The Green Bay Packers outscored the Chicago Bears 21-10 in the second half and snapped a three-game losing streak in season openers with a 31-23 on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers finished the game 18-of-23 and passed for 189 yards (140.5 rating) with three touchdowns. Two of Rodgers' touchdowns went to James Jones, who signed with the team a week from today. Jones finished with four catches for 51 yards.
The Bears didn't have a bad offensive game under new coordinator Adam Gase. Chicago actually totaled more yards than Green Bay (402 compared to 322) and were led by Matt Forte's 141 yards rushing. Jay Cutler finished 18-of-36 and passed for 225 yards with a touchdown, but threw a crucial interception late.
Here's our recap of Sunday's contest:
The Bears looked much better running and passing the football against the Packers. Cutler pushed the Bears 70 yards down the field on their opening drive, leading to a Robbie Gould 28-yard field goal.
Jones was terrific in his first half of football, catching a 13-yard touchdown over cornerback Alan Ball to score the first points of the season for Green Bay. The score gave the Packers a 7-3 lead.
Sam Shields had a rough series at the beginning of the second quarter. Shields whiffed on a tackle that would've stopped Forte from gaining 23 yards, and then piled on a offsides and holding penalty. The offsides came on a field goal attempt for Chicago, who went for it on fourth down the following play and kept the drive alive. Forte then scored on a 1-yard run to the left side, making the game 10-7. It was a dominant first half for Forte, who gained 105 rushing yards on 16 attempts, followed by three catches for 19 yards.
On the next drive for the Packers, Rodgers found Jones again, this time for 34 yards. Unfortunately, two holding penalties slowed Green Bay down from scoring another touchdown, and the Packers were forced to settle for a field goal instead. Mason Crosby connected on a kick from 37 yards to tie the game at 10.
The Bears weren't satisfied with going into halftime tied at 10. A 12-yard run, followed by a 9-yard completion to Marquess Wilson on third down from Cutler put the Bears in solid field goal position. Gould connected on a 50-yard field goal to give the Bears a three-point lead after the first 36 minutes.
The Packers scored on their first two drives to start the second half., both of them ended with touchdown passes from Rodgers. The quarterback went 5-for-5 passing and hit Jones for his second touchdown of the game. That was followed by Rodgers leading a long 9-minute, 31 second drive and throwing a pass in the corner of the end zone to Randall Cobb.
Cobb's touchdown despite a field goal from Chicago put the Packers up 24-16 early in the fourth.
The Bears put themselves in good position to answer Green Bay's touchdowns, but the Packers defense made two big stops when they needed them.
Cutler completed a 50-yard pass to Wilson and a 10-yard strike to Alshon Jeffrey, eventually setting the Bears up at the six. Keeping Forte from gaining more than four yards and defending three straight passes from Cutler resulted in the Bears' drive ending because of downs.
The second stop by the Packers defense came courtesy of Clay Matthews, who intercepted a pass from Cutler.
The interception and a pass interference call near the end zone on the Bears eventually set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Eddie Lacy. Lacy finished the game with 85 yards on 19 carries, and his touchdown made the score 31-16.
Martellus Bennett would score on a 24-yard pass the following drive for Chicago, setting up an onside kick attempt for the Bears. Luckily, Davante Adams safely made the recovery, which ended the game.
Sam Barrington left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.