Sunday Night wrap-up: Cart-iac Pack comeback for Aaron Rodgers

AP

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers only needs one leg, as long as he has that arm.

Rodgers was clearly not himself after leaving with a left leg injury in the first half, but did the things we’re so accustomed to seeing him do over the years in the Packers’ 24-23 win over the Bears.

Coming back from a 20-0 deficit would have been impressive if well. But Rodgers clearly wasn’t, after he was carted to the locker room in the second quarter after being folded awkwardly on a sack. He was not able to put his full weight on his left leg in the second half, which would impact the mechanics of mortal quarterbacks.

But that would imply mortality.

Rodgers was 17-of-23 for 249 yards and three touchdowns in the second half.

Whether he’s able to continue playing with what appears to be a legitimate injury — or to what extent it bothers him — remains to be seen. But at this point, only a fool would bet against him.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Yes, Khalil Mack is very good at football. But he has a lot of help, in addition to a lot of money.

With the benefit of a quarterback on a cheap rookie contract, the Bears have been able to stack up assets on defense, an investment which should pay off for years to come.

That begins with making Mack the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and he’s already earning that money, with a sack, a forced fumble which he recovered and an interception return for a touchdown in the first half.

When he came over in the preseason trade with the Raiders, Mack became the fifth player chosen in the first round on the Bears defense (along with Leonard Floyd, Roquan Smith, Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara), and defensive linemen Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, and Jonathan Bullard were chosen in the second, third and third rounds respectively. Hicks was signed to a contract extension last September, and the bevy of draft picks and financial flexibility gives the Bears a core of players they should be able to work with for years to come.

It might not always be as dramatic as it was when they were pitching a first-half shutout, but there’s substantial reason for optimism in Chicago, a town that knows a little something about talented defenses.

2. The best thing that happened to Mitchell Trubisky wasn’t Matt Nagy, or Allen Robinson, or Taylor Gabriel, or Trey Burton.

The best thing that happened for the Bears’ second-year quarterback was Mack and that Bears defense.

While better play-calling and better offensive personnel will certainly help, a reduced burden of expectations might be the best thing for the development of a quarterback.

Trubisky wasn’t given much of a chance last year, when he had no receivers to speak of and a coach who wasn’t the friendliest for any quarterback, much less a rookie. Now he has some targets and a better game plan, to go with what was an already good offensive line and a diverse running game.

Trubisky might not be able to put up numbers like Jared Goff did for the Rams last year. But with the Bears’ defense, he may not have to.

3. Bears first-rounder Roquan Smith missed his entire rookie training camp and preseason, but he wasted no time at all once he got into a regular season game.

The linebacker from Georgia recorded a sack on his very first snap as a pro, cleaning up Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer after Mack pressured him out of the pocket.

Smith has been bothered lately by a hamstring injury, which kept him from getting any playing time in the preseason. And it took veteran Danny Trevathan leaving the game with a back injury to get Smith out there, as a full-time role isn’t prudent until he’s had time to acclimate.

But it’s also apparent he has the chance to be another impact player on a young team, as he was the kind of sideline-to-sideline linebacker who can change a defense.

4. There was plenty of speculation in Green Bay this offseason about wide receiver Randall Cobb‘s future. And with his age (28), injury issues (ankle), contract ($8.6 million in the final year of his deal), and their own track record, that’s reasonable.

But it seems like they’ve found their next young wideout on the assembly line in Geronimo Allison.

He stuck around as an undrafted rookie from Illinois in 2016, and as other options fell away (including Jordy Nelson this offseason), he has taken a more prominent role.

The 39-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter was a sign he’s emerging as the playmaker opposite Davante Adams, a player Rodgers seems to trust.

5. Around 9:30 p.m. ET, two of your resident geniuses here at PFT were ready to ask for a do-over.

At least since the other one was the boss, there’s probably some security in numbers.

But Rodgers leaving the field shows how quickly things can change, and that for most teams, all the planning in the world can’t help you avoid bad luck.

The Packers may or may not be any better off with Kizer than they were with Brett Hundley last year if Rodgers misses time, but that’s the case with most teams. Nick Foles and the Eagles will remain the exception, but that kind of depth is rare and a number of contenders (the Rams and the Panthers, among others) would be just as out of luck and planning for the future if their starting quarterback went down.

127 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Cart-iac Pack comeback for Aaron Rodgers

  1. Diehard pats fan from Mass living in Chicago where my wife is from.

    1 hour ago..SCREAMING AND CHEERING.
    1 hour later, my windows are open to a nice cool late summer night and I hear…Crickets……

  2. Fun game. Rodgers is special. All Nagy had to do was run rather than pass on those two 3rd and short plays in the 4th Q – can’t give Rodgers the time or the opening. Congrats to the Pack.

