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What we learned in loss to Packers


Here are four things we learned in Sunday's 38-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers:

1) Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers, especially against the Bears. The Packers quarterback continued his dominance in the rivalry, completing 22 of 28 passes for 302 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 151.2 passer rating that was the second best of his career.

With little if any pressure to contend with, Rodgers dissected the Bears defense, leading the Packers to five touchdowns and one field goal on their first six possessions. Rodgers has now won the last eight regular-season and playoff games he's started and finished against the Bears dating back to 2008, passing for 19 touchdowns and five interceptions.

The Bears' only win over the Packers during that span came last season when Rodgers exited after suffering a broken collarbone while being sacked by Shea McClellin on Green Bay's first series.

2) Kyle Long has not lost a step. After rushing for only 21 yards against the 49ers and 33 yards versus the Jets in back-to-back road wins, the Bears' Pro Bowl running back had a breakout game, gaining 122 yards on 23 carries and catching five passes for 49 yards.

It was the 21st 100-yard game of Forte's career, breaking a tie with Gale Sayers (20) for second most in Bears history behind Walter Payton (77). Forte has now rushed for at least 100 yards in three straight games against the Packers, the first Bears player to do so since Payton accomplished the feat in five straight contests from 1983-85.

Entering Week 3 ranked last in the NFL in rushing, the Bears gained 235 yards on 41 carries, the best output since they produced 242 yards against the Packers in Green Bay on Sept. 25, 1988.

"That's how we should run the ball," Forte said. "The past two weeks have been rough. We came out and worked on it a lot. Our offensive line did a great job of opening up the holes out there and blocking their front seven, so I could get one-on-one with the safeties and linebackers. When they do that, I continue to run hard and get extra yards after contact."

3) The Packers are still kings of the NFC North. The Bears entered Sunday's game looking to build on impressive back-to-back road wins over the 49ers and Jets against a Packers team that mustered only seven points in a loss to the Lions that dropped their record to 1-2.

But the three-time NFC North defending champions showed that they're not ready to hand over their crown just yet. The Packers turned a close shootout into a blowout victory in the second half, beating the Bears for the fifth straight time at Soldier Field.

"You never want to lose to the Packers at home," said tight end Martellus Bennett. "Those guys came down here and beat us in our home. That's not what we want to have."

4) The Bears offense remains inconsistent. The Bears opened Sunday's game with a 15-play, 80-yard touchdown drive and scored on their first three possessions to take a 17-14 lead. But they failed to score on their final five drives while the Packers recorded 24 unanswered points.

It was a similar story two weeks earlier in San Francisco, but in reverse. In that game, the Bears' first six possessions all resulted in punts before they scored touchdowns on their final four drives in turning a 20-7 fourth-quarter deficit into a stunning 28-20 win.

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