CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The Bears are off to the playoffs, though their game against the Green Bay Packers was not exactly a feel-good moment for fans.
As Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns and broke his franchise record for scoring passes in a season, the Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC by beating the Bears 35-16 on Sunday.READ MORE: Lollapalooza Cleanup Underway In Grant Park Amid COVID Concerns
The Packers (13-3) earned a bye while winning their sixth in a row and beat the Bears (8-8) for the 19th time in 22 games, counting the postseason.
Still, the Bears are backing into the playoffs for the second time in coach Matt Nagy’s three years despite the loss because Arizona fell to the Los Angeles Rams. The Bears will be at New Orleans (12-4).
The Bears jumped back into contention by winning three straight against struggling teams after dropping six in a row.
“The message to the team is this – it’s OK to feel like crap right now. We put a lot of time and effort into winning this football game and it sucks when you lose,” Nagy said. “But that said, but no one can take away what these players did to work themselves back into position to make the playoffs.”
The Bears players didn’t find out they were in the playoffs until Nagy let them know after the game, because they weren’t showing the score at Soldier Field.
“It’s a weird feeling. Obviously disappointed, but finding out we got in – just got rewarded for the work we put in the last couple weeks,” quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. “We’re in the playoffs and that’s really all that matters.”
“I don’t care how we got there. We’re in,” said Bears safety Eddie Jackson. “We just have to go out there and compete no matter how we got there.”
“A lot of teams don’t have the opportunity we have. It could be the other way,” said Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. “Our job to make the most of it; job to not let anything slip next game.”
Yet against Green Bay, the result was a familiar one.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported, the depleted Bears defense just couldn’t slow down Aaron Rodgers, and Trubisky and the offense couldn’t make enough plays to stay in it against the Packers.
Trubisky went 33 for 42 with 252 yards and an interception on Sunday.
Rookie Darnell Mooney set career highs with 11 catches and 93 yards before leaving early in the fourth period with an ankle injury. He was hurt when he was tackled going out of bounds after a catch.
David Montgomery ran for 69 yards and a touchdown and caught nine passes for 63 yards. Cairo Santos made all three field goals, extending his streak to a franchise-record 27.
For the Packers, Rodgers joined Peyton Manning (2004 and 2013) as the only players to throw for at least 45 touchdowns in multiple seasons. He now has 48, surpassing his previous high of 45 in his first MVP season of 2011.READ MORE: At Least 7 People Killed, 48 Wounded In Weekend Gun Violence Across Chicago
Rodgers completed 19 of 24 passes for 240 yards without an interception and had a 147.9 rating. He also improved to 21-5 against the Bears, counting the postseason.
Davante Adams broke Sterling Sharpe’s record for receptions in a season and tied his mark for touchdown catches in a year. Adams had six receptions to bump his total to 115 and surpass Sharpe’s mark of 112 in 1993. His 6-yard score late in the game gave him 18 TD’s, matching Sharpe’s team record in 1994.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught a 73-yard touchdown.
Aaron Jones ran for a score in the closing minutes. And the Packers beat the Bears again after pounding them at Lambeau Field to start their win streak.
The Packers were leading by five early in the fourth quarter when the Bears opted to go on fourth-and-1 at the 25 rather than kick a field goal. Trubisky’s pass to Allen Robinson got broken up. Green Bay then went 76 yards, with Jones scoring from the 4 to make it 28-16 with 3:47 remaining.
Adrian Amos then intercepted Trubisky at midfield and returned it to the Chicago 26, leading to a 6-yard touchdown catch for Adams.
So the Bears do get to playoffs for the second time in three years, but it’s also the second straight season they don’t finish the regular season with a winning record.
Of course, all the negativity would go away if they can somehow find a way to pull off the upset in New Orleans.
Packers: Nothing reported.
Bears: LB Roquan Smith (elbow) was hurt defending a run late in the first quarter and headed to the locker room.
Packers: The Packers have their sights set on a deep playoff run after losing to San Francisco in the conference championship game last season. They are off next weekend.
Bears: visit New Orleans next weekend.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: Man On Tracks Fatally Struck By UP-West Metra Train Near Oak Park
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