The Green Bay Packers opened the N-F-L regular season with a 31-23 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldiers Field. It’s the first season opening win for the Packers in four years.
The game was tight most of the way and Jay Cutler had the Bears driving inside Packers territory. That is where Cutler did what he has historically done in this series, commit a costly turnover. This time it was Clay Matthews dropping into coverage from his inside linebacker position, reading Cutler’s throw and stepping in front for an interception to save the day.
The Packers have picked off Cutler at least once every time he has started against them since joining the Bears in 2009. In 12 career regular season games, Cutler has now thrown 22-interceptions against the Packers.
It would appear Matthews won’t be returning to outside linebacker anytime soon either. His production on the inside has been fantastic and you can add a recurring ankle injury to fellow inside linebacker Sam Barrington.
Aaron Rodgers completed 18 of 23 passes for 189 yards and improved to 13-3 lifetime against Chicago. Two of Rodgers touchdown passes went to James Jones, who caught four passes for 51 yards on the day.
But the Packers struggled to stop the run. In fact, with two games to play on Monday night, the Packers rush defense ranks last (28th) in the N-F-L. Green Bay surrendered 189 yards on the ground, including 141 yards and a touchdown for Matt Forte.
The Packers spent most of last season at the bottom of the N-F-L in rush defense before finishing 23rd. With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers don’t need to be the best in the league in rush defense, but they’re going to need to be better than last in the league moving forward.
The Packers will host Seattle this coming Sunday night at Lambeau Field.