CHICAGO — Aaron Rodgers urged Packers fans to relax. Maybe they will after this one.
Rodgers threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns — two to former Kentucky star Randall Cobb — and Green Bay shook off one of its worst offensive performances in years with a 38-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
The Packers (2-2) scored on their first six possessions to build a 38-17 lead. They racked up 358 yards after being held to 223, their lowest total since 2008, a week earlier in a 19-7 loss at Detroit.
They intercepted Jay Cutler twice in the third quarter to pull away from the Bears (2-2). That gave Green Bay five straight wins at Soldier Field, including the NFC title game four years ago and a playoffs-or-bust finale for both teams last season.
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Rodgers called on Packers fans to take a deep breath during the week, and he gave them reason to exhale with this performance.
"I just wanted to remind everybody that it's a long season, and at some point, we're going to get this thing figured out," Rodgers said.
He had all the answers in this one. Rodgers posted a 151.2 rating for the game, completing 22 of 28 passes, and had all the time he needed with five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen sitting out because of an illness.
He threw two touchdown passes each to Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and a fifth got called back by a penalty. That happened early in the third when a scrambling Rodgers got hit by at least one defender while unleashing an awkward, wobbly 34-yard pass that somehow connected with Davante Adams in the end zone.
Cobb breaks out with 2 TDs
With one juke, Cobb changed that whole nine yards per reception statistic in a hurry. The fourth-year pro's breakaway ability resurfaced against the Bears.
On a 46-yard reception in the fourth quarter, the ex-Cat caught a pass from Rodgers, noticed Kyle Fuller in his peripheral vision and froze the rookie with a dizzying juke.
"It was a great move," Cobb said, "but I've got to get in the end zone."
No, he did not score on the play but Cobb did finish with seven catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns, emerging as the non-Nelson threat this Packers offense has been missing. He re-established a chemistry with his quarterback that had been choppy at best to start the season.
"I think the chemistry's there," said Cobb, who has five TDs but only one 100-yard receiving game this season. "I don't think it's been slacking. It's just continuing being able to make plays and I was able to make a catch for him early on in the game. Him continuing to trust me, he's going to come to me. So it's just being able to make those plays when they present themselves."
Rodgers targeted Nelson 12 times and Cobb nine times on Sunday. Coach Mike McCarthy also was more creative with Cobb, lining him up inside and outside, trusting Cobb on a broader menu of routes. On his 22-yard reception, Cobb lined up between a pair of receivers far right and beat Isaiah Frey.
He also did damage in the middle of the field after the catch. It was a night-and-day effort from the Packers' loss at Detroit.
"I've been talking about it all season — continue to get better at breaking tackles," Cobb said. "We're getting better at YAC. That's what we've been known for."
As for that move on Fuller?
"I caught it and immediately got my eyes on the nearest defender that I could see," Cobb said. "He was in my sight line and I was able to give him a move. Early in the game, he would trip me up whenever I would try to bounce outside. So just understanding that and being able to get upfield."
In the Packers' last three games at Chicago, he has 17 receptions for 283 yards and four touchdowns.
"I don't know if it's something in the water here or what," Cobb said. "But I do enjoy playing here."
No punts not a first
The Packers didn't need former Murray High School and UK standout Tim Masthay to attempt a punt. The Bears didn't have any punts, either. The only other regular-season game without a punt was between Buffalo and San Francisco on Sept. 13, 1992.
"With about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, I started to think yeah, this is probably going to happen," Masthay said.