Bears close the gap with Packers, but still drop season opener


Bears close the gap with Packers, but still drop season opener

Last season in Green Bay as the Packers blew out the Bears at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers knew exactly what the Bears defense was going to do.

In the 2015 season opener Sunday at Soldier Field, Rodgers and the Packers had no idea what to expect from new-look Bears, but it wasn't enough for the Bears to turn the tide in the rivalry.

The Packers still won 31-23, though the Bears hung with them for most of the game, showing an inspired effort on both sides of the ball until Jay Cutler threw an interception to Clay Matthews with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was flagged for a big pass interference call just before the two-minute warning to set up the Packers' final score as they put the game away with a two-yard Eddie Lacy touchdown run.

Cutler connected with Martellus Bennett on a 24-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining to make the game appear closer than it was.

The Bears actually entered the fourth quarter down only 17-16, but Rodgers connected with Randall Cobb for a five-yard touchdown pass four minutes into the final stanza and the Packers never looked back.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The Bears had two good chances to score early in the fourth quarter, but the first drive stalled at the two-yard line when Cutler threw three straight incomplete passes to turn the ball over on downs.

After the Bears defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, the Bears offense took over with solid field position and converted on third-and-long before Cutler threw the next pass right into Matthews' hands.

Matt Forte was a huge reason why the Bears kept things close, racking up 141 rushing yards, including 105 yards on 16 carries in the first half. He also added five catches for 25 yards and had a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Bears defense kept Rodgers at bay for most of the game, throwing different looks at the Packers' All-Pro quarterback. The Packers also shot themselves in the foot with several key false start and holding penalties, but came through when they needed to most down the stretch.

Rodgers finished the day 18-for-23 for 189 yards and three TDs while Lacy had 85 rushing yards.

Cutler was only 18-for-36 with 225 yards through the air and 31 yards on the ground. Alshon Jeffery was the Bears' leading receiver with 78 yards on five catches.

Robbie Gould was 3-for-3 in field goals on the afternoon, nailing a 28-yarder in the first quarter, a 50-yarder with eight seconds left before half and a 44-yarder in the third quarter.

Gould's second-quarter field goal gave the Bears a 13-10 lead heading into the half.

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

My kingdom for a healthy right ankle. 

After Khalil Mack hurt his ankle during the Bears' 31-28 loss to Miami last Sunday, the team will reportedly send Mack for further testing: 

While we still don't know exactly what this entails, it's obviously not great news. Mack's been the leader of a defense that ranks as one of -- if not the -- NFL's best. He leads the team in sacks (5) -- for which he's also in the top-10 of all defensive players in the NFL-- and forced fumbles (4). 

And who just so happens to be coming to Soldier Field next Sunday? Tom Brady! Rob Gronkowski! A Patriots team that has succeeded for YEARS on exploiting bad linebacker matchups! Terrific. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!