The Chicago Bears (2-1) and Green Bay Packers (1-2) renewed their long-standing rivalry on Sunday, with each team looking to position themselves as favorites to when the NFC North.
Here's what we saw during the first half at Soldier Field.
Balanced Bears Offense Strikes Early: On the game's tone-setting opening possession, Bears QB Jay Cutler went 5-of-6 for 38 yards while RB Matt Forte chipped away with six carries for 23 yards. All together, the Bears ran 15 plays on what turned out to be an 80-yard TD drive capped off by a 6-yard Cutler strike from Cutler to WR Brandon Marshall. Deft play-mixing by the Bears had given them an early 7-0 lead and a quick jolt of momentum.
Packers Punch Right Back: Not to be outdone, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers needed just six plays to provide an answer. Keyed by a 41-yard hookup with TE Richard Rodgers, the other Rodgers would need just 2:22 of the game clock to march the Packers right down the field for a game-tying TD (RB Eddie Lacy would do the honors with a two-yard burst off of right guard).
A Battle Fitting Of Rivals: Chicago would embark on another 10-plus play drive (a speciality of theirs) in response, but Cutler couldn't connect with WR Alshon Jeffrey on 3rd-and-5 at the Green Bay 5. K Robbie Gould would drill the chip shot kick, however, to make it 10-7 Chicago in the early 2nd.
Aaron Rodgers? He's still good. The 2011 NFL MVP found WR Jordy Nelson three times for 41 yards on a 10-play, 78-yard counterpunch possession, including a 3-yard TD to hand Green Bay its first lead at 14-10.
Four possessions, four scores. A classic seemed to be brewing in the Windy City.
Make It Five...No Six!: If you're looking for punts, you're reading the wrong recap. The Chicago Bears put together their third 10-plus play drive of the half after Nelson's score (drives that drained over 20 minutes of game clock). Alshon Jeffrey would do the finishing honors this time, as he punctuated a brilliant showcase by Jay Cutler with an 8-yard TD reception.
Aaron Rodgers was far from done, though, as he would hit four of five passes (and a streaking Randall Cobb for a just-like-clockwork 22-yard TD pass.
21-17 Packers as the teams had traded scores on the game's first six possessions to open up an absolutely wild one in Chicago.
Wait...Would It Be Seven???
The bad news? Jay Cutler would take an awkward hit that seemed to shake him up a bit late in the first half.
The good news? Cutler found Martellus Bennett for a 29-yard strike just to get them into red zone position to begin after having only a minute to play with.
The Bears would be denied after Green Bay defended Micah Hyde stopped Bennett just short of the end zone on the ensuing play - the first possession not to end in a score all game long.
Bears Player of the Half: QB Jay Cutler (15-of-21, 173 yards, 2 TD)
Packers Player of the Half: QB Aaron Rodgers (13-of-17, 184 yards, 2 TD)Back to the Chicago Bears Newsfeed