Aaron Rodgers has been, on the whole, outstanding agianst the Bears since the beginning of the John Fox/Vic Fangio era in 2015. While the Packers lost that memorable Thanksgiving night game to the Bears at Lambeau Field in 2015, Rodgers’ numbers have been outstanding: 98/153 (64.1 completion percentage), 969 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception and a rating of 94.4.
“There’s not really much he can’t do as a quarterback on the football field,” safety Adrian Amos, who will likely start in place of an injured Quintin Demps this week, said. “He can run, he can throw, he can throw on the run. He has many years of doing it, he has experience with the receivers and that brings a lot of challenges. He can get out of the pocket, he can throw it, he can get you off-balance and little tricks to the trade that he knows to keep the defense on their heels.”
Rodgers is the kind of quarterback the Bears hope they have, eventually, in Mitchell Trubisky — a franchise-altering presence who annually competes for Super Bowls and makes everyone around him better. It seems like no matter who’s rotating in and out of the Packers’ offense, Rodgers will find a way to have success, especially against the Bears.
But consider this: Green Bay’s offensive line has allowed the second-most sacks of any unit (13, only behind the Indianapolis Colts) so far this year. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) and left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring) are both doubtful for Thursday night. And Rodgers has already thrown three interceptions after only throwing seven last year.
So this trip to Lambeau Field looks like a good opportunity for the Bears’ front seven to disrupt Rodgers and do some good things against a potent Packers offense. Fangio, though, cautioned against blitzing too aggressively given Rodgers’ ability to scramble (67 carries, 369 yards in 2016).
“They have to be able to rush the passer, contain him at the level of the quarterback,” Fangio said. “Can’t get too high, can’t get too low. We need good, even rush when playing a quarterback with his type of abilities.”
Rodgers, in that Thanksgiving loss to the Bears in 2015, had a rating of 62.4, threw an interception and was sacked twice. That’s a decent blueprint for success this Thursday, especially with a banged-up Packers offensive line.
But this is still Aaron Rodgers, as those at Halas Hall know all too well.
“I know they’ve had their share of injuries as well across the board,” Fox said. “On the short week, obviously it’s a challenge for both sides. But it starts with Aaron and he always makes things interesting.”