Players and coaches weren’t willing to concede that no playing time in the preseason is the reason why offenses struggled on opening night, but the defenses dominated and the Green Bay Packers did just enough to pull out a 10-3 win on Thursday night at Soldiers Field.
The hope was that Mike Pettine’s second year defense, along with a number of key free agent acquisitions, would be much improved. Last night, the Packers defense was bordering greatness in the season opener.
It might take the Packers offense a while to figure things out in Matt LaFleur’s new system, but based on Thursday night’s defensive effort, there’ll be a little margin for error.
But one has to wonder how much of last night’s defensive display had to do with the defense itself, as compared to a terrible night for Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who went 26-45 for 228 yards, an interception and a 62.1 QB rating.
The Packers offense managed a negative 12 yards in the first quarter. Aaron Rodgers was off and the running game couldn’t get on track. A defense like the Bears have will do that.
The surprise wasn’t how the Bears defense was once again dominant. Instead, it was just how well the Packers defense played, after drafting a pair of defenders in the first round and signing three more top defenders in free agency.
The games only touchdown came in the second quarter when Aaron Rodgers capped off a drive with a 8-yard touchdown toss to tight end Jimmy Graham.
Matt LaFleur has a win in his first game as head coach of the Packers and despite the sloppy play, a win is better than a loss. While the Packers schedule remains difficult early on, they at least have three straight and five of their next six games at Lambeau Field.