For the 22nd time in the history of the NFL’s oldest rivalry, the Packers and Bears opened the season meeting head-to-head on the gridiron. A series that was tied at ten wins a piece heading into Sunday’s match-up now shifts in favor of the Packers and Green Bay held on for a 31-23 win over Chicago on Sunday afternoon.
Early on the Bears were able to dictate the pace that they wanted with running back Matt Forte helping Chicago control the time of possession. Forte racked up over 80 yards in the first half alone as the Bears kept Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines for the most part.
While Chicago was able to control the early portions of the game, they were unable to cash in on their opportunities. Settling for a Robbie Gould field goal on the opening drive, and not finding the endzone until a Packers penalty gave a drive that stalled, new life with a fresh set of downs. Forte cashed in the Packers miscue on third down to give the Bears a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.
The Green Bay offense did not put up the numbers many are used to seeing. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished the day with just 189 yards passing. Rodgers instead was consistent. Completing 18 of his 23 passing attempts, three of which were for touchdowns.
Two of those scores went to the newly signed James Jones. The former Packers wide out turned Raider, turned Giant, and then back to Green Bay, started the scoring for Green Bay with a back shoulder grab in the endzone over a Chicago defender. Then followed with the Packers second touchdown of the 2015 season a big later in the third quarter to put Green Bay in front for good at 17-13. A lead they would not relinquish.
Rodgers third and final touchdown of the day went to the Packers other veteran, Randall Cobb. Entering the game Cobb had been bothered by a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. That didn’t stop him from going up on a fade route in the fourth quarter to snag a 5-yard touchdown pass from the reigning league MVP.
If there was a defensive MVP for the Packers on Sunday afternoon, it would have probably been Clay Matthews. Not only did the Green Bay linebacker finish the day with six total tackles and a quarterback hit, Matthews made a key interception late in the fourth quarter with the Bears driving in Green Bay territory.
After a pass interference call to set the Packers up with first and goal from the two yard line, Eddie Lacy punched in his sixth career touchdown against the Bears to put the game on ice.
Chicago added a late touchdown to make the final result closer, but after the Davante Adams recovered the onsides kick, it was all over. The Packers would open the season with a 31-23 win over their oldest rival, and start the season 1-0 for the first time since 2011.