By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan catches a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan celebrates his touchdown catch with Aaron Rodgers (12) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Chicago Bears' Darnell Mooney gets past Green Bay Packers' Raven Greene during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Chicago Bears' David Montgomery is stopped during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Chicago Bears' Mitchell Trubisky tries to get past Green Bay Packers' Jaire Alexander during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers beat the slumping Chicago Bears 41-25 on Sunday night to pad their NFC North lead.
Green Bay (8-3) scored touchdowns on each of its first three possessions and grabbed a three-game division edge over Chicago (5-6) and Minnesota. Since winning five of their first six games, the Bears have dropped five straight.
The Packers capitalized on mistakes by Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was making his first start since the third week of the season. Trubisky threw three touchdown passes - including two to Allen Robinson - but also committed three turnovers that led to Packers touchdowns.
Darnell Savage picked off a pair of Trubisky passes for his first two interceptions of the season. After Za'Darius Smith sacked Trubisky and forced a fumble, Preston Smith picked up the loose ball and ran 14 yards for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 27-3 lead late in the second quarter.
Trubisky went 26 of 46 for 242 yards while starting in place of Nick Foles, who injured his glute and hip in a 19-13 loss to Minnesota on Nov. 16. Rodgers was 21 of 29 for 211 yards.
Chicago's David Montgomery hadr 103 yards rushing - including a 57-yard burst - and also had a 3-yard touchdown catch. Green Bay's Aaron Jones rushed for 90 yards, while Jamaal Williams ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay had struggled in its last two home games - a 28-22 loss to Minnesota and a 24-20 victory over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. The Packers also had blown a two-touchdown halftime lead last week in a 34-31 loss at Indianapolis.
This time, however, the Packers took command early at Lambeau Field and avoided a second-half collapse. Green Bay led 41-10 before the Bears scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Rodgers capped Green Bay's first series with a 12-yard scoring strike to Davante Adams, who had a touchdown catch for the sixth straight game. Rodgers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marcedes Lewis and a 2-yarder to Allen Lazard later in the first half.
Green Bay finally punted for the first time in its opening series of the second half, but Rodgers followed that up with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Robert Tonyan. Williams capped the Packers' scoring with a 13-yard run late in the third quarter.
All those touchdowns helped plenty of Packers reach career milestones.
Rodgers' final touchdown throw of the night enabled him to become the 11th player in NFL history with at least 50,000 career yards passing. The Packers improved to 20-5 against the Bears in games Rodgers has started.
Adams' touchdown also was his 500th reception in his 95th career game, making him the fastest Packer to reach that plateau. The only other players to catch at least 500 career passes for the Packers are Donald Driver (743), Sterling Sharpe (595), Jordy Nelson (550 ) and James Lofton (530).
Lewis' touchdown was his 400th career catch.
SPECTATORS AT LAMBEAU
For the first time this season, the Packers played in front of spectators on their home field
The Packers invited a group of team employees and their family members to attend Sunday night's game to help evaluate Lambeau Field's COVID-19 protocols just in case paying fans are admitted to games later this season. There appeared to be a few hundred people in the stands.
The Bears played without defensive tackle Akiem Hicks due to a hamstring injury. Hicks entered the night with a team-high 14 quarterback hurries.
Packers center Corey Linsley left with a knee injury in the first half and didn't return. Savage injured his back and guard Lucas Patrick hurt his toe in the second half.
The Bears host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The Packers host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 12
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers was able to put together a nice rebound performance in PPR formats. He hauled in five of his six targets for 52 yards in the Week 12 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The Pats were unable to get much going on offense, so this was actually a solid performance considering what happened during the game. It doesn't look like Meyers is going to have the same type of production that he did a few weeks ago. However, he'll remain worth looking at as a WR3 in PPR formats against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13.
New England Patriots wide receiver Damiere Byrd predictable came back down to Earth against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12. Last week, he put together an incredible 132-yard performance, so it was unlikely that he'd keep that going here. He finished with three receptions on seven targets for 33 yards in the win. The Pats are likely going to continue looking his way, but he's not a trustworthy fantasy option. Possibly, a low-end flex option in PPR leagues.
New England Patriots running back Damien Harris failed to get much going on the ground for the second week in a row. He rushed 14 times for 47 yards in the win over the Arizona Cardinals. It's surprising that the Pats were able to win this game despite how poorly they played on offense. Harris has not been able to find much room to run lately, but fantasy owners should hold onto him. He'll have low-end flex value against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13.
