CHICAGO — Bears fans entered Soldier Field fueled with enthusiasm for a brand new season Sunday, only for the Green Bay Packers to thoroughly beat it out of them — and their team — in the latest renewal of their vaunted rivalry on the NFL’s opening weekend.
Green Bay took down Chicago, 38-20, with Packers quarterback Jordan Love going 15/27 for 246 yards and 3 passing TD’s.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields went 24/37 for 216 passing yards with 1 TD and 1 INT, while carrying the ball nine times for 59 yards on the ground.
As a team, the Bears ran the ball 29 times for 122 yards. D’Onta Foreman had 5 carries for 16 yards, Khalil Herbert notched nine carries for 27 yards, and rookie Roschon Johnson had five carries for 20 yards and one TD.
Johnson also notched six catches for 35 yards on seven targets in the passing game.
Darnell Mooney was targeted seven times, hauling in 4 catches for 53 yards and a score. Cole Kmet hauled in 5 catches for 44 yards on 7 targets.
Newcomers to the Bears’ defense — Yannick Ngakoue and Tremaine Edmunds — made immediate impacts, despite Chicago’s defense giving up 31 points Sunday.
Ngakoue registered 4 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles-for-loss, while Edmunds notched 8 tackles and 2 tackles-for-loss.
Here’s how the game played out at Soldier Field:
Both the Bears and the Packers’ offenses sputtered for most of the first half.
The Bears got a 19-yard completion from Fields to Herbert on their first play of the year from scrimmage, but stalled after that.
Fields hit rookie wide receiver Tyler Scott for a 5-yard gain and Herbert followed it up with a 4-yard rush, but Kmet was stuff on a direct snap on 3rd and 1, and then Green Bay stuffed Fields again to force a turnover on downs.
The Packers offense got off to a hot start, scoring on their opening drive after Love found Romeo Doubs for an 8-yard touchdown catch.
The Bears lost their composure on the following drive.
Fields found Herbert for 14 yards on 2nd and 12 with 4:38 to go in the first, but Chicago’s offensive line committed back-to-back false starts on the next two plays, and then Chase Claypool and the Packers’ TJ Slaton were both called for off-setting unnecessary roughness penalties.
The Bears only gained five more yards on the drive, and Cairo Santos booted a 47-yard field goal for Chicago’s first points of the year.
The Bear’s best opportunity to punch it in came early in the second quarter. Fields completed back-to-back passes to DJ Moore for 11 and 14 yards, moving Chicago down to Green Bay’s 8-yard line with 11:18 to go in the second.
After a 4-yard completion to Cole Kmet brought Chicago to the Packers’ 4-yard line, Fields was sacked for a 7-yard loss on second and goal by Barrington-native and Green Bay first round draft pick Lukas Van Ness.
Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas deflected a pass intended for Kmet on third down, and the Bears settled for their second field goal of the game, a 29-yard field goal from Santos, to bring them within one at 7-6.
Green Bay kicker Anders Carlson pushed through a 52-yard field as time expired in the second quarter, and the Packers took a 10-6 lead into halftime.
Green Bay won the opening coin toss and deferred to receive the second half kick, and turned on the gas in the second half, scoring on each of their first two possessions to open the third quarter.
Love found Aaron Jones on a 51-yard toss before Jones punched it in from the 1-yard line to make it 17-6 Packers with 10:19 to go in the third.
Less than four minutes later, Love found Jones again, this time on a crossing route over the middle for a 3-yard touchdown, and Green Bay expanded their lead to 24-6.
Around this time, it looked like Chicago was ready to fight back into the game.
Fields and rookie running back Roschon Johnson tag-teamed a touchdown drive where Johnson accounted for 4 touches and 27 total yards, and Fields found Darnell Mooney for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds remaining in the third. Herbert found the end zone for the two-point conversion, and the Bears closed the gap to just ten, at 24-14.
The Packers stole the momentum right back though, as Love found Doubs again for a 4-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 31-14 at the 13:30 mark in the fourth quarter.
Three plays later, Fields was picked off by Green Bay’s Quay Walker, who returned it 37 yards for a touchdown, making the score 38-14 Packers.
Johnson added his first career rushing touchdown in garbage time, a 2-yard scamper into the end zone with 2:54 remaining in the fourth, bringing the score to its final tally, 38-20.
The Chicago Bears (0-1) travel to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers (1-0) next Sunday, Sept. 17 at noon.