Aaron Rodgers' impact upon the New York Jets transcends his contribution on the field, says team-mate Quincy Williams, who has lauded the quarterback's "huge" influence.

The Jets are still awaiting an on-field impact from Rodgers, who was expected to lead the team into title contention after arriving from the Green Bay Packers but saw his 2023 season end in Week 1. 

Rodgers, a 10-time Pro Bowler, tore his Achilles tendon on just his fourth snap in Jets colours, finishing his only game of 2023 0-for-1 passing in a 22-16 defeat to the Buffalo Bills.  

Replacement QB Zach Wilson struggled through the remainder of the season as the Jets finished 7-10, but Williams says Rodgers still exerted a big influence in the dressing room.

"It's been a huge impact," Williams said of his veteran team-mate. "Let's be honest, he wanted those gold jacket guys soon, that's the most important thing.

"Anything he tells you, [you take] as constructive criticism. You write it down thinking about it because he'll come up to you in the middle of practice like: 'Hey this is what I'm looking at, what do you think about this?' 

"He's one of those open people where you can also go to him and say, 'I've got a question about the game plan', even if it's offense or defense.

"The most important thing is he advises about being a pro off the field, nutrition wise, on training and things like mental health, things you want to focus on so you can be better during the season."

Though Rodgers was unable to make an impact for the Jets on the field, Williams left his own mark and was rewarded with the first All-Pro selection of his career. 

That achievement capped a remarkable turnaround for the linebacker, who put his injury struggles behind him to appear in all 17 Jets games in 2023.

"I would describe it as a rollercoaster," Williams said. "The change from this year to last year was just me buying in.

"I came from a small school at Murray State and got drafted third round, then I ran into a lot of injuries in Jacksonville.

"I got cut from the Jaguars but got a great opportunity from the Jets to come and play with them, and also to play with my brother [Quinnen Williams].

"The season didn't go [to plan] but, most importantly, we faced the adversity. Everyone was on the same page.

"I wouldn't change the rollercoaster I was on because of the people I was with; those are my team-mates, my brother, and also my coaching staff."

This International Women's Day, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears announced the expansion of the Jets and Bears NFL Girls Flag League, the first UK all-girls competition of its kind. To learn more about the initiative, please visit www.chicagobears.com and https://nyjetsinuk.com/girls-flag.

The Philadelphia Eagles gave up a 2024 fourth-round pick to move up one spot from 10th to ninth overall, selecting Georgia's standout defensive lineman Jalen Carter.

Carter, 22, led a historically great Bulldogs defense to consecutive National Championships in 2021 and 2022, earning unanimous selection as an All-American as a junior this past season.

He finished his three-year career at Georgia with 83 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in 35 total games, and has been called arguably the most talented defensive tackle prospect since Aaron Donald.

Viewed as one of the draft's premier talents, his stock took a tumble after he was involved in a street race that resulted in the death of his Georgia team-mate Devin Willock in January.

Carter pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour and will face no jail time, although it was enough to cross his name off some teams' boards atop the draft.

The trade saw the Chicago Bears move back one spot to 10 after their anticipated pick Paris Johnson Jr was taken by the Arizona Cardinals at six, and they stayed with their plan to take an offensive lineman, selecting Darnell Wright.

The Chicago Bears have signed Tremaine Edmunds to the largest four-year contract ever given to an inside linebacker.

His new contract is worth up to $72million over the next four years, with $50m guaranteed.

Edmunds, 24, was a first round pick by the Buffalo Bills back in 2018, before going on to make the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020.

His number the past two seasons have been nearly identical to his Pro Bowl years, eclipsing 100 total tackles for the fifth straight campaign despite playing a career-low 13 games in 2022.

A giant for his position at middle-linebacker, the six-foot-five Edmunds has tallied 6.5 sacks, 35 pass break-ups, 32 tackles for loss and five interceptions in his 74 career regular season games.

While Edmunds is undoubtedly a premier player at his position, it is curious to see the franchise invest so heavily at middle linebacker after trading away former top-10 draft pick Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens at the deadline for a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick.

Smith, who is a year older at 25, proceeded to sign a five-year deal worth up to $100m, making him the highest-paid middle-linebacker in league history, although at an average annual value not far away from Edmunds' new contract.