New England Patriots running back James White struggled on the ground, but gave fantasy owners a decent performance in Week 12. He rushed five times for 18 yards with two touchdowns in the win over the Arizona Cardinals. Damien Harris handled the lead back duties, but White was able to score the touchdowns in this one. The Pats are in desperate need of weapons on offense, so White should continue getting involved. He should be a safe flex option next week.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton had by far his worst performance of the season in Week 12. He completed nine of 18 passing attempts for 84 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Newton also rushed nine times for 46 yards on the ground. Somehow, the Pats managed to come away with the victory, which is shocking considering how awful Newton played. Fantasy owners who have Newton probably want to bang their head against a wall. He's been inconsistent all season, but should have low-end QB1 value against the Los Angeles Chargers next week.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox has been pretty much invisible on the field this season. To be fair, he's not going to get many targets on the Bills stacked offensive roster. However, he made the most of his chances during the Week 12 contest versus the Los Angeles Chargers. Knox hauled in his lone target for a two-yard touchdown. It was his first touchdown of the season and it wouldn't be surprising if it was his last as well. The Bills have no desire to heavily involve Knox in the gameplan. He can stay on the waiver wire going forward.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis was expected to have an increased role with John Brown (calf) sidelined in this one. He hauled in three of his four targets for 79 yards and one touchdown in the Week 12 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. The rookie receiver now has four touchdowns on the year, which is quite impressive considering he's usually buried on the depth chart. It was a nice outing by Davis, but he won't be anything more than a deep league option right now.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins was featured in the Colts offense in a Week 12 loss against the Titans. He had six carries for 22 yards and three catches on four targets for 35 yards. Wilkins has just two games all season with double-digit carries and seems to be the No. 3 running back right now behind Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. Taylor was out (COVID-19) this week, so it will be tough to trust Wilkins next week when Taylor likely returns to the lineup. He is probably best suited on the bench in Week 13 against the Texans.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley had an interesting performance in Week 12 matchup versus the Los Angeles Chargers. He finished with two receptions on four targets with 25 yards through the air. It was a pretty disappointing performance, but that's not all he did in this one. Beasley also threw a beautiful 20-yard touchdown during this contest. It certainly looks like the Bills have a quality backup if Josh Allen ever goes down. All jokes aside, Beasley did struggle in this game, but fantasy owners should expect a rebound performance next week.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs continues to be the favorite target for quarterback Josh Allen. In Week 12, Diggs saw nine targets, hauling in seven of them for 39 yards in the win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bills weren't able to get the deep ball going, which is why Diggs finished with a season-low 39 yards in this one. Fantasy owners should expect a bounce back performance against the San Francisco 49ers next week.
Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders could be trending toward Pro Bowl honors in his third season following a pair of 51 and 54-yard field goals that he knocked through during Sunday's win versus the Jets. Sanders has gone 24-for-25 on field goals this year, while also going a perfect 26-for-26 on extra points. By ESPN's scoring system, Sanders has logged four consecutive double-digit point outings, with fortuitous matchups against the Bengals and Chiefs on the horizon. His roster percentage has begun to trend upward as of late, but he has entered near must-roster territory except for the shallowest of season-long formats.
Denver Broncos DE DeMarcus Walker registered three total stops with two sacks and a tackle for loss in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints.
Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman rushed eight times for 50 yards in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints and he did not have a catch or target.
Fantasy Spin: Freeman saw some extra work with the game out of hand in the second half. Normally his fantasy appeal is rather minimal. The Broncos travel to meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13 but Freeman shouldn't be a part of your fantasy plans.
Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon rushed 12 times for 31 yards in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints and he did not have any catches or targets.
Fantasy Spin: The Broncos tried to run the ball early, got into a hole and got away from Gordon and Phillip Lindsay in the second half. Gordon will look for a bounce back in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (knee, foot) caught just one pass on four targets for 23 yards in a loss against the Titans. Pascal was sidelined most of last week in practice due to the injury and was a non-factor in Week 12. This was the first time this season where Pascal had fewer than two receptions. However, Pascal's targets may continue to be limited going forward with the emergence of Michael Pittman Jr. and T.Y. Hilton's solid performance this week. He will look to be more of a factor in a matchup next week against the Texans.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert rushed 16 times for 43 yards and a touchdown and failed to gain a yard on a pair of receptions in a 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 12. He also lost a fumble.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert was playing for the first time in more than a month, and while he wasn't efficient, he did lead the backfield in carries. He should headline the running attack again in Week 13 against Buffalo.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray rushed 19 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos and he added one grab for two yards.
Fantasy Spin: It was Murray's first multi-score game since Oct. 4 in Detroit, and his first 100-yard game since Oct. 27, 2019 against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite the big game, his fantasy ceiling is rather limited as long as Alvin Kamara is also healthy. The Saints travel to meet Atlanta in Week 13.
New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara rushed 11 times for 54 yards and he added one catch for minus-2 yards in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos, resting later in the outing with the game out of hand in his team's favor.
Fantasy Spin: Kamara entered with a foot injury, so once the game was mostly decided, the Saints elected to rest him and lean upon Latavius Murray more. The Saints travel to meet the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas registered team highs with four grabs, 50 yards and six targets in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.
Fantasy Spin: With Taysom Hill under center, and an early lead, the team used a mostly ground-based attack. Thomas had OK numbers, but he was the best of the lot for fantasy owners. He'll look for better production in Week 13 at Atlanta.
New Orleans Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders went for one grab and just four yards on his only target in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.
Fantasy Spin: Sanders has been mostly a disappointment in his first campaign in the Crescent City, and it doesn't help that Taysom Hill is under center right now with Drew Brees on the shelf due to injury. The Saints travel to meet the Falcons in Week 13.