GREEN BAY—Mike McCarthy spoke eloquently of the Lambeau Field tribute to the military. “The game?” he asked. “I really don’t have a whole lot to say.”
What could he say about a 55-14 beat down that wasn’t as close as the score would suggest? How about 42-0 at halftime? How about Aaron Rodgers having thrown six touchdowns passes in the first half?
How lopsided was this 190th meeting between the Packers and Bears? Well, the Packers scored so quickly that the Bears won time of possession, even though they rushed for a mere 55 yards.
“It was clearly our best football of the year,” McCarthy said.
The only important fact to emerge from this game was that the Packers remained a game behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North title race. Everything else about this game will find its way into the record book, where it will mercifully rest undisturbed for a very, very long time.
Jordy Nelson caught a couple of touchdown passes, one of which was for 73 yards. Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick caught the others.
The big news of the night, however, was that Clay Matthews lined up early in the game at inside linebacker. His presence helped discourage the Bears from running the ball against the No. 32 run defense in the league. Matthews played inside on run downs and outside on passing downs, and the combination produced his best performance of the season: 11 tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
McCarthy said moving Matthews inside created “targeting problems. I thought he was outstanding tonight.”
Jay Cutler threw two more interceptions – that’s four in two games against the Packers this season – and after Rodgers hit Nelson with touchdown bombs on consecutive possessions to open the second quarter, the dagger was sticking deep into the Bears’ hide.
Cornerback Casey Hayward capped the night by returning an interception 82 yards for a touchdown.
“To beat the Chicago Bears the way we did is something we feel very good about, but it’s one win,” McCarthy said.
Next up, the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. It likely won’t be this easy against the Eagles.
“Dominant win at home,” McCarthy added.
The coach felt it coming this week, as his team returned from the bye week ready to begin the second half of the season.
“You have a chance to reboot, reset yourself for the second half of the season,” McCarthy said of the bye. “We like playing at home. We want to play as many games as possible here.”
Three of the next four will be played at Lambeau Field, where the Packers are 4-0 this season.
COMPLETE GAME COVERAGE