The Carolina Panthers have agreed a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bears to put them in position to take a leading quarterback with the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

It had already been reported the Bears would be open to offers for the number one pick.

And ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Friday an agreement had been reached with the Panthers.

In return, the Bears are set to receive two first-round picks – number nine this year and a first-round selection next year – along with this year's 61st pick, a further second-round pick in 2025 and wide receiver DJ Moore.

The Bears look to already have their QB of the future in Justin Fields but will now have the opportunity to build around him.

Meanwhile, the Panthers will likely look at either Bryce Young of Alabama or C.J. Stroud of Ohio State.

Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker each had opportunities as the Panthers' starter in 2022, yet none of the trio impressed.

Whoever Carolina take with the first pick will head into their rookie season without the team's top target from last year as Moore instead links up with Fields.

Moore led the team in receptions (63), receiving yards (888) and receiving touchdowns (seven). No Bears receiver topped any of those marks.

Those seven TDs were a career high, although Moore had topped 1,100 receiving yards in each of the previous three seasons.

The Chicago Bears are seriously considering trading their number one pick ahead of this year's NFL draft.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bears are "leaning towards" accepting a trade from one of the many teams looking to bring in a top quarterback prospect, believing their priorities to lie elsewhere.

The Bears have the top pick heading into the draft after a disappointing 3-14 season in 2022.

General manager Ryan Poles has already given his support to Justin Fields as Chicago's starting quarterback heading into the 2023 season, recently saying that a QB prospect would have to amaze him for the Bears to draft one with their top pick.

"We're going to do the same as we've always done," Poles said last month. "We're going to evaluate the draft class, and I would say this: I would have to be absolutely blown away to make that type of decision."

Fields was one of the few positives in a Bears campaign that concluded with a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak.

The number 11 pick in the 2021 draft claimed 1,143 rushing yards overall, averaging a league-leading 7.14 yards per rush and had an NFL-best four rushing touchdowns of 50-plus yards.

In terms of his throwing, though, among the 32 quarterbacks with a minimum of 250 pass attempts, Fields ranked 25th in passer rating (85.2), 31st in completion percentage (60.4) and 32nd in yards per game (149.5).

Of teams in the top 10 picks of the draft, at least five could be looking to select a quarterback first, including the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers.

Alabama's Bryce Young, Kentucky's Will Levis and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are three quarterbacks all projected to be drafted in the top 10 in late April.

Considering the Chicago Bears just wrapped up one of the worst years in franchise history, it is no surprise the team has plenty of needs it could fill with the number one pick in the draft.

Selecting a quarterback first overall, however, appears highly unlikely.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles supported Justin Fields as being Chicago's starting quarterback heading into the 2023 season and said a QB prospect would have to utterly amaze him for the Bears to draft him with the top pick.

"We're going to do the same as we've always done," Poles said on Tuesday. "We're going to evaluate the draft class, and I would say this: I would have to be absolutely blown away to make that type of decision."

Fields was one of the few bright spots on a Bears team that ended the 2022 season on a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak and secured the top pick by finishing 3-14.

The abysmal record was not a huge surprise, though, considering the team went through a midseason teardown by trading away defensive standouts Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn and lacked significant talent at the offensive skill positions while the o-line was deemed substandard.

Although Fields emerged as one of the most exciting players in the NFL, capable of springing off a highlight run on any given play, the second-year quarterback failed to make many game-changing plays with his arm.

There are also questions of how Poles evaluates his skillset given Fields was drafted by the previous regime.

With 1,143 rushing yards, Fields – the number 11 pick in the 2021 draft – averaged a league-leading 7.14 yards per rush and had an NFL-best four rushing touchdowns of 50-plus yards. He flirted with breaking the NFL single-season quarterback rushing record set by Baltimore's Lamar Jackson in his 2019 MVP season had he not missed Sunday's finale with a strained hip.

"I thought Justin did a good job," Poles said. "I thought we changed a lot, we adapted, we tried to put him in a position to be successful, he showed the ability to be a playmaker. Be impactful. He can change games quickly. Does he have room to grow? He does. He has to get better as a passer, and I'm excited to see him take those steps as we move forward."

Despite being one of the most dangerous runners in the league, Fields and the Bears had trouble moving the ball through the air.

