2021 Week 6 - That’s What Cheese Said

Hear from players and the head coach following a 24-14 victory over the division rival Chicago Bears. 

The Green Bay Packers advanced to 5-1 on the season, beating the Chicago Bears in matchup No. 203 at Soldier Field this past Sunday. The Packers are now 102-95-6 all-time in the series, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers climbing to a 22-5 record against the Bears. 

“I love this rivalry,” said Rodgers. “It’s been a lot of fun over the years. That’s what I told Justin [Fields] on the field, I said ‘Enjoy this. It’s a special rivalry, unlike any other in our game.’”

Rodgers finished the day with two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to cement Green Bay’s victory over Chicago. He only threw for 195 total yards, with 41 of those yards coming on a single play to Davante Adams. 

The victory proved to players like Jones that this team can win in different ways, with Rodgers happy the offense went three-of-four in the red zone and liking the aggressiveness of the play-calling. 

In contrast to the minimal air yardage, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for 135 rushing yards, with Jones adding another 34 yards (and a touchdown) in the receiving game.

“The versatility that both of those guys have, not only in the run game but in the pass game and what they bring to this team is really special,” said LaFleur post game. “They complement each other so well.”

LaFleur also mentioned Kylin Hill and that he tells him he’ll get an opportunity at some point. With an offense full of weapons, it’s hard to get everyone on the field, just like Dillon sitting behind Jones and Jamaal Williams in 2020. 

“We just try to be a spark,” said Jones of he and Dillon’s role on offense.

Wide receiver Allen Lazard caught his first touchdown of the season on a quick shovel pass from Rodgers at the goal line. The beauty of that play is that it only worked because of the respect the league has for him as a blocker. Instead of blocking, he was left open for the quick toss and the score. 

“I’m glad it was to Laz,” Jones said of the touchdown and the creativity in the red zone. “All the blocking and hard work he does, it paid off.” 

Fill-in left tackle Elgton Jenkins was back in the lineup this week, but then rookie center Josh Myers went down early with an injury, forcing Lucas Patrick into spot duty at center once again. 

“He’s a guy you can always count on,” said LaFleur of Patrick, adding that he graded out the highest of the offensive linemen. 

“One of the best things about the NFL is you’ve just gotta stay available,” Patrick said. “You never know when your number’s called, whether it’s a start, a fill-in, or mop up duty. It’s the beauty of this league.”

On the defensive side of the ball, there was a lot to like with the Packers holding the Bears to only 14 points all game. 

“Holding a team to 14 points in the NFL, that’s hard to do, especially away,” said Jones. “I’m super proud of those guys. They have the ‘next man up’ mentality and they're flying around."

The next man up mentality was evident all over the defense. Rasul Douglas replaced Isaac Yiadom early and ended up playing 85% of snaps as the boundary corner opposite Eric Stokes. Edge rusher Preston Smith also went down with an injury after only eight snaps, forcing Jonathan Garvin into extended playing time. Garvin played 44 snaps to Rashan Gary’s 49 snaps, and tallied a sack. 

“I’m really proud of the guys. I’ve really, like I’ve said before, felt like the first week was an anomaly. We’ve backed it up the last five weeks. But the way that we’ve done it with the guys that we’ve done it with, with the kind of injuries that we’ve had, you look at our roster now, there’s a lot of guys who weren’t with us starting the season that are playing big minutes,” said Rodgers, mentioning Douglas specifically as one of those contributors. 

“I’m really proud of our guys,” echoed LaFleur. “I think we’ve got a mature group that’s willing to work. They come to work every day with a great attitude and I think that’s why we’ve been able to have some success and fight through some very difficult games and just grind out wins.”

Kenny Clark stole the show on defense, bringing Fields down twice for two of the defense’s four sacks on the day. “Big time players make big time plays,” Gary said of Clark. 

In the secondary, safety Darnell Savage snagged an interception in the end zone from Fields, with Adrian Amos close to a second pick for the team later on in the game. Green Bay is still allowing a 100% success rate in the red zone, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult for opposing offenses to get to the red zone in the first place. 

“We feel like we haven’t played a full complete game yet,” Gary said of the defense, despite holding Chicago to only two touchdowns. 

“It was a tough, gritty win out there,” LaFleur reiterated post-game, calling this the best defense the Packers have faced yet. 

“You learn a lot about yourself after these games,” Patrick said of the division rivalry. “I’m glad that I’m on the Packers, I’ll say that.” 

