Packers 35, Bears 16: 2-minute drill

Green Bay used a strong fourth quarter to pull away from Chicago for a 35-16 win on Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and a first-round bye.

Game Balls

Offense: Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers finished the season with another remarkable effort as he put his parting shot on a year that should bring him his third NFL Most Valuable Player award. The Packers quarterback hit on his first 11 passes, including three touchdowns. Then, with Green Bay leading just 21-16 early in the fourth quarter, Rodgers led a pair of scoring drives, hitting on eight of his last nine throws and another touchdown pass.

In posting a quarterback rating of 147.9 on Sunday, Rodgers finished the year with a rating of 121.5. It’s the second-best rating in NFL history and trails only Rodgers’ rating of 122.5 in 2011.

His season numbers are a sight to behold:

4,299 yards
70.7% completions
48 touchdowns (Franchise record)
51 total touchdowns (Franchise record)
5 interceptions

Wide receiver Davante Adams said it best afterwards: “MVP should be locked up.”

Defense: Krys Barnes

Barnes was in and out of the lineup with injuries, but he still finished with a team-high 14 tackles. The rookie inside linebacker was part of a unit that held Chicago’s run game in check. David Montgomery had gone over 100 yards in three of his last five games and averaged over 4.0 yards per carry in each. But against Barnes and the Packers, Montgomery was limited to 69 yards on 22 carries (3.1 ypc).

Green Bay’s defense has been big in its six-game winning streak, holding four opponents to 16 points or less. The Packers have amassed 20 sacks, while forcing seven turnovers in that time. That included a forced fumble and an interception on Sunday.

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In Case You Missed It

— Left tackle David Bakhtiari was lost to a season-ending knee injury in practice Thursday. With him unavailable, the Packers turned to Billy Turner to fill his spot. Lucas Patrick replaced Turner at right guard.

— With the win, Green Bay clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC, home field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first-round bye. Despite the loss, the Bears clinched a playoff spot because Arizona lost to Los Angeles.

— Davante Adams caught six passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. In doing so, he broke Sterling Sharpe’s team record for catches in a season (115) and tied Sharpe’s record for touchdowns (18). Adams did so despite missing 2 1/2 games due to injury.

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— Tight end Dominique Dafney caught the first touchdown of his career in the second quarter.

Inside the Numbers

17.2 — That’s how many points per game the Packers gave up over their last five games.

19 — That’s how many times the Packers have beaten the Bears in their last 22 games.

16 — That’s how many field goals Mason Crosby attempted and converted this season. He’s the first Packers kicker to make every kick he took.

2 — That’s how many catches Chicago’s Allen Robinson had. It was a season-low for the Bears’ top weapon.

11 — That’s how many touchdowns Green Bay’s Robert Tonyan had this season after catching one Sunday. That ties the team record for a tight end.

20 — That’s how many times Rodgers was sacked this season. That’s the lowest total in his starting career, including 2013 and 2017 when injuries limited the number of games he played.

What’s Next

Green Bay (13-3) will wait to see who it will face in the NFC Divisional Round. If seeding holds, Tom Brady and Tampa Bay would be coming to Lambeau Field. The Buccaneers handed the Packers one of their three losses this season.

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