Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 12/26/11
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A humbling performance in Kansas City may have been exactly what the talented group of Green Bay Packers receivers needed. One week after the Packers lost their undefeated season at the hands of the Chiefs -- in large part due to an unusually ineffective passing attack led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- they returned to form on Christmas night against the Chicago Bears. With a chance at clinching home-field advantage in the playoff on the line and an opportunity to eliminate the Bears from postseason contention, Rodgers and his receivers looked like they did during the first 13 weeks of the season, scoring all five touchdowns through the air and winning, 35-21. Now with one week remaining in the regular season, Green Bay has the NFC's No. 1 seed and Rodgers has all but secured himself the league's Most Valuable Player award. "The Chiefs loss week could have helped us, you know?" tight end Jermichael Finley said. "It got us hungry and kept us level-headed. Every team needs that, to get baptized every once and a while. That's what we did last week; we got baptized." In that game -- Green Bay's first loss in 364 days -- Finley, along with veteran receiver Donald Driver and James Jones, had five dropped passes. This led to Rodgers completing less than 50 percent of his throws for the first time all season. But against Chicago on Sunday, Rodgers was back to his MVP-type ways, completing 21 of 29 passes for 283 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. "I think we were all disappointed about last week, the way we all played as a group, and wanted to bounce back," Rodgers said after defeating the Bears. "It was fun to bounce back as a group and play better than last week." It seemed quite possible that the absence of Rodgers' top target, Greg Jennings, was a big reason for the passing offense's struggles against the Chiefs. Jennings sprained his MCL the previous week, and the game in Kansas City was the first he was out due to the injury that will keep him sidelined until the playoffs. But without Jennings this week, Rodgers had no trouble finding his other receivers, connecting with Jordy Nelson and James Jones each twice in the end zone. "That's just what we expect from ourselves as a team and as an offense, to put points on the board, no matter what we did the week before, no matter what we didn't do," Nelsons said. "We've been done with last week for a week. We're way beyond last week. We moved on. We're not worried about the past." There were several moments against the Bears in the first half that resembled Green Bay's disappointing offensive performance from a week earlier. After a nine-play, 80-yard drive for a touchdown to begin the game, the Packers went three-and-out on their next three drives. On the second drive, Finley dropped a pass along the sideline that was reviewed but ultimately ruled incomplete. Had Green Bay been able to pick up a first down at that point, Rodgers and his receiving unit seemed poised to drive the field again and take an early commanding lead. Instead, the Packers were forced to punt and Chicago was able to continue running the ball with the score still close. The running game became a focal point for the Bears and an area in which they dominated, despite not having their top two running backs, Matt Forte (knee) and Marion Barber (calf). Kahlil Bell, a running back who went undrafted in 2009, ran for 121 yards on 23 carries (5.3 average). But then, when Green Bay got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining in the first half with a 7-3 lead, Rodgers and his receivers marched down the field with a seven-play, 65-yard drive for a touchdown, highlighted by a 32-yard play to Jones. That was the starting point from which the Packers scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half, allowing Rodgers to rest for the final eight minutes of the game with Green Bay in control. "(Last week) was pretty slow; This game was up-tempo," Finley said. "We needed it. We needed that game where we were rolling. Last week everyone was all over the place. This week we locked down and got the mindset of We need to get this thing rolling' and play our type of offense, and that's what we did today." From the way that Rodgers was rolling with his receivers on the way to a 13-0 start this season, it seemed possible that they were simply too explosive to be stopped by any defense. But, after being shown otherwise a week earlier, Finley thought a poor week offensively was inevitable. "No one can just be A-1 perfect," Finley said. "You saw that Aaron Rodgers had been perfect all season, then you get a game like KC where you like wake up and you get even hungrier. We might need that game." Follow Paul Imig on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Elway confirms Broncos were interested in Tony Romo

Mike Tomlin: 'Consequences' for Steelers in Bell's absence

Clay Helton says OJ Simpson would not be allowed at USC practice

It’s ‘obvious’ Panthers have ‘big plans’ for Christian McCaffrey?

Kyle Shanahan claps back at Matt Ryan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The Astros are going from really good to possibly great

John Harbaugh: Ravens exploring signing Kaepernick

Bryce Harper blames ejection, meltdown on pregame playlist

Defining Darvish: Is a deadline deal looming?

Kyrie Irving reportedly ignoring phone calls from Cavs

Congress demands NFL pays $18 million bill

The 'Old Tom Brady is still the Ol' Tom Brady' quiz

BIG3 Week 6: Should we begin the MVP discussion as we head to Dallas?

Three Up, Three Down: Adrian Beltre is a national treasure

The 10 craziest NFL offseason stories

Box Score 7/27: USMNT brings home the Gold Cup

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

Box Score 7/26: Nothing but grand slams

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

BIG3 Week 6: Should we begin the MVP discussion as we head to Dallas?

The 'Old Tom Brady is still the Ol' Tom Brady' quiz

The 10 craziest NFL offseason stories

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker