Believe it: Bears finally will start better QB in game vs. Packers
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GREEN BAY, Wis. — It was a ‘‘fun fact’’ in the middle of the postgame notes the Packers produced after their drubbing of the Bears on Sept. 28 at Lambeau Field.
‘‘Rodgers joins Fran Tarkenton as the only [quarterbacks] in NFL history to register four games with four-plus [touchdown] passes vs. Chicago,’’ the note read.
It was merely another way to illustrate Aaron Rodgers’ career dominance of the Bears. There are numerous ways to express it. That’s what happens when you have a 16-4 record against a team, as Rodgers does against the ‘‘rival’’ Bears.
But everything is different now. Rodgers won’t be out to surpass Tarkenton on Sunday at Soldier Field because he’s out with a broken collarbone. Instead, backup Brett Hundley will make his third career start.
Hundley had 15 days to prepare for the Lions coming off a bye week Monday, but the extra time did him little good. The Lions rolled to a 30-17 victory at Lambeau Field.
‘‘I didn’t play well enough to win,’’ Hundley said.
Will he say the same Sunday?
For the first time since Jim Harbaugh beat Mike Tomczak 27-13 on Dec. 8, 1991, at Soldier Field, the Bears will start the better quarterback in their matchup against the Packers. Brett Favre took over as the Packers’ quarterback in 1992.
Rookie Mitch Trubisky shouldn’t be expected to play as well as Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford did Monday (26-for-33, 361 yards, two touchdowns), but he doesn’t have to. In his fifth career start, Trubisky only has to be better than Hundley, who is under intense pressure with the Packers having lost three consecutive games.
‘‘We just have to keep pushing on,’’ Hundley said. ‘‘The focus is on to Chicago.’’
Hundley’s best play was a 46-yard catch-and-run by Randall Cobb with the Packers trailing 20-3 in the fourth quarter. Hundley completed 26 of 38 passes for 245 yards — much when the game already had been decided — and scored on a one-yard sneak.
In the end, it was a step in the right direction for Hundley after he went 12-for-25 for 87 yards and an interception in a 26-17 loss to the Saints in his first start in place of Rodgers in Week 7.
‘‘My only goal I care about is winning, so I didn’t get that done,’’ Hundley said. ‘‘[The loss] hurts.’’
And now Hundley has to face the Bears on a short week, while the Bears are coming off their bye. As of Monday, the Bears ranked seventh in total defense; the Lions were 22nd.
When the Packers last saw the Bears, change was coming. Their 35-14 victory against the Bears in Week 4 was Mike Glennon’s last stand, and he threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
All of Glennon’s gaffes helped Rodgers tie Tarkenton, but they also prompted the Bears to turn to Trubisky, who will be the better quarterback on the field when the Packers come to town Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.