The NFL on Thursday? Yes, please. Opening up the "Thursday Night Football" schedule is a marquee matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears that should bring some December intensity to this school night in September.
Even after nearly 200 meetings, the NFL's longest rivalry seems to never get stale. With the Packers having lost at Lambeau in Week 1 while the Bears dismantled Andrew Luck's Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field, this Week 2 showdown even seems like it could loom large in determining who represents the NFC North in the postseason.
For the Bears, quarterback Jay Cutler looked like he's enjoying having his former teammate Brandon Marshall back in his huddle, as he connected with the three-time Pro Bowl receiver nine times for 119 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. With running back Matt Forte healthy, the Bears aim to open up an eary two-game lead in the standings en route dethroning Green Bay in the NFC North.
Of course, the Packers' offense is led by Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers, who still has several capable receivers to choose from. They'll look to break out after being held largely in check by the San Francisco 49ers. In a game featuring potent offenses, the deciding factor could very well be one of the units who work without the ball. Which defense will step up? The Packers let up 30 in their opener while the Bears let the Colts offense score a pair of touchdowns and Luck rack up more than 300 yards despite all those turnovers.
Will Chicago go into Lambeau Field and send Green Bay to an 0-2 record (while improving to 2-0)? Or will the Packers bounce back and give the cheese-heads something to cheer about?
PACKERS BEAT THE BEARS 23-10. GREEN BAY IMPROVES TO 1-1 AND CHICAGO FALLS TO 1-1.
|@ nflnetwork : Cutler 11/27 126yds 1TD 4INT 28.2QBR #CHIvsGB|
|@ SI_PeterKing : Matthews shouldn't have shared any of those sacks. All should be his alone--he should have 4 tonight, not 3.5.|
|@ richeisen : Clay Matthews is currently out of his skull right about now. Six sacks in two games.|
Benson runs right, follows his blocker and slashes his way upfield for 5 yards and a first down. TWO MINUTE WARNING
From Chicago's 30, Benson runs right up the middle for 6 yards.
Cutler throws ANOTHER interception, this time Green Bay's Jerron McMillian is the one to pick it off. The refs call him down by contact even though it didn't look like anyone touched him. It didn't look like he caught it either. But either way, it's going to be Packers ball.
Cutler hits Marshall on the left side and he picks up 14 yards. 4th and 5 coming.
Michael Bush runs up the middle for 11 yards and the refs call 12 men on the field on Green Bay. Repeat 3rd down on Chicago's 9.
Cutler goes down again and Clay Matthews did it again. That's seven sacks of Cutler tonight.
Cutler drops back, can't find anyone down the field and is sacked. 6th sack of Cutler tonight.
Devin Hester can't find any room to run and is stopped at the 20.
Rodgers tries to escape the pressure but Shea McClellin runs him down from behind and sacks him. Urlacher helps Rodgers get back up. Aw.
Alex Green gets a carry and runs straight into traffic. No gain.
Cedric Benson gets the carry and is stopped behind the line of scrimmage. 5 minutes left in the game.
Rodgers hits Nelson cutting across the middle and the receiver runs for 26 yards AND stays in bounds. They made it look easy on that one. Nelson was wide open in the middle of the field.
Rodgers runs a play-action and throws an incomplete pass to Nelson on the right. Bad throw and the clock is stopped.
Benson runs left and tries to follow his fullback but he's met by a bunch of Bears and taken down for a loss of 1.
Touchback for Green Bay.
Jay Cutler throws a 21-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Smith right down the middle. 23-10 GREEN BAY with 6:49 left in the game.
Empty backfield for Chicago. Cutler drops back in shotgun, lobs one into the end zone for Marshall again but the ball is underthrown and Marshall didn't turn around quick enough. 4th down. They have to go for this.
FINALLY. Cutler hits Brandon Marshall on the left sideline for a gain of 10.
Clay Matthews gets to Cutler again and drags him down for a sack. Loss of 7.
From the 30, Rodgers runs a play-action and fires one to Jones on the right side but Jennings jumps the route and INTERCEPTS IT. Jones didn't come back to the football. Rodgers upset with his receiver. Ball at Green Bay's 24.
Cutler avoids the pass rush again and fires one down the middle but Davis couldn't reel it in as he slipped backwards. Cutler making great moves in the pocket but no results. Bears punt.