Aaron Rodgers Leads Packers to 31-23 Win over Bears


They put up a heck of a fight, but in the end Aaron Rodgers was too much for the Bears to handle. The Green Bay Packers came in to Soldier Field and walked away with a 31-23 Week 1 win.

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Rodgers completed 18-of-23 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. He did not throw an interception. While Rodgers was not asked to do as much in the Packers’ offense as he normally is, he was extremely efficient, playing nearly perfect football in this one.

Despite Rodgers’ ability to methodically move the Packers’ offense down the field, the Bears were able to hand tough through most of the contest. Most of that had to do with an impressive Bears’ rushing attack led by Matt Forte.

Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs past Green Bay Packers cornerback

Sam Shields

(37) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Forte ran the ball 24 times on the afternoon, finishing with 141 yards, an impressive 5.9 yards per carry average. He also scored the Bears’ first touchdown early in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge.

That touchdown by Forte capped off the Bears’ most impressive drive of the game, where they marched down the field 80 yards on 15 plays, and chewed up seven minutes and 54 seconds of game clock. Forte had 62 yards rushing on 10 carries throughout the drive, which gave the Bears’ a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

The two teams traded field goals before half to give the Bears a 13-10 at halftime.

The Packers however, came out firing to start the second half, and capped off a six-play, 59-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to James Jones. That touchdown reception was Jones’ second of the game. He returned to the Packers in a big way on Sunday catching four passes from Rodgers for 51 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon.

Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) makes a touchdown catch over Chicago Bears defensive back

Alan Ball

(24) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

To their credit, the Bears drove down the field on the next drive to keep the game close. They were not able to punch it in the end zone, but kicker Robbie Gould was able to hit a 44-yard field goal to bring the Bears to only a 17-16 deficit.

Unfortunately for the Bears, Rodgers immediately drove the Packers back down the field, scoring on a five-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. After a Jay Cutler interception, the Packers scored again, this time on a two-yard plunge by Eddie Lacy, giving the Packers a 31-16 lead that they would never relinquish.

The Bears did answer quickly on an impressive six-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to tight end Martellus Bennett. However, the Bears’ attempt at an onside kick was recovered by the Packers, essentially ending the game.

Cutler’s interception loomed large in this one, but he actually had himself a nice game. He completed 18-of-36 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Not great numbers, but Cutler managed the Bears’ offense very nicely.

Forte was the star of the show on the Bears’ offense, but Alshon Jeffery‘s five receptions for 78 yards were also worth mentioning. Kyle Long‘s debut at right tackle did exactly go according to plan, as he struggled with Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews off the edge throughout the contest.

Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is pursued by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively, it was mostly an uninspiring performance by the Bears, but that was mostly to be expected facing the Packers’ well-oiled offensive machine. The secondary particularly struggled, with cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and especially Alan Ball getting picked on throughout.

The Bears did not look great in this one, but it was nice to see them fight throughout the contest. The offense looked better than I expected, and once they start to play more together, I think they have a chance to be a dynamic unit. The defense is a work in progress.

Rodgers and the Packers did the Bears in once again, but not all is lost. The Bears will have their hands full next week against the Arizona Cardinals, but after this showing, I think they have a chance.

Next: Bears 2015 Season Preview

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