GREEN BAY — QB Aaron Rodgers threw six TD passes in the first half as the Packers were blowing out the Bears, 42-0 at halftime on Sunday night at Lambeau Field.
The Packers wasted no time extending their lead, as on the first play of the second quarter, Rodgers hit a wide open Jordy Nelson for a 73-yard touchdown, making it 21-0 just 12 seconds into the period.
That was Rodgers’ 16th career TD pass of 70 yards or longer, an all-time NFL record. Rodgers had been tied at 15 with Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
Not long after, the Packers were back in the end zone. The defense forced a three-and-out and Rodgers hit Nelson deep again, this time for a 40-yard TD to make it 28-0 less than three minutes into the quarter.
The big play moved Nelson ahead of Billy Howton on the franchise’s all-time TD receptions list, into eighth place. He also moved ahead of Carroll Dale for 10th place in all-time receiving yards. Nelson surpassed 100 yards receiving in a game for the fourth time this season.
Rodgers also threw four TD passes in one half for the first time in his career.
The Bears finally threatened to score but came up empty. Going for it on fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line, QB Jay Cutler’s pass was almost intercepted by CB Sam Shields, and the Packers offense took over again.
Rodgers then threw his fifth TD pass of the half, on a screen pass to RB Eddie Lacy, who got good blocks on the right side from guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang and center Corey Linsley and then cut back to the left all the way across the field for a 56-yard score. A 29-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb and a 16-yard run by Lacy preceded the screen TD.
With that play, Rodgers improved his first-half stats to 15-of-18 for 283 yards and 5 TDs. His three TD passes of 40-plus yards made him the first Packers QB to do that since Cecil Isbell in 1942.
The defense came up with another fourth-down stop, this time with safety Morgan Burnett sacking Jay Cutler on a blitz. Clay Matthews had buried WR Chris Williams on an end around for an 8-yard loss three plays earlier, coming unblocked deep into the backfield.
The Packers were knocking on the door again after a 53-yard pass interference penalty on a deep ball to Jordy Nelson made it first-and-goal. But Cobb fumbled into the end zone after a short reception, and the Bears recovered in the end zone.
Green Bay got the ball right back, though, as Julius Peppers strip-sacked Cutler and recovered the fumble, putting the Packers on the Chicago 32-yard line with 1:02 left in the half.
That gave Rodgers enough time to throw his sixth TD pass of the half, an 18-yarder to Cobb on which the receiver made a spectacular diving catch, bringing the ball back into his body with one hand in the end zone. That made it 42-0 with 14 seconds left before intermission.
Rodgers’ 6 TD passes tied the franchise record for a full game, and Cobb caught a TD pass for the sixth consecutive game, the first Packers receiver to do that since Sterling Sharpe in 1994.
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