Packers

Top 5 Best Packers-Bears Games in Rodgers Era

In this historic rivalry, five Packers-Bears games stand out from the crowd

When Rodgers became the starter in 2008, a big responsibility was put on his shoulders. Winning a super bowl and getting an MVP was nice and all, but he was tasked with Bear hunting twice a year. Before Rodgers was drafted in 2005, Brett Favre had only lost four games against the Bears as a starter. Rodgers is currently 22-5 against the Bears

22-5…

In some games Rodgers absolutely demolishes Chicago (like six touchdowns in one game) or has a flair for the dramatic, making the game close until the end. As we get ready for this week’s matchup against the Bears, let’s look at the top five Packers-Bears games in the Rodgers era.

These rankings are just my own opinion based on memorability, big moments, and impact on the season. If you disagree or have a game I didn’t mention, leave it in the comments below! But without further ado, here is my list.

#5 “Sunday Night Massacre” Rodgers throws Six Touchdowns vs the Bears (November 9th, 2014)

Sunday Night Football, NBC

What’s great about the Packers-Bears rivarly over the years is how close a lot of these games are, and how the stakes are so high.

This is not one of those games. This is putting a bear down in the woods, but it’s on National Television for everyone to see.

Everyone remembers the Packers scoring SIX touchdowns in the first half and the iconic 42-0 score at halftime. But how the Packers dominated is another story. It only took the Packers seven drives to score 42 points. The only drive they didn’t score was a fumble at the goalline by Cobb. So it easily could’ve been SEVEN touchdowns in a half.

But if you’re going to score six touchdowns in a half, you have to do it quickly. The Packers were scoring at a record pace. The first drive took 12 plays, but the next five drives took 4 plays, 3 plays, 4 plays, 5 plays, and 6 plays. It wasn’t just short drives either. That 5 play drive was 95 yards down the field.

This was peak Aaron Rodgers. Whenever I look back at the Packer’s history the last 2 decades, this 2014 team was the best of them all (yes, even better than the 2010 6-seed team that won the Super Bowl).

#4 Bears Spoil Favre’s Return on Thanksgiving (November 26th, 2015)

NBC Sports

Being a Packers fan, I think I’ve always believed in storybook endings. We’ve been very fortunate to experience some of the greatest moments as Packer fans, especially against the Bears (as we will see with games 3-1 below). I mean, on Thanksgiving night, with my entire family watching this game, we were fully expecting to be feasting on Bear meat.

But on this night, Chicago played spoiler.

In a rare game where Jay Cutler outplayed Rodgers, Aaron only threw for 200 yards and a touchdown and struggled to move down the field the entire game. The Packers even turned the ball over twice in the second half, which is very rare.

Aaron had a chance at the very end to win it at the goal line, but couldn’t connect with Devante Adams or James Jones. The Bears would win this slugfest 17-13, but that’s not why this game is on the list.

It was all about the Favre retirement ceremony. So many emotions going into that game. Will Favre be accepted by Packer’s fans again? (even though he did return that August to a sold-out crowd). But what made the night was Bart Starr surprising everyone coming out during halftime to celebrate with Favre, and even Rodgers.

That’s when my Grandfather started to cry. Seeing three Packer legends on the field at the same time probably made a lot of Packer fans emotional.

That would be the last time Starr would step on Lambeau Field. Sure, Chicago won this Packers-Bears game in dramatic fashion. But just because of that moment during halftime, I’m tempted to put this game higher on the list. But dear lord are there some amazing games coming up.

Shawn Hubbard

#3 “Lambeau Miracle” Rodgers Leads comeback in Season Opener (September 9th, 2018)

Benny Seiu. USA Today

Let me just set the scene really quick, because I think we tend to forget our emotions before Rodgers…. did his thing.

The Packers had just missed the playoffs the previous season for the first time since 2008. The Bears had just made a blockbuster trade for Khail Mack, and #2 overall pick Mitch Trubiksy just got an offensive guru head coach in Matt Nagy. I was scared going into this game that the power struggle in the NFC North was about to change.

Then this classic Packers-Bears game started.

Packers punt in their first four drives, Trubiksy leads two straight scoring drives to start the game, and then Rodgers goes down. My heart sank. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Lambeau so quiet in my life. We had already gone through a season losing Rodgers to a collarbone injury, this can’t happen again, right?