Among the 32 quarterbacks with a minimum of 250 attempts, Fields ranked 25th in passer rating (85.2), 31st in completion percentage (60.4) and 32nd in yards per game (149.5).

An argument could be made he did not have enough support around him, and that is where owning the top pick works in the Bears’ favour.

Poles could decide to use the top pick to fill a need or trade down with a team looking to take a quarterback for more draft picks.

Alabama's Bryce Young, Kentucky's Will Levis and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are the three quarterbacks all projected to be drafted in the top 10, with some combination of them possibly going 1-2.

The Bears also have about $118million in salary cap room to restock the roster.

'"I think we have really good flexibility to help this team, regardless if it's making the pick there or moving back a little bit or moving back a lot," Poles said. "We'll be open to everything."

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields will miss their season finale against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday due to a hip strain, ending his bid for the NFL single-season quarterback rushing record.

Fields sustained the hip injury in the Bears' 41-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, with Nathan Peterman to start in his absence at Soldier Field.

The 2021 NFL Draft 11th overall selection will finish the regular season 64 yards short of Lamar Jackson's NFL QB rushing record of 1,206 yards.

Fields had undergone an MRI after reporting hip soreness on Monday, with the scan revealing a strain.

"He's just not able to go full speed," Bears head coach Matt Eberflus told reporters on Wednesday. "I asked him how it was today, and he said it's still real sore."

Eberflus insisted that the 3-13 Bears' draft position was not behind the decision to rule out Fields, given they could jump the Houston Texans to earn the No.1 overall pick should they lose and the Texans win their Week 18 games.

"I would just go back to our normal operating procedure," Eberflus said. "So, what is it? It's the medical staff, so he didn't clear that hurdle.

"If he'd have cleared that hurdle, then we'd have to go to the next one, which is the coaches. Is he functioning the way he can function to protect himself, right?

"Then it's the player. Does he feel good about doing that. So, he didn't clear the first one. So, that's just where it is."

Fields will finish the season with a passing completion rate of 60.4 per cent for 2242 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The 23-year-old had 1143 rushing yards for eight touchdowns.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is over the moon to be heading on the road next week to take on the Green Bay Packers with a spot in the playoffs potentially up for grabs.

The Lions bounced back from a loss last week to trounce the Chicago Bears 41-10 on Sunday, making it seven wins from their past nine fixtures and improving their record to 8-8.

There was also some history made by the second overall selection from the 2022 NFL Draft, with Lions edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson snagging his third interception to tie the record for the most by a defensive lineman in a season in the Super Bowl era.

Hutchinson also shared a sack with teammate Ifeatu Melifonwu, one of seven total sacks on Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Campbell pointed to a fully padded practice on Wednesday as the rallying point for his side facing a tricky quarterback matchup with their season on the line.

"We went full pads on Wednesday and said we were going to get our identity back, and we're going to recalibrate, and those guys did that," he said.

"They trusted us, and they came out and it looked like that. It looked like we were ready to go, it looked like we were more physical. I was proud of them.

"Here's the hard thing with playing a guy like [Justin] Fields, man. If you just come barrelling off the edge, and you're out of control, then he's gone.

"So you have to be able to bring a little bit of force and close the pocket in on him, but you can't commit one way or another because he'll break contain again.

"While all this is happening, our back-end is having to cover their rear off for five, six, seven seconds at a time. You give up a couple of holding calls, that's not an easy task there.

"But all-in-all, I thought we snapped back on defense. We were much more physical, we got takeaways, we got sacks, we were disruptive."

Detroit's win keeps their season alive for at least one more week, and Campbell said he feels blessed to get a chance to play a massive January game at the famous Lambeau Field.

"I think it means everything," he said. "I think it's just so special – it's as good as it can get, seriously.

"You get to go to Lambeau – historic Lambeau – where the top of this division has been Green Bay every year for years, with a chance to earn your right to potentially get in.

"Even if we do get the win, it doesn't mean we're guaranteed to get in. But I know this, we're guaranteed to get one more week, and so I just think this is as special as it gets. I don't think you'd want it any other way."

The Lions will be relying on another strong performance from quarterback Jared Goff, who Campbell said is "extremely hot" after his three-touchdown effort.

