Asking Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers what his favorite game has been against the Chicago Bears is like asking a child to pick their favorite candy bar to choose from. Sadly, there have been far too many standout moments for the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback in the NFL’s oldest rivalry.
Rodgers has a career record of 22-5 against the Bears in the regular season, with another victory coming in the postseason during the 2010 NFC Championship game. It’s been a one-sided affair for the last decade plus and you would think narrowing down his favorite moments would be tough, but Rodgers does in fact have a favorite game and Bears fans won’t like his answer.
Rodgers recently was a guest on the “Pardon My Take” podcast with notable Bears fan Dan “Big Cat” Katz and revealed his favorite game from the Bears-Packers rivalry is their 2013 regular-season finale to decide the division. The game was a back-and-forth slugfest before the Packers rallied back, thanks to a late touchdown pass from Rodgers to Randall Cobb to steal the win 33-28 and win the NFC North away from the Bears during Marc Trestman’s first year as head coach. Even nearly 10 years later, Rodgers still has a photographic memory of the game and he detailed why it was his favorite:
I came back from my collarbone, Randall [Cobb] came back from his knee injury and then, somehow, it was for the division. After so many things happened for us to be in it…it came down to our game. Neither team, I don’t think was great that year, but we were playing for a home playoff game.
“I start off, I throw a pick to Chris Conte on a rollout and I’m like ‘[expletive], is it really going to go like this tonight?’ Then I threw another pick to [Tim] Jennings in the second or third quarter. Then we had that weird, fluky, Pep [Julius Peppers] caused a fumble and [Miles] Boykin picks it up and nobody’s doing anything and he runs into the endzone.
Then on the last drive, we converted three fourth downs, fourth and inches on a dive play, a fourth and three to Jordy [Nelson] but that last one was pretty amazing.”
While Rodgers reveled in one of his prouder moments, in speaking to Katz, he did provide context surrounding the infamous blown coverage by Conte that allowed Cobb to score easily that gave the Packers the lead.
“You have to put it all together, people throw blame on Chris on that side, I think [Zachary] Bowman was outside as well on that play. But you guys brought seven and we blocked with six. There should have been a free guy so it really was the rush pattern that got you…I guarantee you on the defense, they were expecting the ball to come out quick. That’s why they were playing at 10 yards.
What they should have done was change the call. I knew what the check call was.”
Rodgers also admitted he was trying to throw quick but had to improvise when pressured by Peppers, leading to the touchdown. To this day, Conte still gets the business from Bears fans but Rodgers isn’t alone in his assessment. Former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler defended the coverage as well in an interview last fall, saying Conte wasn’t the reason for the breakdown.
That season finale is over 10 years old and you won’t find a current Bears player who was even on the team for that moment. But if you ask a handful of Bears fans what their worst loss was they experienced, that game is bound to be near the top of the list. It’s only fitting Rodgers has it as his favorite.