GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here's the Green Bay Packers' identity: Throw it to Davante Adams, run it with Aaron Jones and hope that's enough.
That's about all Aaron Rodgers has.
And it's not like he played lights-out.
But on Sunday, it was good enough to beat the Chicago Bears 21-13 at a frigid Lambeau Field.
"I think we’re going to have to find ways to get them the ball and move them around," Rodgers said. "I think what Matt did today was great moving Davante around. We had a number of snaps with him in slot. He was playing both Z and X, gonna have to do that. We had Aaron [Jones] split out a few times, didn’t really target him when he was split out at receiver, but the more we can move him around, it just gives the defense more things to worry about. And he’s a dangerous runner for us."
At least this time, it happened on the same day.
Too often this season, it has been an either/or situation with Adams and Jones -- such as in last Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins, when Jones rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown but Adams had just four catches for 41 yards.
Or the week before, in the win at the New York Giants, when Adams caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns but Jones had just 11 carries for 18 yards.
And then there are the times when it's been neither, such as in the loss at San Francisco when Jones rushed for just 38 yards on 13 carries and Adams managed just 43 yards with a touchdown on seven catches.
The opening drive of the second half against the Bears might serve as the recipe for whatever success the Packers can have the rest of the way, beginning with next Monday night's NFC North showdown at the Minnesota Vikings and then into the postseason. On a five-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, the only three people to touch the football were Rodgers, Adams and Jones. Rodgers hit Adams on a slant for 34 yards and missed him on his only other throw of the drive. Rodgers scrambled once for 17 yards, and then Jones ran twice, including the 21-yard touchdown scamper.
Their next drive looked similar: five plays, 66 yards capped by Jones' 2-yard touchdown run. The other four plays were an Adams dropped pass on first down, two more throws to Adams for 6 and 9 yards, and then the only non-Jones/non-Adams play of the first two drives -- a 49-yard sideline catch and run to receiver Jake Kumerow.
“It just keeps the defense honest because they don’t know who’s going to get it," Adams said. "If they see pass and they think it’s coming to me, it makes it tougher for us if we’re just leaning on that totally, but I think we’ve got a lot of guys. Jake came in and made a great impact play, and I think we can see more of that from him. So, guys just have to make sure they step up."
Yes, the Kumerow play was a nice bonus, but for every play made by someone other than Adams and Jones, there also seems to be a missed chance like the one in the second quarter that ended with Rodgers seemingly upset with tight end Robert Tonyan after the two failed to connect on a third-down play.
"I say it every week, we’re trying to find ways to get our playmakers the ball but at the same time I just don’t know if you can play -- you never want to force feed it," LaFleur said. "It’s easier with a running back obviously, you can always give him the ball in the run game. But as far as the pass game is concerned, we’re trying to put guys in position to be at the point of attack, and if it’s there, yeah, great, take it. And if it’s not there then we have to progress and find our other guys."
Rodgers wasn't at his best. He completed 16 of 33 passes for just 203 yards and made two gaffes that could have cost the Packers -- an inexplicable throw for an obvious intentional grounding and a near fumble when he refused to slide. It was the first time Rodgers completed fewer than half of his passes in a game since a 30-13 Packers win over Minnesota in Week 11 of 2015.
So Adams and his seven-catch, 103-yard, one-touchdown game, and Jones with his 13-carry, 51-yard, two-touchdown game were enough to get the Packers to 11-3 with two games to go in coach Matt LaFleur's first season.
But they might have to do even more to give them any chance for a long playoff run.
Promising trend: Kenny Clark has found his way to the football again. A week after a 1.5-sack performance against the Redskins -- his first sacks since the season opener at Chicago -- he came up with two more against the Bears, although quarterback Mitchell Trubisky gifted him one when he inexplicably ran out of bounds with Clark giving chase.
Promising trend II: With interceptions by Jaire Alexander and Dean Lowry, the Packers have 15 picks this season. That's already more than double their total (seven) from last season, and they still have two games to go.
Troubling trend: Marquez Valdes-Scantling still can't find the football. LaFLeur tried to get the struggling former deep-threat receiver going with a long pass play to open the game. Rodgers delivered a ball that Valdes-Scantling should have caught in stride, but instead it went through his outstretched hands. Valdes-Scantling, who didn't have another target the rest of the game, has just two catches for 11 yards since his two-catch, 133-yard, one-touchdown game on Oct. 20 against the Raiders.
Troubling trend II: ESPN Stats & Information has the Packers with 13 dropped passes this season, which was right about in the middle of the league (tied for 17th). But you could grade them with as many as four drops on Sunday, including two on the opening drive (by Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison) and two more by Adams.