AARON RODGERS RISES TO THE OCCASION: PACK BEATS BEARS, WATCH!

By Julie Glass

It’s only Week 1 of the new NFL season, and already the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is looking like the best quarterback in the league.

Rodgers suffered a knee injury in the first half against the Bears but returned to threw three touchdown passes to power Green Bay back from a 20-point deficit for a 24-23 victory over the Bears.

Rodgers connected with receiver Randall Cobb for a catch-and-run through the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown and the go-ahead score with 2:13 left in the game.

“Aaron Rodgers was remarkable. I just can’t tell you how proud I am with him,” coach Mike McCarthy said.

Rodgers appeared to get injured when Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris seemed to fall on Rodgers’ left knee after a second-quarter sack.

Rodgers stood up, tried to put weight on his left leg and then crumbled to the ground.

The Packers quarterback finally walked off Lambeau Field under his own power.

After nearly 10 minutes in the sideline examination tent, the team’s medical staff carted him to the locker room midway through the second quarter of the season opener against the Chicago Bears.

That’s the same knee in which Rodgers tore his ACL in high school, an injury that wasn’t surgically repaired until college.

After the game, Rodgers said at his news conference, “As long as there is no major issues, I’ll keep playing.”

As if the Packers’ home opener weren’t off to a rough enough start before Rodgers’ injury, the offense was booed off the field just two minutes into the second quarter after a third straight punt.

Rodgers was 3-of-7 passing for 13 yards and was sacked twice before leaving the game.

Former Cleveland Browns starter DeShone Kizer, who went 0-15 as a rookie last season, replaced Rodgers with the Packers trailing 10-0.

Kizer’s first two series after Rodgers departed were disastrous, both because of the newest Bears defender, Khalil Mack. Mack ended Kizer’s first series with a strip-sack, as he ripped the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. Then he picked off a Kizer screen pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown that gave the Bears a 17-0 lead.

Kizer’s interception was his 23rd since the start of last season. No other quarterback has 20 interceptions in that span, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

It was 10-0 when Rodgers left the game. It was 20-0 when he returned.

The Packers traded Rodgers’ backup last season, Brett Hundley, to the Seattle Seahawks last month for a sixth-round pick. Hundley started nine games — and won only three — last season after Rodgers broke his right collarbone.

In the first quarter, Rodgers completed just one of four passes for 7 yards, his fewest completions in the first quarter since he failed to complete a pass in Week 17 of the 2014 season at the Detroit Lions.

Late last month, Rodgers signed a record four-year, $134 million contract extension.

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