2021
Rodgers completed an efficient 17-of-23 passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions against the Bears. He also carried the ball seven times for 19 yards, with one touchdown.
Those aren’t necessarily jaw-dropping numbers from Rodgers, but Chicago has one of the best defenses in the NFL. Heading into the matchup, the Bears had the 7th ranked overall defense in the league.
Still, the MVP facilitated an offense that saw Adams catch four passes for 89 yards, and running back Aaron Jones put up 110 total offensive yards. Rodgers spread the ball around to seven different receivers and finished with a passer rating of 128. Allen Lazard caught his first touchdown of the year on a shuffle-pass and appears to be heating up thanks to the trust his quarterback continues to put in him.
The point is, Rodgers wasn’t flashy against the Bears, but he was consistent and efficient.
With that said, all that efficiency will fade in light of the touchdown run that will go down as yet another chapter in this rivalry that saw No. 12 completely rip the hearts out of Bears fans everywhere once again.
“I own you.”