"He has a ton of confidence right now, and he's had that for a while," he said. "He's played pretty well all year.

"You can just tell he's in this mode right now where you feel like every time you dial up a pass, he's going to find somebody. He's going to find the throw, he's going to get it to the guy that's open.

"That's a great feeling, man. To feel your quarterback is in that mode, and he's been there, that's a great feeling."

Goff himself has played in playoff games and took the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl appearance, but he still acknowledged how meaningful it still is to just have a chance at making the postseason.

"It's huge," he said. "Not every team, players, young guys get an opportunity to play in games like this.

"There are a bunch of guys here who, for the first half of their careers, have not had a chance to play a game in January that means something, and we're going to get that chance next week.

"Whether it gets us in or not, that's not up to us, but we're going in there and trying to win, and see where everything falls at the end."

For most fantasy leagues, Week 17 brings the end of the campaign.

The number of players traditionally held out of action to protect against injury in the raft of games with no playoff implications in Week 18 means it is too risky to hold fantasy championships on the final week of the regular season.

Hence, most fantasy title games will take place this week, and those involved may spend the days prior to the upcoming kick-offs agonising over which players to put in their line-up.

Often players who appeared unlikely fantasy stars at the start of the year emerge as league winners, and here Stats Perform picks out four such players and a defense whose contributions could decide the destination of fantasy titles. 

Quarterback: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

The dynamism Fields brings as a runner always gave him potential fantasy upside and he has harnessed that spectacularly in 2022. Fields had been a top-10 fantasy quarterback every week since Week 6 before he was held in check by the Buffalo Bills last Saturday.

While the Lions are in the mix for a playoff spot, their defense, which gave up an astonishing 320 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers last week, is not well-equipped to slow down Fields, who should be expected to bounce back and deliver a championship-game tilting display.

Running Back: Brian Robinson Jr, Washington Commanders vs. Cleveland Browns

Robinson was frustrated by the San Francisco 49ers' outstanding defense last time out, but he is unlikely to meet much resistance from a Cleveland defense that is allowing the seventh-most yards per rush (4.87) in the NFL.

Between Weeks 12 and 15, only Miles Sanders (5.98) averaged more yards per carry than Robinson (5.69) among running backs. He hit a large speed bump in the Bay Area but, back in the friendly confines of FedEx Field against an opponent already eliminated from playoff contention, Robinson is in a good position to get back on track in a must-win game for the Commanders.

Wide Receiver: Garrett Wilson, New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks

Wilson's production was submarined by the struggles of namesake Zach Wilson against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

In a game the Jets cannot afford to lose, they will have Mike White back at quarterback in Seattle, setting Wilson up for a bounce-back game against an opposing defense that is very amenable to passing attacks.

Since Week 12, Wilson has racked up 24 receptions for a first down, tied for the third-most in the NFL. The Seahawks have allowed the seventh-most passing plays of at least 20 yards (49) and, despite possessing some talented rookie cornerbacks, do not have the means to stop White and Wilson rekindling their rapport.

Tight End: Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Engram received one of the more modest deals during the Jaguars' free agency splurge, but his signing has paid dividends over the last three games, in which only two players – Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown – can claim to have tallied more receiving yards than his 337.

The Texans are playing hard down the stretch and claimed only their second win of the season in Tennessee last weekend, but their defense is still the 10th-worst by yards per pass play allowed. Look for Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence to take advantage with an aerial attack that will heavily involve Engram.

Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Despite being very inexperienced in the secondary, the Chiefs' defense sits an impressive 11th in the NFL by yards per play and, as Kansas City look to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills in the race for the one seed in the AFC, gets a favourable matchup with Denver's dismal offense.

The Broncos' 33.9 per cent Success Rate on offensive plays is the worst in the NFL and a Chiefs defense that has forced the third-most negative plays (103) in the league should relish going against Denver's beleaguered attack.

The Buffalo Bills overturned a half-time deficit to defeat the Chicago Bills 35-13 on Saturday and clinch the AFC East title.

The freezing conditions in Chicago gave this the feel of a home game for the Bills, but they were far from comfortable early on and threatened to blow their lead in the race for home-field advantage in the AFC.