“We can win games in multiple ways,” said Jones. “We have the leaders that we need. We have everybody in the locker room that we need to get the job done.”

The Packers sit at 5-1 and will be home this Sunday to face off against the 2-4 Washington Football Team. 

“We’ve gotta get healthy,” Rodgers said. “We’re just a little banged up, so it’s nice to be 5-1 and be banged up and have won five in a row, but we’ve gotta get healthy as we move forward. It’s an important stretch coming up.”

After Washington, the Packers will travel to Arizona on a short week to face the Cardinals (6-0) before the next slate of games sees them playing away against the Chiefs (3-3), home against the Seahawks (2-4), away against the division rival Vikings (3-3), and home against the Rams (5-1) before the bye in Week 13. 

“I’m just really proud of the guys. These are character wins,” said Rodgers. “These are wins that are really really important. We’ve gotta get healthy. We’ve got a lot of guys banged up, a lot of guys we could use moving forward. But, I really like where we’re at, two up in the division after six, and playing winning football.”

The Packers, in 1950s throwback uniforms, will face off against Washington at 12:00 p.m. CT this Sunday, Oct. 24.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (6)

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Harold Drake's picture

October 19, 2021 at 02:23 pm

Terrific round-up. Thx.

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Minniman's picture

October 19, 2021 at 03:21 pm

Speaking from behind my “green and gold colored glasses” here, Rodgers and Gute need to find a way to co-exist into the future.

There’s no denying Rodgers’ greatness.

Likewise, it’s also becoming hard to take anyone seriously who bashes Gute as a talent evaluator - with a special penchant for identifying either ‘“un-loved” or raw talent “moneyball” role players that seem to fit MLF and JB’s schemes……. His ability to backfill depth, coupled with the coaches ability to get these guys game-ready has been a revelation.

..… case in point Douglas. With a ‘bargain bin’ acquisition paired with a rookie as the primary corners, I (perhaps like many here) was anticipating an “air show” from Fields……thankfully, not to be……. Perhaps the dearth of RB’s at CHI influenced this and the Packers being able to anticipate passes inflated their effectiveness- who knows?….. but he and Stokes got the job done.

There’s a real opportunity here for a 2-3 year stretch of legitimate contention - don’t let your individual pride mess it up AR and Gute……. check your egos, re-work contracts and the cap and get it done.

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croatpackfan's picture

October 20, 2021 at 03:48 am

I doubt AR will play for 5 mil/season. Packers are 50 mil over the cap. Davante is gone, David salary has huge hit in 2022. Z needs new contract, some other players as well.

What do you expect? When you go all in than you have next year start of rebuilding team. Do not expect AR, DA and probably Z on the roster for the next season!

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Minniman's picture

October 20, 2021 at 01:22 pm

Thanks Croat, like I said at the top - “green and gold colored glasses”. :)

Of the crew that you mentioned, the 2 real opportunities are Bakhtiari and Z. Bakhtiari’ s ‘moneyball’ replacements are waiting in the wings (yes, there is 2022 dead money if he moves on), and Z is likely cooked (again, being brutally honest here, back injuries that require surgery are not a good sign…. He’s not going to be the same player, and if he is able to come back, he’ll be 2 years regaining form).

As much as these 2 guys have thrilled me with their play these last couple of years, I’m taking the Rodgers and Adams duo for the next 2 years if things could be worked out.

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canadapacker's picture

October 19, 2021 at 08:37 pm

AR is correct - we need to get healthy because we really have not faced a QB since our game one debacle. We have another rook/guy without many games coming up. After that we are going to be playing some of the leagues best. There are several things that need to happen besides our hurt guys getting healthy - and that is that the new guys need to get up to speed and play without any communication issues on Defense. I would also hope that when MVS gets back that Tonyon picks up his game. I think that maybe he is not getting into that gap that MVS created. But that doesnt excuse his poor blocking when he is in there. I would also hope that Lafleur has a whole bunch of new redzone plays. That Lazard play was terrific as was those 2 plays to Jones out of the backfield on swing passes a few games back. That has to open things up. Deguara is also playing like the rookie he is - and hopefully he can display why he was drafted - he is not elusive once he catches a pass but he can punish Dbacks and that is what makes him worthwhile. The key to everything is getting the OLine not to miss assignments and ensure that AR has the time to stretch the field the odd time. Too many checkdowns or intermediate routes makes it harder to break a big run or makes the chances for a missed play to cause a punt.

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