But Aaron gets carted off. Then Khail Mack goes nuclear, forcing a fumble, and picking off DeShone Kizer for six. 17-0 at halftime.

I was watching the game with friends at my dorm, and we turned the TV off and went to a bar to drown our sorrows of a lost season, only one half into it. As we order our first round, my friend Kyle points to the TV and screams “Holy S***, Rodgers is back!”.

After getting carted off, Rodgers trots back on the field to start the second half, and he was out for blood. He would have four drives in the second half. The Packers would score on all of them, while Rodgers was just on one leg. That throw Rodgers made to Geronimo in the corner of the endzone nearly 50 yards out was simply amazing.

Then Cobb’s 75-yard gallop to win the game was simply magical. My favorite reaction to a Packer game of all time is from @sarahkelliher4 who described how Packer fans felt after a game like that.

Now, this season would end up being the downfall for Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, and the Bears would win the NFC North. But in classic Bears fashion, they double doinked their chance at seizing the North for the years to come. Classic Chicago.

#2 “4th and 8” Packers Win the North on Week 17 (December 29th, 2013)

Greg Bedard, Sports Illustrated

Man, was this game a dog fight; a classic Packers-Bears game. Six lead changes (biggest lead being 8 points), four turnovers combined by both teams, 824 combined total yards, and a finish for the ages to decide the North.

Rodgers started off awful, with two straight picks to start the game. But the Packers would take the lead before halftime 13-7, with the help of the weirdest touchdown in Packers history.

But then Jay Cutler didn’t fumble the game, scoring three straight touchdowns taking a 28-20 lead. The Packers scored quickly from a 6 yard run by Lacy to make it 28-27. (I still don’t comprehend the decision to not go for two to tie the game). Then everyone remembers what happened.

On a 15 play, 86 yard drive, the Packers would convert three 4th downs, including probably the most iconic play in recent memory. On a full-out Blitz, Rodgers barely avoids Julius Peppers and finds Randall Cobb 48 yards downfield on a 4th and 8 to take the lead with 38 seconds left. That Packers radio call still is engraved in my mind (HE’S GOT RANDALL COBB!!)

The Packers would end up getting smacked by the 49ers in the Wild-Card, but denying the Bears a playoff berth in Chigaco, in dramatic fashion; it doesn’t get better than that.

Oh, wait it does.

#1 Packers win the NFC Title in Chicago (January 23rd, 2011)

Rex Arbogast, AP

In doing research for this article, I found this game never on the top of people’s list, which is a shame. This might not only be the best Packers-Bears game in recent memory but the best game in the Packer’s history.

Rodgers was on the verge of appearing in his first Super Bowl in just his third year as a starter. But he had to play CHICAGO?! It was the first time these historic rivals had met in the playoffs since 1944, and wow was this an amazing game.

It was a warm January afternoon getting up to 18 degrees, and Aaron wasted no time. The Packers scored on their opening drive on a 1 yard Rodgers bootleg where he just crossed the goal line. Eight out of the next nine drives ended in punts, then back-to-back interceptions by both teams. This was a slugfest, at 14-0 at halftime.

But when the Bears started the second half, their starter Jay Cutler wasn’t on the field. He was out with a “knee injury”. (In no way am I assuming Culter got flustered with how bad he was playing and over-exaggerated a minor injury to quit on his team in the NFC Championship game. That would be mean). The Bears went with their 3rd string quarterback in Caleb Hanie would have never thrown a touchdown pass.

And he looked great. Immediately, the Bears scored a touchdown to make it 14-7, and the Packer’s offense would muster a drive longer than six plays. So with seven minutes left down a touchdown, the Bears had a chance to tie the game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. But the Bears forgot about one man.

JR Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

340 pound BJ Raji dropped into coverage and picked off Haine for six. Typing that I sound like I’m writing fiction. But that really happen. In the NFC championship game. The Bears would make it close, and It would take a game-winning interception by Sam Shield to win it. But that Raji touchdown sealed the deal. That moment in my humble opinion is the best play in the Bears-Packers rivalry.

In a classic low-scoring slugfest with the NFC title on the line, a BJ Raji interception was the tiebreaker. Does it get any better than that?

Follow me on Twitter at @Logan_Winser and follow @WiSportsHeroics as well for more great Wisconsin sports content! To keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin Sports click here!

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