GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Bears knocked Aaron Rodgers out of last year's game at Lambeau Field with a broken collarbone. On Sunday night, the Packers star more than returned the favor.
Rodgers obliterated an overmatched Bears defense, tying an NFL record by throwing six touchdown passes in the first half as the Packers raced to a 42-0 halftime lead. The perennial Pro Bowl quarterback made it look easy, tossing TD passes on Green Bay's first five possessions.
The only question at halftime was whether the Packers would break the Bears' all-time league record for victory margin, set in the 1940 NFL title game when they beat the Redskins 73-0.
View photos from the game as the Bears take on the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay ultimately didn't reach that threshold, taking its foot off the gas pedal in the second half in cruising to a 55-14 victory. But that didn't make it any less painful for the Bears, who have now allowed more than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time in their 94-year history.
"I'll just open by saying what I told our football team at halftime and after the game, that we're not a very good football team right now obviously," said coach Marc Trestman. "We've descended over the last three weeks and we didn't make any changes or any positive movement after the bye. That starts with me and I'll leave it at that."
In a play that typified Sunday night's game for the Bears, Jay Cutler's pass deflected off Kyle Long's helmet and was intercepted by Casey Hayward, who returned it 82 yards for a touchdown to give the Packers a 55-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Bears had set a team record by allowing 38 points in the first half of their last game, a 51-28 loss to the Patriots Oct. 26 in New England. But that mark was eclipsed Sunday night with 42, the most the Bears have ever allowed in any half since their inception as the Decatur Staleys in 1920.
"We're all looking for answers right now and we don't really have a lot," Cutler said.
The 42-point halftime deficit was the largest in Bears history and came after they trailed the Patriots by 31 at the half. In their last three games, the Bears have been outscored 94-7 in the first half.
After taking a 17-14 lead over the Packers in an eventual 38-17 loss Sept. 28 at Soldier Field, the Bears allowed 69 consecutive points to Green Bay before Cutler's 45-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall made the score 45-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Bears' final points came on Chris Williams' 101-yard kickoff return touchdown.
Dating back to last year's season finale, the Bears had failed to force a turnover or punt on 14 straight possessions against Green Bay that resulted in 12 touchdowns, one field goal and one blocked field goal. The streak ended when Lance Briggs forced a Reggie Cobb fumble at the Chicago 3 that Ryan Mundy recovered in the end zone late in the first half.
Rodgers was replaced by Matt Flynn midway through the third period after completing 18 of 27 passes for 315 yards with six TDs and a 145.8 passer rating. In two wins over the Bears this season, Rodgers passed for 607 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. He has now won his last nine starts against the Bears, excluding last year's contest that he exited on Green Bay's first series.
The Bears didn't even bother covering receiver Jordy Nelson on his TD receptions of 73 and 40 yards. Rodgers also connected for touchdowns of 1 yard to tight end Brandon Bostick, 4 yards to tight end Andrew Quarless, 56 yards to running back Eddie Lacy and 18 yards to Cobb.
"There was confusion all night," said cornerback Tim Jennings. "We blew some coverages on the back end starting with myself. There were some miscommunications on the back end. At the end of the day, we need to execute the game plan."
In addition to the six Packers touchdowns, the first half also featured two Cutler turnovers on a poorly thrown pass that was intercepted by Micah Hyde and a lost fumble on a sack by Julius Peppers, as well as 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalties on Jordan Mills and Kyle Fuller.
That contributed to 163 penalty yards for the Bears, their most since 1951.
In losing for the fifth time in six games since a 2-1 start, the Bears (3-6) fell three games under .500 for the first time since they were 6-9 in 2009. They also dropped further into last place in the NFC North behind the Lions (7-2), Packers (6-3) and Vikings (4-5).