The Chicago Bears opened up their 2018 NFL season on Sunday Night Football with a heartbreaking 24-23 loss at long-time rival Green Bay. The Packers were flat-out beaten in the first half. They looked lousy in building a 17-0 deficit to their rivals from Illinois. They were not only facing an almost insurmountable score, but they also looked like they may have lost their superstar QB Aaron Rodgers, who injured his knee on a 2nd quarter sack. After Bears #95 Roy Robertson-Harris collapsed on top of Rodgers, it didn’t look good for Rodgers, the Packers, or the entire city of Green Bay. And then halftime hit.
The momentum shifted in the 3rd quarter when Rodgers came back into the game, and despite his tender knee started bombing passes all over the yard at Lambeau Field. At the end of the 3rd, Green Bay was down 20-3. And then the 4th quarter happened. Three touchdowns later and the Pack escaped with yet another tight victory over the Bears 24-23.
The Bears are in Heartbreak City this week but they need to get over it quickly. As they say, you can’t let one loss turn into two, three, and four losses. It could snowball if you get down on yourselves and let it fester into a lack of confidence. Chicago needs to pick themselves up off of the turf and forget it. It’s only one game. Big deal.
In my Season Preview, I picked the Bears to lose the opener at Green Bay but finish with a 10-6 record and a Wild Card berth in the NFC Playoffs. I still feel just as confident.
This Bears team showed many positives. The defense was dominant for the entire first half and only gave up 3 points through 3 quarters. The offense played with gusto in the 1st half before falling into a predictable hole in the 2nd half. Don’t forget this was probably one of the hardest games on the Bears schedule. How many times does Chicago actually win at Green Bay anyway? The point is, don’t worry. There were plenty of positives that Bears fans should take with them heading into Week 2.
RB #24 Jordan Howard – Howard was his usual consistent self. However, one improvement in his game stood out: his receiving. Howard caught 5 balls and dropped zero. He was targeted five times and caught all five. Nice! It was a goal for Howard and the Bears offense for him to improve his receiving skills and it looked like he indeed improved.
K #1 Cody Parkey – Chicago used to have a great placekicker in Robbie Gould. Since Gould left, the Bears kicking game has been below average. This year, the staff brought in Cody Parkey in hopes that he’d improve the Bears scoring. So far, so good. Parkey made all five of his kicks on Sunday Night. He went 3 for 3 (26, 32, and 33 yards) on field goals and 2 for 2 on PAT’s. If you don’t know Parkey, he’s in his 5th year in the NFL out of Auburn. Just 26 years old, Parkey has already kicked for three other teams (Philadelphia 2014 & ’15, Cleveland ’16, and Miami ’17) before joining Chicago. He’s always hit at least 80% of his FG attempts, going 79-91 in his career and only missing 4 of 113 PAT attempts.
DE #96 Akiem Hicks – Hicks continues to show his value to the Bears with his excellent play. He is as consistent a player as the Bears have had over the last five years. He provides great pressure on the pocket with his sheer size helping him flush the quarterback after his bullrush. Often you’ll see the opponent double-team Hicks and it still doesn’t work. In this game Akiem had 3 tackles, 2 TFL’s, and 1 Sack. His play isn’t all stat related either. When Hicks pushes the pocket backwards, there is no place for the QB to step up. Therefore, it helps the outside pass rushers. In the Bears case, he will be a big part of whatever sacks are accumulated by Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, and Sam Acho.
Player of the Game
OLB #52 Khalil Mack – Newly acquired Khalil Mack did not disappoint in his first game with Chicago. In fact, Mack dominated! Like a bolt of lightning, Mack came out and destroyed Green Bay’s offense. He recorded 3 tackles, 1 TFL including 1 Sack, 1 FR, and 1 INT which he returned for a 27 yard TD. Mack was so good that he instantly improved the Bears defense despite the fact he didn’t even have much time to acclimate and prepare properly. Just wait until this dude gets in sync with his teammates. Sometimes the little things can make the most impact and one thing stuck out to me and a friend. Mike and I were talking about the game and we both noticed how on the game-winning TD scored by Randall Cobb, we thought it was insane who almost caught him down by the goal-line 75 yards away. None other than Khalil Mack! How is a defensive end/linebacker down there diving at the WR 75 yards downfield? Sheer effort and determination. Mack sets an example for the others. Why weren’t the DB’s down there instead of Mack? I don’t know, but I bet the coaches looked at this on film this week and were floored by it. Let’s hope the others learn from the example set by our Week 1 Player of the Game Khalil Mack.
CB #23 Kyle Fuller – All he had to do was catch the interception that Rodgers threw right to him with 2:39 left and the Bears would most likely win. If he caught it, he would have either scored, or gotten tackled or taken a knee inside the Packers 30 yard line. Green Bay had zero timeouts left so the Bears could’ve taken three QB kneels and either run out the clock or kicked the FG to go up 26-17. Therefore, barring some unforeseen disaster, the Bears would be 1-0 with a big divisional victory. But no. It was not to be. Fuller dropped it and the Bears lost. You just knew the minute he dropped it the Bears would lose, didn’t you?
(A COMPLETE COPY OF SOMETHING I WROTE LAST TIME THE BEARS LOST TO GREEN BAY IN NOVEMBER 2017. LET ME REPEAT IT HERE BECAUSE IT WORKS JUST AS WELL……..AGAIN!)………
“The Football Gods” – When will this Bears drought end? Trust me, as a Bears fan my entire life living near the Wisconsin border, surrounded by friends and family that chose the dark side, it’s getting unBearable. When will the “Football Gods” reward the Chicago Bears and their fans? Enough is enough. To all Packers fans, you had your run. Now get ready because soon it will be over. In this long and illustrious rivalry dating back almost 100 years, this quarter century drought has gone on far too long. I pray to you, the “Football Gods” for a new era to begin.
In my Bears Season Preview, I predicted this: “I’ll take Green Bay S/U and Chicago ATS.” The Packers were favored by 7 points.
PREDICTION: Green Bay 17 Chicago 13
RESULT: Green Bay 24 Chicago 23
- So we were right…..unfortunately.
- Chicago Bears : 0-1
- Dutch Lion : 1-0
- The Bears have a second consecutive night game to open the season as they head to Soldier Field for the home opener vs the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. Look for my Bears Week 2 Preview sometime prior to game time!