Josh Allen responded to Justin Fields' opening touchdown drive by leading Buffalo down the field and completing a 19-yard TD pass to Gabe Davis.

But the Bills missed the PAT, and the only score for the remainder of the half was a successful Bears field goal, giving Chicago a 10-6 lead through two quarters.

The hopes of the Bears – and the Bills' AFC rivals – were quickly dashed in the second half, however, as Devin Singletary dashed in from 33 yards and then James Cook followed him from 27 yards for a second score in double-quick time either side of a Chicago fumble.

An unconvincing Allen display, which included two interceptions and a recovered fumble, kept the Bears in contention, yet they could not capitalise.

And the Bills QB finished in more familiar fashion with a rushing score and a TD pass to Dawson Knox in the closing stages as Buffalo took another step towards the first seed.

Bills feel the heat in AFC

The pressure had been on the Bills because there never appeared any possibility of the Kansas City Chiefs not defeating the stumbling Seattle Seahawks. A 24-10 victory was Patrick Mahomes' first against the Seahawks, meaning the Indianapolis Colts are the only team he has now played but not beaten.

The Cincinnati Bengals also remain in contention at the top of the AFC after a dominant first half against the New England Patriots. Joe Burrow completed 28 passes – a season high for any QB in any half – for 284 yards and three touchdowns before half-time, meaning the Bengals could just about withstand a second-half pick six in a 22-18 win.

The Patriots' defeat meant the Baltimore Ravens clinched their playoff berth with a 17-9 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons.

Another manic Minnesota finish

Having claimed a record-breaking comeback win last week, the Minnesota Vikings had to hold off a rally from the New York Giants, who tied the game late on. However, a 40-yard field goal from Greg Joseph had defeated the Colts, and he topped that effort with a 61-yard conversion as time expired for a 27-24 Vikings victory.

The Detroit Lions, Minnesota's NFC North rivals, saw their three-game winning run ended by the Carolina Panthers. Both the Panthers and the New Orleans Saints improved to 6-9, firmly in contention in the miserable NFC South.

The Philadelphia Eagles may have already won the NFC East and will enter Week 16 without quarterback Jalen Hurts, but a clash with the Dallas Cowboys remains the standout game on the slate.

While the Cowboys' attempts to stick with the Eagles this year were hampered by their road form, Dallas are strong at home and will hope to send a warning to their division rivals ahead of a playoff campaign in which both teams will hope to feature prominently.

Elsewhere, the Kansas City Chiefs have work to do still as they aim, like the Eagles, to secure a bye with the number one seed in the AFC.

But it is not all about the NFL's leading lights, with the battle for position ahead of the postseason ongoing – with a big game in store in Charlotte.

Stats Perform picks out the key facts ahead of a busy Christmas weekend...

Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

In beating the Chicago Bears last week, the Eagles secured a 13th win in a single season for only the third time in franchise history. On the two previous occasions, Philly finished with a 13-3 record and reached the Super Bowl, losing to the New England Patriots in the 2004 season and beating the same team in 2017.

The Eagles have never won 14 games in a regular season and will be without injured QB Hurts as they aim to end a four-game losing streak in Dallas.

But the Cowboys are coming into this big home game on a downer, having blown a 17-point lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week for their first loss in five.

That game also again showed big QB performances can sometimes prove immaterial, with Dak Prescott throwing for 256 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys are 1-2 this season when Prescott has thrown three or more TD passes and only 7-6 since 2020. Prior to that, they were 13-3 in such games.

Seattle Seahawks (7-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)

Patrick Mahomes and Geno Smith each earned Pro Bowl selections this week – a fifth for Mahomes but only a first for Smith. Both were well deserved, with the pair third and second respectively for passer rating among qualifying players this year (Smith, 105.3, and Mahomes, 105.0).

However, Mahomes will look to do something he has never done before on Saturday: beat the Seahawks. Having lost 38-31 to Seattle in his only previous such clash in 2018, they are one of just two teams Mahomes has played but never beaten (also 0-2 against the Indianapolis Colts).

Smith, who has never faced the Chiefs, leads the NFC with 26 touchdown passes as he aims to follow Russell Wilson (2017 and 2018) and Matt Hasselbeck (2005) as the only Seahawks to lead the conference across a season. However, with eight interceptions and four fumbles lost by Smith, Seattle are the sole team in the league to have committed a turnover in every game this year.

