If the Chicago Bears were unaware that many sportsbooks had them ranked as one of the favorites to win Super Bowl LIV, their frustrated fans would remind them on Thursday night.
Had it not been for that pesky kicker (the kick was blocked!), the Bears would have won a playoff game in 2018. Instead, they’d settle for going 12-4 with a playoff appearance. With that good-for-nothing kicker out of town, Bears fans showed up early on Thursday night, high hopes in hand, to help kick off the 2019 season. In the end, all those high hopes would buy was 3 measly points. The boos would start early for Chicago – so early you’d think the Windy City had won a championship sometime since the birth of Mitch Trubisky.
The Bears would put points on the board in their second drive when 23-year-old kicker, Eddy Pineiro, split the uprights with a 38-yard field goal, but the scoring would end there. After a failed third down attempt late in the second quarter, the Bears would be forced to punt for the fourth straight time, and fans made it clear they’d seen enough. As the home team went into the lockers trailing 7-3, the frustration within Soldier Field was palpable. Unfortunately for Bears fans, the first half would be their best half.
In the second half, the Bears would start with back-to-back three-and-outs, and the punt party would continue. When it was all said and done the Bears would utilize punter, Pat O’Donnell’s, right leg a total of eight times in just 12 drives. Even worse, it would be a former Bear, Adrian Amos, who would help the Packers put the nail in the coffin when he picked off Trubisky in the endzone with just 1:58 left in the fourth quarter. Mitch would finish the night going 26/45, for 228 yards and an interception.
If there was any silver lining for Chi-Town in Thursday night’s game, it was that their defense still looked elite, and yes, the Patriots just proved that defense can still win championships. It just so happened that the Packers defense looked just as elite. It would only take one deep pass from Aaron Rodgers and a box-out reception in the endzone from tight end, Jimmy Graham, to decide the outcome. The Packers would hold on for a 10-3 victory.
In 2018, Green Bay ranked 18th in total defense and 22nd in points allowed. If Thursday was a sign of what’s to come in 2019, the $100+ million the Packers spent on defense in the offseason is already paying off.
In week two the Bears will be on the road in Denver and the Packers will return home to face the Vikings.
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