Bears

Bears Grades: Matt Forte shines in season opener vs. Packers

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Bears Grades: Matt Forte shines in season opener vs. Packers

Matt Forte may not have the top-end burst he once did but his setting up of blocks and moves without losing speed were vintage, both in the open field and near the goal line. Forte turned a stopped run over the left side into a 22-yard gainer on the Bears’ second play and had 88 rushing yards by midway in the second quarter, 105 for the first half.

Forte finished with 141 rushing yards on 24 carries (5.9 ypc) and caught five of the eight passes thrown to him against tight coverage by linebacker Clay Matthews in particular, for another 25 yards.

[MORE: Telling Bears that 2015 is a rebuilding year is an 'insult']

“It felt good, felt like it is supposed to be,” Forte said.

Forte was able to extend runs after first contact and use quickness to avoid solid hits. He scored on a one-yard run in the first half after showing power inside that set up a smooth turn of the Packers’ right edge for the first touchdown scored by the Bears’ No. 1 offense this year, including preseason.

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“The sky’s the limit for him, said quarterback Jay Cutler. “He does so many things so well. He runs between the tackles and catches the ball in space. He can block. It’s just going to be up to us and the coaching staff to keep him fresh and not overdo him, make sure we’re giving him a spell from time to time.”

Jacquizz Rodgers was used for four carries (16 yards) and rookie Jeremy Langford for one.

Moon's Grade: A

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

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USA Today

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

The Bears are back in Chicago and Tom Brady and the Patriots are in town! With a week of practice wrapping up today, here's what's been happening in the lead up to Sunday's Bears-Pats matchup: 

Adam Schefter: Bears plan on Khalil Mack playing vs. Patriots

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USA TODAY

Adam Schefter: Bears plan on Khalil Mack playing vs. Patriots

Khalil Mack has yet to miss a game in his NFL career. He doesn’t plan on breaking that streak on Sunday.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter told the “Kirk and Callahan show” on WEEI in Boston that the Bears expect their star pass rusher to play this week against the New England Patriots.

Mack missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday with the ankle injury he suffered last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio indicated this week that the outside linebacker could potentially play even if he doesn’t practice due to the injury.

Assuming Mack does take the field on Sunday, he won’t be 100 percent, and it’s unclear how much of an impact he’ll be able to have.

Last week was his least productive game of the season, and he earned a career-low grade from Pro Football Focus, with two missed tackles and only one pressure generated on 33 pass-rushing snaps.

The Bears are going to need more from Mack to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense that’s averaging nearly 40 points per game over the last three weeks.