The Green Bay Packers locked up the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, and Aaron Rodgers just about solidified his MVP campaign with a 35-16 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 17. While the Bears fell short, the Arizona Cardinals‘ loss allowed Chicago to clinch a playoff berth.
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Story of the Game
Rodgers and the Packers' offense came into the game ranked first in expected points added per play (EPA) and continued that dominance, scoring 30-plus points in their 12th game this season. Rodgers eclipsed his career-high in touchdown passes, finishing the regular season with 48. His touchdown record can be attributed to his success throwing the ball in goal-to-go situations. He recorded three such touchdowns today, bringing his total to an NFL-leading 28 on the season.
On the receiving end of his last touchdown pass of the regular season was Davante Adams, marking his 18th such reception of the season. This puts Adams in elite company, becoming one of five players to ever catch 18 touchdown passes in a season and tying Sterling Sharpe for the franchise record.
Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears' offense came into this affair on a three-game winning streak and having scored 30-plus points in four straight contests. That came to a halt against the Packers' defense. Star wide receiver Allen Robinson II was shut down for the majority of the game and caught only two passes for 37 yards. David Montgomery continued his impressive recent stretch of either 100 yards rushing or a touchdown in every game since Week 12.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander was dominant once again at the cornerback position, allowing just seven yards on three targets.
With Alexander shutting down, rookie wide receiver Darnell Mooney stepped up for the Bears' offense. Mooney caught 11 passes on a game-leading 13 targets — both career highs. Tight end Cole Kmet also stepped up and was on the receiving end of seven Trubisky passes. Packers tight end Dominique Dafney caught his first career touchdown on his lone reception on the day.
Linebacker Krys Barnes was Green Bay's lone rookie with over 15 snaps. He led all defenders with 11 tackles and was the first to make contact on 12 of his 58 snaps. Cornerback Kindle Vildor was in coverage for 20 snaps, seeing two targets and allowing just one reception for three yards.
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