You didn’t think Aaron Rodgers would regret saying he owned the Bears, did you?
On Wednesday, the Packers quarterback doubled down on it.
“I don’t know that you could question a whole lot of what I said,” Rodgers, who is 22-5 all-time against the Bears, including an NFC title-game win, told reporters Wednesday. “I’ve had a good record over the years against them. Won a lot of games at Soldier Field and at Lambeau Field. It’s been a great rivalry. I’m proud to be a part of it. We have gotten the better of them the last, I don’t know, 27-28 times we’ve played them.”
That’s an understatement. Per ESPN Stats and Info, Rodgers’ .815 winning percentage against the Bears is the third-best by any quarterback with at least 25 starts against one team since 1950.
“In order to trash talk, you have to have a lot of confidence in what you’ve accomplished and what you’re going to accomplish in the future,” Rodgers said. “At some point what I said will be used against me. That’s just part of it. I have no regrets for saying what I said. . . . The record kinda speaks for itself. . . . I don’t regret saying it at all.”
Sunday night at Lambeau Field will mark the latest — and maybe last — chance for Rodgers to improve that mark. He hinted during the offseason that this could be his last season with the Packers. Even Wednesday, some of his comments about the rivalry had a hint of finality to it.
“This rivalry was long before I got here, and long after I’m done playing,” he said. “It’s going to keep on going. It will be fun to keep an eye on it. I feel good being able to leave this at some point with us ahead, but you never know. There’s been an ebb and flow to this rivalry. It’s been fun to get back ahead in the all-time series.”
When Rodgers was drafted in 2005, the Packers trailed the all-time series 78-85-6.
Entering Sunday’s game, they’re 102-95-6, having passed the Bears in 2017.
On Oct. 17, Rodgers provided the rivalry with one of its most colorful moments. After he beat Bears linebacker Alec Ogletree to the right pylon for a six-yard run to seal the win in the fourth quarter, Rodgers saw Bears fans taunting him from the corner of the Soldier Field lower bowl.
“All my [bleeping] life, I own you,” Rodgers said to the fans. “I own you. I still own you.”
On Wednesday, Rodgers reiterated that his ire was directed at “the fans who were giving me the bird,” not the players on the field. The Bears, though, heard it loud and clear. When asked whether he planned to use Rodgers’ words as motivation this week, coach Matt Nagy turned serious.
“I mean, we’re aware of it,” he said.
The better question is whether the Bears plan to do anything about it.
“If you have social media, I think that you’ve seen it,” safety Tashaun Gipson said. “I don’t think that it was bulletin-board material. It’s nothing that Nagy has, we have, harped about.
“I think that everybody is aware of what was said from then. And obviously playing them now, I think that the statement would come again in the spotlight. But for us in the locker room, we can’t control that. We can’t control what happened when we played them Game 1. We can’t control that it’s how he feels.
“All that we can do is just go out there and control what we do Sunday night — and that’s our focus right now.”
As Rodgers does every rivalry week, he tried to frame the matchup as big-city Chicago against small-town Green Bay. Ironically, though, Rodgers grew up a Chicago sports fan — from his home in Northern California, he loved to watch Harry Caray and Greg Maddux on WGN. He idolized Michael Jordan. He wasn’t a Bears fan, though. Instead, he followed the 49ers — and, after quarterback Joe Montana left for Kansas City, the Chiefs — and the careers of Barry Sanders and Brett Favre.
It took him exactly one start to appreciate the Bears-Packers rivalry, he said.
“I know they’ve had a great rivalry over the years, but I didn’t realize how special it was until I got into the NFL and saw the history and talked to fans and understood how much it meant to them,” he said. “Seeing some of the highlights — or lowlights — over the years that have gone on between the two teams. Obviously you understand the names if you’re a lover of sports history — the names that have played on both sides of this thing for 100 years is pretty special. It’s fun to be a part of it.”
More for Rodgers than the Bears.
“It’s always been kinda ‘Little Green Bay’ against ‘Big Chicago,’ going back to the 1920s,” he said. “I’m proud to lead ‘Little Green Bay’ on the field almost 30 times now against these guys.”