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.

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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.

Rams' trade for Jalen Ramsey will have a direct impact on Bears' season

Rams' trade for Jalen Ramsey will have a direct impact on Bears' season

The Los Angeles Rams pulled off a blockbuster trade for Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey Tuesday night, sending two first-round picks (2020 and 2021) and a 2021 fourth-round pick for the superstar defender.

It's the second trade the Rams have accomplished in one day. Los Angeles shipped CB Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens for LB Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round pick earlier on Tuesday, completing a makeover in their secondary that will have a direct impact the Chicago Bears this season.

The Bears travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in Week 11 as part of a brutal five-game stretch coming off of their bye week. Ramsey makes it even worse.

The Rams had little choice but to pull off a mega-deal like this. They're entering Week 7 with the 19th ranked pass defense and an underwhelming 3-3 record, a far cry from the expectations for last year's Super Bowl runner-up.

Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense will have their hands full on November 17. The combination of Aaron Donald on the defensive line and Ramsey in the secondary is as intimidating as any defensive duo in the NFL and is capable of destroying even the smartest and most efficient passing attacks. And that's not exactly Chicago's pass offense so far.

Trubisky, who's expected to return from a left shoulder injury Sunday against the Saints, hasn't proven this season that he's capable of staring down the barrel of a Donald-Ramsey alliance. It will be a ridiculously difficult challenge for a quarterback who's still finding his way as a pro.

Ramsey has missed the last three games for a variety of reasons, most of which appear as tricks to remain healthy in anticipation of a trade.  He's a two-time Pro Bowler and has nine interceptions from 2016-2018.

Now, Ramsey is an opponent on Chicago's 2019 schedule. 

Power Ranking Roundup: The bye week didn't do the Bears any favors

Power Ranking Roundup: The bye week didn't do the Bears any favors

The Bears didn't play last week, but did that stop them from falling in Power Rankings across The Web? It did not! Going into the bye on a loss never fails to stoke the panic. Here's what they're saying: 

NBC Sports Chicago -- #16
Their power rankings slide is because of how well other teams performed Sunday; Chicago doesn't feel like a top-15 team when compared to the rest of the NFL. -- #9
The Bears do have a player who's good at all that stuff when given a chance -- that would be running back Tarik Cohen, who already had nine such "big plays" through five games a year ago. In 2019? He has just one, despite being healthy and available each week. Bears coach Matt Nagy needs to get Cohen involved.

ESPN -- #16
Their vertical passing attack is limited with Mitchell Trubisky or Chase Daniel at quarterback. The offense has been equally ineffective on the ground. Chicago has gained eight or more rushing yards on just 10 running plays through five games.

Bleacher Report -- #10
Chicago had best make good use of this week off and get things figured out. Four of the team's next five games after the bye are against teams that made the postseason a year ago, including trips to face the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams.

Sports Illustrated -- #17
A Vikings win this week and strong starts from the Lions and Packers suddenly raises the stake Sunday’s game against the Saints. Unfortunately, New Orleans has a similarly great defense and a much better offense than the Bears.

CBS Sports -- #13
They come off the bye looking to generate more on offense. But it was the defense that also had some issues in London. That unit needs to pick it up as well.

USA Today -- #14
Coming out of bye, club currently just outside playoff picture hits brutal stretch with just two of final 11 opponents currently below .500.

Yahoo Sports -- #11
The Bears have only two games left against teams who are currently under .500. They face the Chargers and Giants, who are both 2-4 and not totally incapable. If the Bears make it back to the playoffs, it’ll be impressive.

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