Los Angeles (AFP) – Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, and the Green Bay defense forced four turnovers as the Packers routed the Chicago Bears 35-14 in the lone NFL game on Thursday night.
It was a costly victory for the already injury-riddled Packers. Running back Ty Montgomery sustained broken ribs on the first possession, and receiver Davante Adams was taken to a hospital after a violent helmet-to-helmet hit late in the third quarter.
The game also included a 40-minute weather delay because of storms in the Green Bay area.
“We knew we had to play a certain style of football against these guys,” said Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy. “We knew it would be a grind of a game, the turnovers were huge for us.
“Aaron was exceptional. We ran the ball early and he stayed patient.”
The Packers opened the game at Lambeau Field in explosive fashion, producing a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive.
A 26-yard catch-and-run by tight end Martellus Bennett set up a first-and-goal at the five. One play later, Rodgers threw a quick pass to Adams, who powered through for a five-yard touchdown.
On Chicago’s first offensive play, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews drilled quarterback Mike Glennon, jarring the ball loose. It was recovered by linebacker Jake Ryan at the Bears three-yard line.
Rodgers then hit receiver Randall Cobb for an easy touchdown to make it 14-0 six minutes into the game.
Meanwhile looking ahead to Sunday’s contests, the defending champion New England Patriots look to shore up their defense before battling Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.
The Patriots are going to have to find a way behind their star quarterback Tom Brady to defeat the Panthers at Gillette Stadium, despite questions surrounding their defense.
After three weeks, New England has the NFL’s 32nd-ranked unit based on yards allowed. That includes the number 32 ranked pass defense and the number 26 squad against the run. It’s also dead last in points allowed.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows that pulling out a victory starts with neutralizing Panthers quarterback Newton.
“I think when you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks, guys that are tough to handle, tackle, can throw, run, make good decisions — I mean, I would put Newton at the top of the list,” Belichick said.
“He’s public enemy No. 1.”
The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos enter their game Sunday aiming to rebound from first losses of the season.
Denver lost 26-16 at Buffalo while the Raiders went down at Washington 27-10.
Denver beat the Raiders 24-6 in their last meeting. The Broncos’ upset victory in last season’s regular-season finale denied the Raiders the AFC West title, sending them into the playoffs as a wild card where they lost in the first round.
– Carr set to go –
Quarterback Derek Carr, who is coming off a sub-par performance last week against Washington, said the Raiders had a great week of practice.
“I just have to come back and work harder,” Carr said. “My brother always told me when I came into the league, ‘You’re going to find something each and every week.’”
“As much stuff as you can cram into your day, you’ll find something to get better,” he continued. “As soon as you don’t, stop playing because it’s time for you to be done.”
If the Broncos are to achieve their goals for the 2017 season, they have to start by putting a stop to the turnovers.
While the Broncos’ offense has consistently moved the football throughout the first three games of the season, the turnovers threaten to undermine their efforts. Thirty-one of the 64 points allowed by the Broncos have come off turnovers.
The undefeated Atlanta Falcons will face their stiffest test of the season in the run game when they take on the Buffalo Bills at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta (3-0) haven’t seen a back as dynamic as Bills star LeSean McCoy yet and Bills new head coach Sean McDermott is no stranger to the Falcons.
McDermott was Carolina’s defensive co-ordinator from 2011 to 2016.