Detroit Lions (7-7) @ Carolina Panthers (5-9)

The Lions' stunning 6-1 run, including an active three-game winning streak, has them firmly in playoff contention in the NFC. The last time they won six out of seven games in a single season, back in 2016, was also the last time they made the postseason.

However, the Lions have a miserable history against the Panthers. Their 3-7 record in this matchup is their worst against any current NFC franchise, while Detroit are 0-5 on the road against the Panthers since winning on their first trip in 1999.

With Jared Goff in the best form of his career, the Lions will hope to snap that streak. He has gone six games without an interception, which ties the longest such streak by a Lions QB since the statistic was first tracked in 1960. Goff had never previously gone more than three games without throwing a pick.


The Bears this week face the Buffalo Bills, the only team in the Super Bowl era to have lost more consecutive games with 125 or more rushing yards in each loss. Chicago have lost seven in a row, but the 1976 Bills were defeated in 10. With 2,616 rushing yards but a 3-11 record, the Bears are on course to become the first team to lead the league in rushing yards yet have one of the worst two records since the 1932 Staten Island Stapletons.

Recent history suggests the Minnesota Vikings will follow up last week's record-breaking comeback against the Colts with another win over the New York Giants. The Vikings' 7-2 record against the Giants since 2005 is their best against NFC opposition and New York's worst.

The Patriots will have to upset the Cincinnati Bengals to get their playoff bid back on track, yet they have won their past seven home games in this matchup, including the last four while scoring at least 35 points. The last team to win five in a row at home to any one team while scoring 35 points or more were the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons between 1992 and 1996.

Tua Tagovailoa will be relieved this week's game against the Green Bay Packers is in Miami and not Wisconsin. Following last week's defeat to Buffalo, the Dolphins QB is 0-4 in starts when the weather is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit; he is 17-7 when the temperature is at least 50 degrees.

Justin Fields received a fitting moniker from Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay after the Chicago Bears quarterback added yet more plays for his extensive 2022 highlight reel in their Week 15 clash.

A 25-20 victory for the Eagles put Philadelphia one win away from securing the top seed in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they were made to work hard by the three-win Bears.

Fields was the driving force behind the Bears' valiant efforts, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for 95 yards to break 1,000 rushing yards for the season, joining Lamar Jackson (2019, 2020) and Michael Vick (2006) as the only quarterbacks to hit the four-figure mark.

While the loss dropped the Bears to 3-11, the second-worst record in the NFL, Slay believes the future is bright for Chicago with Fields leading the team.  

"He's a 4.4 guy [in the 40-yard dash]. That's what makes it tough. He is not like a 4.7 or nothing. When he gets up the field he can make you miss and he can run past you," he told reporters.

"The kid's tough. He gets hit a lot and keeps going. He had a cramp, went in and came back in for a two-minute drive. He's a tough kid.

"Chicago got a lot of upside coming from him. They're gonna have a great future with him. He's a highlight film, for real man. I salute my cap off to him and it's hard for a quarterback to be that tough."

With three games remaining in the Bears' season, Fields sits 207 yards away from breaking Jackson's single-season rushing record of 1,206 yards for a quarterback, set in 2019, and conceded breaking that mark is a goal for him with the Bears' playoff hopes having long since been ended.

"I'm already deep in it this year, so might as well try to go get that record," he told reporters.

"I think I need, what, 206? So, three games left? That's about 70 yards a game? We'll see what happens."

While Jackson has broken the 1,000-yard mark in two different seasons, Fields does not intend to make it a habit, adding: "I don't plan on rushing for 1,000 yards every year."

The Bears face a difficult end to the season, with home games against the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, who have already secured their playoff spots, either side of a trip to face a rejuvenated Lions side in Detroit.

Aaron Rodgers always felt confident the Green Bay Packers would rally to triumph in a "special rivalry" with the Chicago Bears and revelled in helping the franchise make NFL history.

Trailing 19-10 through three quarters, the Packers outscored the Bears 18-0 in the fourth to run out 28-19 winners and rack up an eighth straight victory in matches between the two teams.

Back in October 2021, Rodgers went viral for yelling "I own you" at Bears fans during a typically volatile 24-14 win.