  3. Wow. Chicago couldn’t beat a one legged QB, even with a 17 point lead. Nagy and Trubitsky choked with play calling and execution and the defense had lead in their pants. Yikes.

  4. It was Bears football just as we have come to expect. In the 2nd half they played like the owner who watched the game from the luxury boxes. 20 to zilch lead taken from them by a fellow on 1 leg. What a mess!

  5. Drama queen. Hearing Cris Collinsworth act like a kid who still believes in Santa as if Rodgers was playing on one leg was degrading to my ears. The poor boy probably had his feelings hurt after being hit and needed to be carted off

  6. Spin it any way you want. The Bears may be screwed with contract later, They might not be able to recover from the loss of the first round picks. One thing is certain, this loss set the Bears back 100 years….

    I died laughing at CC….

  7. cheeseisfattening says:
    September 9, 2018 at 9:42 pm
    Not impressed with the Vikings win, how do you feel now about the Packers stella?
    //////////////////////////////

    How am I feeling about the Packers? I think Matthews is an overpaid huck. But, I really really vike Rodgers and the Packers right now.

    Thanks for asking buddy.

  8. Rodgers, with his surgically repaired leg, minus a bendable knee, was able to ignore the pain and overwhelm the entire Bears team on his own.

  9. But Sharon Dodgers is incapable of coming from behind. She is most certainly not able to have a 4th quarter come back. Or so I am told. Lol

  10. This might keep them Purples quiet for a few hours. But probably not. Ugly win. Good challenge by McCarthy late. My apologies to Randall Cobb….I thought your ability to make plays was gone.

  11. Can we stop all the Mack talk now Bears fans? Yes he is awesome… yes I wish we could still have him… yes he will be the best player on your team. But, you still lost didn’t you? We still lost with him too. And that’s why Oakland didn’t pay him. It takes more than one man to turn around a franchise. It takes a whole roster. Enjoy that mega contract, we’ll enjoy your two 1st round picks.

  12. Call me crazy but mack quit running on cobbs touchdown, if mack keeps running, he may have hindered cobbs progress to the endzone. And fuller has to make that INT. Almost as bad as sean davis dropping Brady’s last year.

  13. Wow what a great defense giving up a 17 pt lead and three TDs in a quarter /eyeroll. As long as trubisky is the QB those raiders picks will both be top three picks.

  14. Wow, pretty obvious the Bears gotta rookie head coach with that play call on 3rd and 1 to end the game. Not even a play action?!?!?. Ya lets leave an ectra 40 seconds on the clock for Fraudgers to work his miracle flukeness. Brutal, brutal, brutal……fail Nagy.

  15. The Bears didn’t need to do much in the second half to win that game. They did nothing. And Trubisky looked terrible, overthrowing everyone. Also, they may want to find a center who can snap the ball lower than 3 feet over Trubisky’s head.

  16. Where to begin:
    1. Kudos to Bears for what, against any other QB (okay maybe not Brady), would have been a victory;
    2. Cobb = Bear Killer …..again;
    3. Matthews…you sullied this win with your cheap shot. I used to defend you…no more;
    4. Rodgers: Tougher than nails – legendary win;
    5. Packers second half defense showed up – you won’t have the luxury of playing half a game next week. Vikings will be a dog fight;
    6. Rodgers: Oh yea…his collarbone is just fine.

  17. navyvandal says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:32 pm
    Diehard pats fan from Mass living in Chicago where my wife is from.

    1 hour ago..SCREAMING AND CHEERING.
    1 hour later, my windows are open to a nice cool late summer night and I hear…Crickets……

    ——————————————-

    Absolutely AWESOME!!!

  18. I can’t believe that just happened.

    I was preparing my “good win bears” post from the stands while drinking a beer at halftime. Then Rodgers came out and I watched the greatest sports moment I’ve seen from the stands.

    Tomorrow I’ll worry about Rodgers against an even better defense next week, but tonight I just get to celebrate this.

    Amazing. The ride home is going to be pure bliss with a smile that won’t come off.

  19. 1mge says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Rodgers only needed 2 1/2 quarters to beat the Bears
    —————–
    And one good leg. GOAT.

  20. As a Vikings fan, I’ll be honest.
    I was a big Aaron Rodgers hater.
    Not because of the Packers/Vikings rivalry.
    But because the Vikings had TWO opportunities to draft him, but never did!
    AAARGH!

