The Chicago Bears’ running attack was on point, but their secondary was not as they dropped a 31-23 game to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
The Bears got the ball first to start the game, and they immediately began making strides against the Green Bay defense. Vladimir Ducasse had an excellent block on a lengthy 22-yard run from Matt Forte early in the drive, and then Alshon Jeffery made a big play down the field as he hauled in a 25-yard reception to move the Bears into the red zone.
Unfortunately for the Bears, their drive stalled out after a Ducasse penalty, and when Jay Cutler was sacked on third down the team had to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to give them a 3-0 lead.
The two teams traded unsuccessful drives as the quarter wore on, but late in the frame the Packers were able to get on the board. Eddie Lacy got the drive kick-started with a couple of solid plays in both the passing and rushing game, and James Jones finished things off as he hauled in a pass from Aaron Rodgers to give the Packers a 7-3 lead with less than a minute to go in the quarter.
As the second quarter got underway, the Bears drove down the field and benefitted from Green Bay penalties and the aggressive running of Forte. Forte got the Bears several first downs on the drive, and after Sam Shields was flagged for a holding penalty on a Gould field goal attempt, Forte ended up scoring a few plays later to give the team a 10-7 lead about halfway through the second quarter.
Jones continued to best Ball on the outside as the Packers pushed the ball down the field, hauling in two passes to get the Green Bay offense churning. Despite the success they had, they were ultimately halted by their own undisciplined play, as two holding penalties limited them to a field goal that tied the game at 10-10 with a little over two minutes remaining in the first half.
The Bears managed to push the ball up the field late in the quarter, with Cutler making a huge play to rush for a first down near midfield, and even though they ended up running out of time before they got a crack at the end zone, Gould drilled a 50-yard field goal to give them a 13-10 lead just before halftime.
The Packers got the ball to lead off the second half of the game, and Rodgers promptly marched them down the field on a touchdown drive. Davante Adams made a tremendous play to haul in a catch along the sidelines to set up a first-and-goal, and Jones finished it off as he beat Ball again at the goal line to give Green Bay a 17-13 lead.
The Bears responded with a scoring drive of their own, but penalties once again cost them an opportunity to get into the end zone. Matt Slauson was the guilty party on the drive as he committed a holding penalty, but Gould nailed another field goal to make it a 17-16 game late in the third quarter.
Rodgers and the Packers got the ball back and methodically picked the Bears apart on a lengthy scoring drive in the fourth quarter. The drive concluded on an excellent throw from Rodgers that found Randall Cobb in the corner of the end zone, and the Packers seized a 24-16 advantage.
The Bears’ next drive was going well following a 50-yard reception from Marquess Wilson, but the Packers’ defense forced a Cutler mistake to end the threat. Clay Matthews made the play happen as he read a Martellus Bennett route over the middle of the field, and he jumped in and intercepted the pass to give Green Bay the ball back.
For good measure, the Packers added another touchdown to seal the victory. After a pass interference penalty on Kyle Fuller, Lacy rushed the ball in across the goal line to make it a 31-16 game.
The Bears did threaten late in the game as Bennett hauled in a touchdown pass with less than a minute to go, but they were unable to recover the onside kick, and the Packers escaped Chicago with the victory.
The Bears will look to get their first win next week when they welcome the Arizona Cardinals to Soldier Field.