Sunday was by vintage Rodgers, who has been contending with a broken thumb since October and injured his ribs against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but he completed 18 of 31 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown en route to improving to 25-5 against the Bears.

Asked whether this continued his "ownership" of the Bears, Rodgers replied: "Yes.

"We've got a special rivalry that I've been able to be a part of and there was probably a lot of people that felt good at 19-10, so did I.

"A win against the Bears is always a little more special, there was other things involved, the all-time win total was cool, another fourth-quarter comeback.

"I told the guys in the locker room we've played good enough at times to beat anyone in the league, and at times played poor enough to lose to just about anybody."

With the win, the Packers moved outright top on the list of all-time NFL victories at 787, one clear of the Bears in second.

It is a statistic Rodgers takes great pride in.

"It means a lot, part of the legacy is you always want to leave the place you're at better than you found it," he said.

"Right now, we flipped the all-time series [versus the Bears], all-time wins, we've had a lot of success against them.

"In a few years you'll look back and feel pretty good about your contributions to the rivalry."

The Minnesota Vikings took another big stride towards the playoffs with a 27-22 victory over the New York Jets, courtesy of fine showing in the second quarter.

All square with a field goal each in the first quarter, the Vikings hit boiling point to score 17 points without return to enter the half with a commanding lead.

A rushing touchdown each from Dalvin Cook, his eighth of the year, and Alexander Mattison left the Jets needing a response from the third quarter in order to maintain hope for their own postseason push.

The Jets did exactly that, scoring 12 unanswered points, all from the boot of Greg Zuerlein, to claw their way back into the game – Mike White then scoring a touchdown in the fourth on the Jets' immediate possession after Justin Jefferson added further gloss to the Vikings advantage.

It was not to be though, as Braxton Barrios dropped a pass in the endzone for the Jets, before White's last-ditch throw on the final possession was picked off at the goal line by Camryn Bynum to clinch a tenth win of the season for Minnesota.

However, with the Detroit Lions 40-14 victors against the Jaguars, the Vikings did not get the favour they needed from Jacksonville and will have to wait to cement their postseason spot.

Packers lead the way

The Green Bay Packers scored 17 straight fourth-quarter points, as well as a blocked field goal and two interceptions, on their way to a comeback victory against the Chicago Bears – which created NFL history.

Trailing 10-0 and 16-3 in the first half, Aaron Rodgers' side fought back to seal a 28-19 win and became the NFL's all-time winningest franchise, taking their franchise total to 787.

Honours even between Commanders and Giants

The divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants went all the way into overtime, after Taylor Heinicke's 28-yard touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson levelled the score at 20-20 to end the fourth quarter.

Neither side managed to get the score they needed to secure what would have been a valuable win for the playoff charge, resulting in the first tie between the two franchises since 1997 and only the fifth all-time.

Four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers will keep an "open mind" to the Green Bay Packers shutting him down this season.

Rodgers picked up a rib injury in Sunday's 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and has been playing with a broken thumb on his throwing arm.

The Packers are third in the NFC North with a 4-8 record and given Rodgers' injuries, there has been talk of shutting him down for the season to recover and give young backup Jordan Love an opportunity.

Rodgers and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur have dismissed that notion this week with the quarterback determined to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

But the 38-year-old offered a hint that he may be open to consider being shut down in the right circumstances, when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

"I'd love to finish the season out, but I understand this is a business and there's a lot of us kind of older guys who play a decent amount and they might want to see some younger guys play," Rodgers said.

"Hopefully we don't have to have that conversation. But if that conversation comes up, I'll approach that with an open mind and without any bitterness or resentment.

"Obviously, I want to win out and we don't have to have those conversations. I understand if we don't that's a possibility to have that conversation."

Rodgers was dismissive when asked about the benefit of being shut down with a view to next season.

"That's an assumption that this place won't look any different next year," Rodgers said. "Again, that's part of the conversation."

When asked why he wants to keep playing, Rodgers said: "Pride for one. Love of the game. They're paying me to play. A lot of different issues but I love to compete and want to be out there with my guys."

Rodgers has thrown 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 starts this season, with a 64.8 per cent completion rate. His nine interceptions are his most in a season since 2010.

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