    Okay.
    That said, Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
    Just HOW could the Packers have two legendary quarterbacks back to back and only have two Superbowls to show for it is beyond me!

  21. Trubiski looked like garbage after the initial scripted plays, tons of erratic throws. He’s just not a starting caliber QB in the NFL, and the Bears have no draft pick to get a new QB.

  22. you can tell Nagy is an Andy Reid disciple, if he keeps the ball in Jordan Howard’s hands, the bears win but nope, he’s got to throw thinking he’d out smart the idiot on the other side Mike McCarthy. That guy has got to be the worst and luckiest coach in the league. The packers have won for years despite him

  23. Fuller dropped the pass, went right thru this open arms to fall harmlessly to the ground. As bad of a break as it was, let’s hope the Bears forget this loss and focus on their two games with the Vikings.

  24. Guess those Bears fans got caught celebrating a little too early. Pretty clear that Green Bay should be in the market for a better back up QB.

    Speaking of which, does anyone still want to pretend like Khalil Mack was more valuable to the Raiders than Derek Carr? He showed exactly who he was tonight. He’s one of the most elite defensive players in football. He had 2 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a pick 6. That’s pretty ridiculous. Mack is special, but you can’t expect that kind of production every game. You got to enjoy a special debut from your new stud…but did it help you win? No.

    The other team has a QB that can throw a team on his back and you don’t. That makes more of an impact than any individual defensive player ever could…no matter how transcendent the talent. I’m not saying Derek Carr is Aaron Rodgers or anything. I’m just saying the Raiders clearly think he can win them more games than the best defensive player in football.

    I hope they are right, because Mack is a stud. If he didn’t screw us while he was still under contract, I may not be rooting for you both to fail…but…he did…so here we are.

  25. Incredible opening night for the NFL season! Bringing Lazarus back from the dead was sheer brilliance. No doubt fhe NFL and NBC will be up for an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, VMA, CMA and participation trophy for this effort. Vincent McMahon is one proud papa. Way to go…..

  26. For all you jokers claiming AR is not a gamer.Up yours.

    —-

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think Rodgers isn’t a ‘gamer’. Most consider him one of, or the, best to ever play. But as we saw once again… We have nothing except Rodgers and it’s been that way for at least 6 years.

  27. Drama. Queen. Bears still have to get the killer instinct, but gotta give it to the Green Bay Rodgers, they do what they do. Still, its a long season and the Bears showed significant improvement.

  28. ariani1985 is still convinced Aaron Rodgers has never won a game when trailing in the 4Q. Congrats to the Bears for a hell of a game, I think they’re headed in the right direction.

  29. shlort says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:32 pm
    I haven’t seen anything like that in a lo g time. Amazing comeback.

    Guess you don’t watch much football. Remember 28-3 ? That was 25 points not a measly 17. We probably seen that a handful of times last year.

  30. Bears had every opp to capitalize on stoopid Clay Matthews penalty. Saw Trubisky RUNNING in the beginning of the game, but no runs near the end of the game — on a 3rd & long, in fact, there was an open lane for Trubisky to tuck ‘n’ run and get the 1st Down, but no run, dude?

    Another misstep, having had a 17-point lead… tsk-tsk!

    Cleveland hung dey hat against cheap$kate Rooney Family (Pittsburgh) today 21-21 Tie. The Sun is finally coming out in Cleveland. Say what you will about Gregg Williams/DC Cleveland, but he is getting results, peeps.

  31. Wisco: The Bears made us struggle. But we have Aaron. And still no more.
    >>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<
    Hmmmmm. Wisco, this is a little weak for you. You write like you're out of breath.

  32. Add another to the long list of embearassments of one of the most pathetic amd gutless franchises in all of sport. Yeah eventually when Rodgers retires or gets old the Bears might start pounding on the Packers, like they did for a brief while there when Favre got old. That won’t provide any kind of solace or source of pride to me as a Bears fan. You would think that after Rodgers stuck it to them YEARS AGO on that 4th and 8 play in Week 17 to win the NFC North, that theyd at least have SOME pride in them to win a game against GB every once in a while. That victory at GB on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago is the only time theyve actually manned up and beaten the Packers when it actually mattered. To call this a “rivalry” over the past 25 years is a complete joke.
    -Bears fan

  33. Mack is a monster. Bulaga needed help but didn’t get it. McCarthy should’ve been going max protect from the beginning. That Bears front 7 with Mack is great. Wow. Kizer is terrible. Bears should have won the game and would have won the game, but, well, Rodgers…

  34. Great game Chicago. If anyone wants to know why this is called “The Greatest Rivalry in Sports” they witnessed why tonight.

