Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has enjoyed quite the career against the Chicago Bears since becoming Titletown’s starter in 2008. He owns a 22-5 record against Chicago, including an 11-5 mark at Soldier Field and a playoff win. Simply put, he does own the Bears as he proclaimed during Green Bay’s 24-14 victory in Week 6. And in this Sunday night’s primetime showdown against Chicago at Lambeau Field, Rodgers has a chance to continue that dominance while securing yet another NFC North championship for the Packers.
While that all sounds like great news for the Cheeseheads, a painful reality may be waiting around the corner. Week 14 just might be the final chapter in the Rodgers vs. Bears one-sided rivalry. What’s lasted for 14 seasons could be coming down to just four more quarters of dominance for Green Bay. There’s light at the end of the 168-month tunnel for Bears fans who’ve been tortured by Rodgers, and Brett Favre before him.
Rodgers has tossed 57 touchdowns against the Bears. Chicago’s managed just 12 interceptions. Every effort made to stop No. 12 has come up short, but if there’s one thing that remains undefeated, it’s Father Time. And at this point, it’s the only hope the Bears—and every other team in the NFC North—have at climbing the ranks of the division. They just have to wait it out; 60 more minutes and it’s over, right?
Perhaps. Look, there’s always a chance Rodgers does something whacky this offseason and suddenly decides he wants to retire a Packer and stay with the franchise for another season or two. But that seems unlikely, especially with 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love waiting on deck.
The Packers are on the verge of winning their eighth NFC North championship with Rodgers behind center. It’s been a remarkable run of success for a franchise that’s an annual favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It’s the Rodgers effect, and it’s warranted. He’s been a Pro Bowl selection nine times, he’s a three-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time league MVP. Most of all, Rodgers will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he’s dominated the NFC North the way you’d expect a player with his resume to.
The unknown is a scary thing, isn’t it? And that’s why Packers fans need to embrace and cherish the next five games. If this is truly the end of the Rodgers era, the next NFC North championship might be years (and years) away. Love is a fine quarterback prospect, but he failed to impress in limited action this year and it’s highly (highly!) unlikely he’ll max out at anything remotely close to what Green Bay is used to receiving from its quarterbacks over the last 30 years. The rest of the Packers’ roster is solid, but it isn’t good enough to win without Rodgers. At least, not yet.
Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, and Bears fans are having a New Year’s Eve-like countdown until Rodgers’ final snap. Packers fans are probably in a state of denial. For now, though, Green Bay is running away with the NFC North and has as good of a chance as any team in the conference to make a Super Bowl drive.
What was billed as Rodgers’ (and Davante Adams’) last dance when the season kicked off has unfolded exactly how a Hall-of-Famer and team legend would want his final lap to go. And if Rodgers wins a Super Bowl for the green and gold, he’ll ride into the new-team sunset leaving a wasteland of NFC North teams behind.