CHICAGO — The Green Bay Packers would love nothing more than to have Aaron Rodgers return this season and lead a deep playoff run.
There’s no guarantee their superstar quarterback comes back from a broken collarbone. That means Brett Hundley is on the spot, at least for now.
“We’re trying to weather the storm until 12 (Rodgers) gets back,” linebacker Clay Matthews said. “You got to get a win. That’s exactly what we did. We grinded it out.”
The Packers finally won without Rodgers, beating the Chicago Bears 23-16 on Sunday.
Hundley came through in his third start filling in for Rodgers, throwing for 212 yards and a touchdown. Nick Perry had three sacks, and the Packers stopped a three-game losing streak.
Beating the Bears (3-6) doesn’t solve all of Green Bay’s problems. But considering their season was in danger of slipping away, the Packers (5-4) can at least breathe a little easier.
Here are some things to know after the Packers beat the Bears:
COSTLY REVIEW: Bears Coach John Fox thought it was a touchdown. At worst, it was going to be first-and-goal.
Not so much. Fox won his challenge all right, and lost the ball.
A strange replay reversal cost Chicago a potential scoring opportunity in the second quarter.
Chicago was down 10-3 when it drove to the Green Bay 22. On third-and-13 from the 25, Mitchell Trubisky passed to Bennie Cunningham on a screen play, and the fifth-year running back cut outside before making a lunging try for the end zone on a cold, rainy day at Soldier Field.
Cunningham was ruled out at the 2, and the Bears challenged the call.
“Every indication that we had was that he scored, and if anything he would be at the 1 or inside the 1 instead of I think they spotted the ball originally at the 3,” Fox said.
Instead, the replay showed the ball coming out of Cunningham’s hands before it hit the pylon, and the fumble into the end zone resulted in a touchback for Green Bay.
TAKING ADVANTAGE: Hundley made the most of his chances after the Packers kept things simple the previous two games. He completed 18 of 25 passes even though his hamstring tightened. It helped that the Packers were also able to move the ball on the ground, rushing for 160 yards.
FLAGGED DOWN: The Bears had seven penalties in the first half, not to mention three more that were declined. They were flagged for false starts on back-to-back plays in the first quarter.
But Chicago settled down with just one penalty in the second half.
“It seems uncharacteristic for us,” said Trubisky, who threw for a career-high 297 yards and a touchdown. “We were locked in, ready to go, but I guess we weren’t just focused at that moment. So we’re going to analyze that. We know that’s one of our weaknesses right now. I mean, we’re only hurting ourselves. It’s nothing they were doing schematically.”
RECEIVER HELP: The Bears had struggled getting the ball completed to wide receivers all season, with Kevin White and Cameron Meredith on injured reserve. But in his first game for Chicago, former Chargers receiver Dontrelle Inman had six catches for 88 yards. Each represented the second-highest totals of the season by a Bears wide receiver.