    The first half Pettine refused to blitz Trubisky and I nearly lost my mind. Then starting in the 2nd half he started dialing up the exotic blitzes and I said to those I was watching with “We got this” This defense had some growing pains tonight and there are some things to clean up, but this defense is going to be very good.

    What Aaron did is not surprising to those of us that know the person and the player he really is….not the lies and fake narrative the jealous haters here spew.

    I would also like to say to the “Packers fans” here that keep saying “Randall Cobb sucks” Please sit down now and eat that crow.

    Aaron Rodgers when asked how confident he is about being able to play next week:

    “Oh I’m playing next week”

    #100Seasons

    #Titletown

    #GoPackGo!

  35. ‪Gave up 21 pts in the fourth quarter. Blew a 20-3 lead. Mack had one qb rush in the entire second half. They adjusted and shut him down. And he gave up on that Cobb run. Let up and coulda had him once he turned the jets on again at the goal line. ‬

  36. Once GB went to max protect it changes the whole complexion of the game. CHI secondary is terrible. There’s a reason the Giants got rid of Amukamara even though they desperately needed secondary help.

  37. I’m a Trubi fan, but he looked confused and jittery in that second half. Seeing ghosts and running with it nearly every play. Nagy’s play calling was terrible. Nothing but crap screens that could be read a mile away. Felt like I was watching Marc Trestman all over again.

    All credit to the Packers and Rodgers, but as a Bears fan, it stung to see them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like that. At least the Bears D looks like they have some real teeth. Imagine what they’ll do after Mack learns the playbook!

  38. I never thought NFL would become NBA but boy that was bad. I said that Packluck would win once Rodgers returned from his fake injury. I doubt anyone else thought that.

  39. NFL is super fixed. Same thing happened against Lions in 2015, you just knew the NFL would create a new storyline for people to talk about. Slowly turning into WWE.

  40. The Bears really managed a team loss there. Nagy had the offense looking great in the first half, then played prevent offense the entire second half. Apparently, you can hire the coach away from Andy Reid, but you cannot take the clock management away out of him. The offense looked like John Fox was calling plays for most of the second half. And that 3rd and 1 when the Bears needed a first to basically ice the game…what are you doing passing that ball? Jordan Howard had been ramming it down their throats the entire drive, and when the game is on the line, he’s not even on the field. What was that? Just horrific. Kyle Fuller also managed to chip in by dropping yet another interception, which again would have ended the game. I know it’s the first game and it should get better, but they really had to all pitch in to give this one away.

  41. Pay the qauarteback, not the edge rusher. Khalil had a heck of a first half. Disappeared in the second. Rodgers plays on one leg and makes a great comeback in the second. Wasted money.

  42. This proves that the greatest DEF player is no match for the a great QB and they should be paid accordingly … if your goal is jjust to beat QB’s like Kizer, then yep, get a bunch of great DEF players but when playoffs roll around, without your own great QB? Not worth it. just look at Von Miller – Super great when Manning was on team but can’t win anything major without a great QB.

  43. I usually go to bed at halftime.
    I stayed up to watch.

    One of the most amazing games I have ever seen.
    Rodgers was unreal.
    The Bears defense didn’t do anything.
    And Nagy clearly took the Andy Reid approach.
    They should have ran on third down to run the clock. Call a timeout if short to avoid delay of game.
    Should have discuused going for it on 4th down to eat time.

    Just wow.

  44. tinye67 says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:53 pm
    Collinsworth is becoming unlistenable. The non stop fawning and gushing over Rodgers was embarrassing.

    /////

    Yeah really.

    I mean collinsworth, and the games are rigged for the Packers.

    Your delusional.

  45. There is room for optimism, but that was deflating. The offense looked one dimensional and raised more questions than it answered. I’m going leave it at that.

  46. hello3987 says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:36 pm
    Why do so many people hear hate Aaron Rodgers.
    ////////////////////

    The don’t hate Rodgers. They are having trouble living with the fact that he does not play for their favorite team.

  47. stellarperformance says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    How am I feeling about the Packers? I think Matthews is an overpaid huck. But, I really really vike Rodgers and the Packers right now.
    ###

    Disingenuous, Liar, Quitter, Fight Picker….

    These are your own words, just an hour and 41 minutes ago:

    stellarperformance says:
    September 9, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    This Packer team sucks. No o-line, no pass rush, no DB’s, no receivers, no running backs, and now…….no quarterback.
    ###

    Your new name is “QUITTER” as far as I’m concerned.

    What a freakin’ fairweather fan.

