CHICAGO (CBS/AP) Errant passes. Shaky blocking. Questionable play-calling.
It sure looked as if Mitchell Trubisky and company could have used more preseason work.
Trubisky and the Chicago Bears were shut down by the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, losing 10-3 in an ugly NFL opener that showered cold water on any championship dreams in the Windy City.
Khalil Mack and Chicago’s fierce defense showed up, sacking Aaron Rodgers five times and limiting the Packers to 213 yards.
But it could do little with the ball and the Packers had five sacks of Trubisky, who never found his stride, and was sacked on Chicago’s final offensive play. Former Bears safety Adrian Amos picked off an end-zone pass into double coverage with 1:58 remaining, the only turnover of the contest.
Mason Crosby made a 39-yard field goal in the final period for Green Bay.
The Bears’ offense also looked inept all night long, hurting itself with repeated mistakes.
There was no sign of any improvement for Trubisky in his second year under coach Matt Nagy. He missed several throws and finished 26 for 45 for 228 yards.
Chicago had just 46 yards on the ground after trading leading rusher Jordan Howard to Philadelphia in March.
A lack of action in the preseason clearly damaged both offenses, and Rodgers at times looked uncomfortable in the attack designed by new coach Matt LaFleur. But he is a two-time league MVP, and he hit Jimmy Graham in the second quarter for the only touchdown,
From there, it was an aggressive defense that would have made Vince Lombardi proud in the latest edition of the NFL’s longest rivalry, which the Packers lead 98-95-6. Green Bay has won 16 of the last 19 regular-season meetings, and Rodgers is 17-5.
The NFL opted to go for a history-tinged opener rather than having the Super Bowl champions host the first game. New England will be at home to Pittsburgh on Sunday night, and it’s unlikely that game will be so dominated by D.
Or by mistakes.
The Bears and Packers each had 10 penalties, there was a total of 467 yards of only offense, and several drops.
Still, take nothing away from either defense. They both controlled the line of scrimmage almost throughout the night, and Trubisky was particularly bothered by it, going 26 of 45 for 228 yards. Rodgers was 18 for 29 for 203 yards, hardly in vintage form, and certainly unlike his performance in leading the Packers back from a 20-point hole in the second half of the 2018 opener against the Bears..
Of course, he had all that support Thursday night from the likes of newcomers Preston Smith (1 1/2 sacks), and Za’Darius Smith (a sack), enough to give Green Bay the boost it needed.
The opening series couldn’t have been uglier for Green Bay. A run and a pass netted zero yards, then Rodgers was sacked heavily by Roy Robertson-Harris for a 10-yard loss.
Well, maybe it could. Rodgers was sacked again on the next three-and-out and Chicago took over at the Packers 36 after a punt. Chicago had forced 17 yards in losses on those series, and the Packers had minus-12 yards through one period.
Rodgers erased such ineffectiveness quickly at the start of the second quarter, launching a 47-yard completion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Two more completions got the Pack to the 8, and Graham did what most former basketball players turned tight ends should, winning a jump ball in the end zone.
By halftime, Green Bay had outgained Chicago 119 yards to 98.
GETTING THEIR KICKS
Bears fans rejoiced in relief on the first score of the season: Eddy Pineiro’s 38-yard first-quarter field goal. Pineiro, a second-year player from Florida, was an immediate hero in the Windy City.
As Chicago sports fans not-so-fondly remember, the Bears were poised to win a single-game NFC wildcard playoff with a field goal by kicker Cody Parkey. But Parkey’s 43-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright and crossbar of the goalpost, and the Bears lost the game 16-15.
Parkey was released from his contract with the Bears in March.
The Bears are at Denver on Sept. 15.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)