GREEN BAY -- Aaron Rodgers heard the applause after walking out of the stadium tunnel and back on to the field.
The team doctor had checked out his left knee after the Green Bay Packers quarterback was carted off the field in the second quarter. Rodgers, it seemed, had avoided a major injury.
He was good to go. The adrenaline kicked in.
"When I got the ovation, at that point, I said, 'We might as well win this thing,'" Rodgers recounted.
The hobbling two-time NFL MVP threw three touchdown passes in the second half after returning from injury, and the Green Bay Packers overcame a 20-point deficit for a thrilling 24-23 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
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.
Nick Perry sacked the Bears' Mitchell Trubisky on fourth-and-10 with 58 seconds to complete the comeback.
Against the archrival Bears. To start the Packers' 100th season.
Sunday marked the first time in franchise history that the Packers won after trailing by 17-plus points entering the fourth quarter, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The following Packers' players were declared inactive ahead of Sunday's matchup:
- 8 QB Tim Boyle
- 11 WR Trevor Davis
- 27 S Josh Jones
- 36 S Raven Greene
- 42 LB Oren Burks
- 70 T/G Alex Light
- 82 WR J'Mon Moore
T David Bakhtiari (offense), S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (defense) and LB Kyler Fackrell (special teams) served as captains for the season opener.
The Chicago Bears were the first to get on the board, scoring a touchdown early in the first. With the extra point, it was Bears 7, Packers 0.
The Bears scored a field goal early in the second, extending their lead to 10-0.
Late in the second quarter, Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers rode a cart into the locker room after seemingly injuring his knee. DeShone Kizer entered the game at QB for the Packers with about five minutes remaining in the second.
The Bears added to their lead with a touchdown late in the second. With the extra point, the score was Chicago 17, Green Bay 0.
Early in the third quarter, the Bears extended their lead with a field goal, bringing the score to 20-0. QB Aaron Rodgers returned to the field.
The Packers finally got on the board late in the third, with a 42-yard field goal by Mason Crosby.
That brought the score to Chicago 20, Green Bay 3 with about three minutes left in the third.
The first Packers' touchdown of the game came in the fourth quarter, with a pass from QB Aaron Rodgers to Geronimo Allison -- a 39-yard TD. That brought the score to Chicago 20, Green Bay 10.
The Packers cut the Bears' lead to 20-17 after an Aaron Rodgers TD pass to Davante Adams with about nine minutes left in the fourth.
The Bears kicked a field goal late in the fourth to bring the score to 23-17 with under three minutes left in the game.
The Packers took the lead when Randall Cobb ran the ball in for a 75-yard touchdown late in the fourth -- bringing the score to 24-23 Packers!