    You boast of being a season ticket holder – I bet you were one of those folks shown leaving Lambeau at halftime and were posting as you were being driven home.

    Show some class and don’t ever boast here again.

  48. billshatnerstoupee says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:52 pm
    NE fans are huddled in the corner, sobbing. Rodgers outplayed Brady.
    =
    If I understand numbers correctly, coming back from 28-3 is more amazing than coming back form 20-0. Oh yeah, and try it in a SB against the best the NFC had to offer. Rodgers is far and away the 2nd best QB of his time.

  49. Raiders may lose tonight without Khalil Mack but the Bears lost with Khalil Mack.
    He is great! I’m ok with it though.

  50. Last time Green Bay won a home opener 24-23 was 1992 when Brett Favre replaced an injured Don Majkowski and rallied Pack over Bengals by hitting Kitrick Taylor with TD in waning moments.

  51. He’s not human! That comeback was insane to watch. Chicago saw it coming and there was nothing they could do to stop Rodgers on one knee. Unreal performance.

  52. Forget the Super Bowl; forget winning the NFC or divisional titles. Since 2012 and probably before only 2 games each year have had real importance to true Bear fans; at Green Bay and when Green Bay shows up in Chicago. Last night was a clear example of “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat same.” My bill of particulars:

    1. Monster 1 player contract. Have we forgotten the Jay Cutler deal as the Bears signed Mack? No real cap space left and no plans for Mack to play both ways. Where was the pass rush the 2nd half when GB had to pass?

    2. Loss of future drafts spots? Have the Bears forgotten what it cost to move from 3d to 2nd in the draft two years ago? The Bears secondary in the 2nd half was beyond horrible.

    3. You need a good QB. The Bears we ahead 20 to zilch, not because of a great 1st half by Trubisky but because the Packers played so poorly. Trubisky did nothing to convince the audience he was the 2nd best player drafted two years ago. Least we forget the Pack did not make the play-offs last year. What were the Bears saving Trubisky from last year and during this year’s pre-season?

    The wandering in the desert continues for Da Bears regardless of what Nagy has to say about pride.

  53. Can we please get off the “Rogers it the GOAT”? He’s talented, certainly. This is all subjective and I can think of 10 QB’s who I feel are better. Great comeback, though.

  54. paul1990 says:
    September 10, 2018 at 9:32 am
    Can we please get off the “Rogers it the GOAT”? He’s talented, certainly. This is all subjective and I can think of 10 QB’s who I feel are better. Great comeback, though.

    ————

    Well, then you’re just really, really stupid.

  55. paul1990 says:
    September 10, 2018 at 9:32 am
    Can we please get off the “Rogers it the GOAT”? He’s talented, certainly. This is all subjective and I can think of 10 QB’s who I feel are better. Great comeback, though.

    ————

    From Ian O’Connor: “Tom Brady once told an NFL coach, if Aaron Rodgers had Patriots’ offensive scheme & institutional knowledge on opposing defenses, “He’d throw for 7,000 yards every year. He’s so much more talented than me.””

  56. sabatimus says:

    From Ian O’Connor: “Tom Brady once told an NFL coach, if Aaron Rodgers had Patriots’ offensive scheme & institutional knowledge on opposing defenses, “He’d throw for 7,000 yards every year. He’s so much more talented than me.””
    ###

    Another great thing about Tom Brady is he’s modest and is more concerned about winning championships than worrying about who is the highest paid QB on the planet.

  57. billshatnerstoupee says:
    September 9, 2018 at 11:52 pm
    NE fans are huddled in the corner, sobbing. Rodgers outplayed Brady.

    Yeah, no. See my above posts.

  58. gtodriver says:
    September 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm
    Another great thing about Tom Brady is he’s modest and is more concerned about winning championships than worrying about who is the highest paid QB on the planet.
    //////////////////////////////

    Fake News. Twisting the truth and distorting the facts fir you own benefit, again. The fact is, Rodgers never said anything substantive about the contract extension, from Day 1. He didn’t need to because the Packers told him they wanted to compensate him fairly. He trusted the process and low and behold……done deal. Very professional.

    I guess we’ll have to just start calling you Lying Goat.

  59. The game had the appearance that the GB D stepped up in the second half but Nagy went ultra conservative even though it seemed Chicago could get 6-7 yards whenever they wanted. Where in the hell was Clay Matthews?! If not for his boneheaded roughing the passer when the Pack had the game won on 4th down, Al & Cris would never have mentioned his name. Pathetic performance from #52 in Green and Gold–Should’ve included him and their 2 2019 first rounders in a proposal for Mack.

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