Green Bay Packers: The legend of Aaron Rodgers continues

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers walks off the field after a game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 24-23. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers walks off the field after a game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 24-23. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers added another chapter of magic into his storybook career, only growing his legendary career.

Aaron Rodgers has another storybook ending to add to his Hall of Fame career. The Green Bay Packers survived a 20-point deficit as Rodgers returned from a scary knee injury to lead the team to a 24-23 win over their archrival Chicago Bears. The Packers begin the 2018 season with a memorable 1-0 record.

When Rodgers went down in the second quarter the feeling across Packer nation was all too familiar. The Bears’ pressure leading up was already an issue with newly-acquired Khalil Mack having a major impact.

When Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris sacked Rodgers he landed on his knee awkwardly in the process. In severe pain, Rodgers grabbed his knee before the medical staff helped him off the field. He left the sideline on a cart and was not seen until the second half.

Green Bay had to go to backup quarterback DeShone Kizer trailing Chicago 10-0. It was a tough spot to be in not knowing the extent of Rodgers’ injury, but Kizer is expected to be prepared for this kind of situation. Obviously, it’s happened before.

More from Aaron Rodgers

Kizer completed three passes in a row before the Bears defensive line got back on track generating pressure. Inside Chicago’s 10-yard line Kizer took a sack and allowed Mack to effortlessly strip the ball away. Mike Pettine’s defense had looked shaky up to this point, but they held the Bears’ offense to a field goal.

Again Kizer trotted onto the field hoping to weather the storm. Six plays into his second career drive as a Packer he was hit again and tried to get rid of the ball before being sacked. It was an ill-advised decision as Mack caught the arid pass and returned 27 yards for a touchdown to go up by twenty.

It wasn’t until halftime, that news about Rodgers’ injury started to surface. He was listed as questionable to return, however, it seemed unlikely given how poorly Green Bay’s offensive line looked in the first half. However, even down 20 points with a half to play, conceding a game in the NFL is tough to do.

That’s when Packers head coach Mike McCarthy made the difficult decision to roll the dice and throw Rodgers back into the fire.

“Frankly, walking out of the tunnel, I was prepared to go with DeShone,” McCarthy said postgame.

Soon after team doctors made him aware Rodgers wanted to try and play on the injured knee.

After a poor offensive performance in the first half, Rodgers came out firing like he always does. In his first second-half drive, he led the team to a field goal to finally get on the scoreboard.

Then, thankfully, Green Bay’s defense stepped up again forcing another three and out. They finished with four in the game.

On the following drive, Rodgers converted a 3rd and 14 hitting receiver Geronimo Allison for a 15-yard gain. With the game now in the fourth quarter, the Packers needed a big play. Five plays later, Rodgers found Allison again, except this time it was on a deep ball down the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. Momentum clearly favored the Packers with the score now 20-10.

Again, the defense came up huge and got the ball back in Rodgers’ hands quickly. He didn’t waste any time either. Rodgers capped off a five play 75-yard drive finding Davante Adams in the red zone for a 12-yard catch and score. Green Bay had made it a one-possession game with nine minutes left.

Chicago finally started to get things going for their second-half offense. After being lights out in the first half, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled to get things going in the third. The Bears desperately needed a long, drawn-out drive resulting in a touchdown to squash Rodgers’ remarkable comeback.

Trubisky began moving the ball using his running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen as his safety valves underneath. Chicago drove it down to the Green Bay 14 yard line before stalling out. Kicker Cody Parkey booted in a 32-yard field goal for the Bears’ first points since their opening drive of the second half.

Now, with under three minutes left in the game, Rodgers was going to get his chance to complete the miraculous comeback down by six. His first two throws fell incomplete forcing a third-and-10 with 2:36 on the clock. Rodgers stepped up in the pocket and moved to his left before finding Randall Cobb over the middle. Cobb then realized there was no safety behind him in the middle of the field so he ran toward space. Leonard Floyd, Eddie Jackson, and Mack gave chase but Cobb made it 75 yards to the end zone.

Lambeau field went crazy, but the game wasn’t over yet. Trubisky and the Bears still had a chance to get in field goal range to steal the win. After a few failed plays and a crushing ineligible man downfield penalty, it came down a fourth-and-9 from Chicago’s own 19. Trubisky escaped the pocket and heaved one down to Taylor Gabriel which fell incomplete. However, Packers all-time sack leader Clay Matthews was called for a late hit breathing life back into the Bears.

It was all for nod though as on another fourth down, linebacker Nick Perry got the strip sack getting Green Bay the ball. The Packers were able to run the clock out with under a minute left.

Somehow Rodgers rallied the team on his way to 286 yards passing and a three-touchdown performance. It was an amazing comeback and is yet another great installment in the Bears-Packers rivalry.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Rodgers said after the game. “After it was decided I going to come back I knew it might give us a little jolt.”

Maybe we should come to expect these kinds of moments from Rodgers, though nothing will take away from another legendary performance.