Bears at Packers score: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay run over Chicago as Mitchell Trubisky stumbles in prime time

The Chicago Bears hoped that Mitchell Trubisky would begin a comeback tour in his first start since Week 3 on Sunday night, but it turns out not even a quarterback switch could save Windy City from its ongoing decline. The Green Bay Packers looked comfortable right out of the gate in Week 12’s NFC North showdown, and thanks to nearly flawless performances from Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Matt LaFleur’s cruising offense, the home team completely ran away with it in prime time. A trio of Trubisky turnovers, coupled with a collapse by Chicago’s defense, helped seal the big Packers victory, a 41-25 rout that keeps Green Bay firmly atop the division.

Sunday night’s decision confirmed that the two sides are headed in opposite directions. The Packers are now 8-3 and three games ahead of Chicago in the North, not to mention 4-1 at home. The Bears, who once stood atop the NFC after opening the season 5-1, have now lost five straight and are in danger of falling behind the streaking Minnesota Vikings.

It was a wild Week 12 Sunday and there’s a lot to go over. John Breech, Ryan Wilson and host Will Brinson break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.

Here are some immediate takeaways from Sunday night’s Packers rout.

Why the Packers won

Their offense was basically unstoppable. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Against a well-regarded defense, Aaron Rodgers flicked the ball with ease, lofting and side-arming wide-open targets with the notable cushion of a steady ground game. Matt LaFleur dialed up plenty of straightforward carries for Aaron Jones early on, and Chicago had no answer for them, with Rodgers then finishing drives by finding his Big Three in Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan. Jamaal Williams was almost as effective running up the gut once the score got out of hand, combining with Jones to gain more than 160 yards against the Bears’ front.

Defensively, the Pack looked vulnerable out of the gate but quickly capitalized on Mitchell Trubisky’s errant deep shots (Darnell Savage was gifted a pair of picks) before icing the game away by feasting on Chicago’s maligned O-line. Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith were predictably productive when they needed to be to keep the heat on Trubisky.

Why the Bears lost

Two reasons, primarily: No. 1, they didn’t have a viable replacement for Akiem Hicks; and No. 2, they didn’t get even a slight upgrade at quarterback. Let’s start with the latter: Mitchell Trubisky legitimately opened the night well, with two red-zone drops softening an otherwise promising return under center. From that point forward, though, he did more to hurt the Bears than help them, perhaps even more than the injured Nick Foles; his two INTs were incredibly off-target lobs into double coverage, his second-quarter fumble gave Green Bay a 27-3 lead, and he repeatedly short-hopped balls down the stretch. Play-calling didn’t always help, with the Bears all but abandoning David Montgomery despite an early 57-yard sprint.

The defense might’ve been more disappointing considering Trubisky’s already-spotty track record. Hicks’ absence left a gaping hole in the middle of the D-line, but the secondary was also victimized early and often, particularly in the red zone where they’d previously thrived.

Turning point

First down Bears, at the Packers’ 38. Green Bay had just driven 75 yards for a touchdown to go up 6-3 in the first, but Chicago was about to strike back with a second straight promising series of its own. And then the Trubisky of old reared his ugly head, trying a deep end-zone shot to a well-covered Darnell Mooney and essentially punting the ball right back to Green Bay. Although the game was still within three points at the time, that turnover unmasked Trubisky, erased a would-be scoring drive and set up another clock-burning TD series for Green Bay. The game was never close from that point forward.

Play of the game

Give it to Preston Smith, the big man who not only came off the edge to pressure Trubisky but then scooped up Mitch’s fumble and outraced everyone for six, which put the Packers up 27-3:

What’s next

The Packers (8-3) will be back at Lambeau in Week 13, when they’re set to host the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1), who will be coming off a short week following Monday’s game against Seattle. The Bears (5-6), meanwhile, will try to get back to .500 as they return to Soldier Field to host the rival Detroit Lions (4-7), who will be playing their first game since the firing of coach Matt Patricia.

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