CHICAGO - Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, breaking his franchise record for scoring passes in a season, and the Green Bay Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC by beating the playoff-bound Chicago Bears 35-16 on Sunday, Jan. 3.
The Packers (13-3) earned a bye while winning their sixth in a row and beat Chicago (8-8) for the 19th time in 22 games, counting the postseason.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 03: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on January 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Bears are headed to the playoffs for the second time in coach Matt Nagy’s three years despite the loss because Arizona fell to the Los Angeles Rams. Chicago will be at New Orleans (12-4).
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.
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 Chicago, counting the postseason.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 03: Marquez Valdes-Scantling #83 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after catching a 72 yard touchdown pass against Danny Trevathan #59 of the Chicago Bears during the second quarter in the game at Soldier Field on Januar
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.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 03: Robert Tonyan #85 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates with his teammate Corey Linsley #63 after scoring a 3 yard touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter in the game at Soldier Field on January 03,
The Packers took the field Sunday without offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, who will miss the rest of the season after the three-time Pro Bowl selection injured his knee in practice Thursday.
The game started with an opening kickoff challenge after Bears' Cordarrelle Patterson slipped at the 1-yard line. The ruling on the field that Patterson was out of bounds before he touched the ball would stand, and the Packers lost a timeout.
Chicago got on the board with a touchdown run by David Montgomery with about 7:30 left in the first quarter -- an opening drive score. With the extra point, the Bears led 7-0.
The Packers got on the board as the second quarter began with Robert Tonyan's 11th touchdown catch of the season. Mason Crosby's extra point was good, bringing the score to 7 all after the Packers' 12-play drive.
A 30-yard field goal put the Bears up 10-7 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half.
A 72-yard touchdown run by Marques Valdez Scantling put the Packers back in the lead with 14 points over Chicago's 10 with 8:30 left in the second quarter.
A touchdown catch by Dominique Dafney extended the Packers' lead to 21-10. Dafney saw his first NFL touchdown one week after his first NFL touch.
The Bears added a field goal just before halftime, bringing the score to 21-13.
Another Chicago field goal in the third quarter brought the score to 21-16.
An Aaron Jones touchdown run extended the Packers' lead to 28-16 with under four minutes remaining in the game.
Davante Adams' touchdown catch further extended the Packers' lead with under three minutes remaining, bringing the score to 35-16 -- the final.