The first game of the 2019 NFL season is done, and it was somehow worse and lower scoring to watch than Super Bowl 53, with the Green Bay Packers winning 10-3 over the Chicago Bears. JK Scott and Pat O’Donnell punted the absolute hell out of the pigskins, booting it a combined 17 times.
Bears fans probably expected the Chicago Bears defense to smother the Green Bay Packers offense, and that’s basically what happened save for two drives. What they likely weren’t expecting was for Mitchell Trubisky (26/45 for 228 yards, 1 INT) to look absolutely awful, as Chicago failed to get into the end zone. On the plus side, kicker Eddy Pineiro made his only field goal (and thus has 100% of Chicago’s points this year), so at least Matt Nagy won’t have a kicker freakout for at least another week.
The only touchdown of the game came courtesy of former basketball player and ex-Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham, who boxed out safety Deon Bush in the 2nd quarter to give the Packers what was somehow an insurmountable 7-3 lead. Aaron Rodgers (18/30 for 203 yards, TD) led the Packers to -12 yards of offense in the 1st quarter, heated up in the 2nd quarter, and then cooled off for a relatively unconvincing performance against an admittedly great Bears defense.
After Mason Crosby extended Green Bay’s advantage, Trubisky drove down the field and had Chicago within striking distance of a tie game with just over two minutes to go. Mercifully, the interception that he’d been dying to throw all night was finally realized, as he flung an awful pass into double coverage and was picked off by safety Adrian Amos, who was his teammate in Chicago last season.
Unbelievably, the Packers gave the Bears another lifeline with Rodgers throwing a poor, clock-stopping incomplete pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on 2nd and 5. Chicago had a timeout and 1:33 to work with, and Trubisky offered up nothing of note apart from a 4th down sack that confirmed their 0-1 start to the year. Rodgers and Trubisky were each sacked five times.
Any hope of “establishing the run” was dashed, as the teams combined for 93 yards on 37 attempts. Former Seahawks RB Mike Davis led Chicago in rushing, with 19 yards on 5 carries. He also had 6 catches for 17 yards.
Hey, maybe the Packers defense will be really good this year. It looked the part of a well-coached group, but Trubisky and company certainly had plenty of self-destructive moments, including an amazing 1st and 40 sequence thanks to three consecutive penalties.
And now, we await the first Sunday of the NFL season. Hopefully the Seahawks offense doesn’t look like either of the ones we saw on Thursday night.