GREEN BAY, Wis. – The explosive Bears offense that created such a buzz by racking up 41 points in last Sunday's season-opening win over the Colts was nowhere to be found Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
Four days after scoring five touchdowns and compiling 428 total yards against Indianapolis, the Bears mustered just one TD and 168 yards in a discouraging 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Jay Culter was sacked seven times during the Bears' loss in Green Bay.
"It was a disappointing effort," said coach Lovie Smith. "I thought we would play better in a lot of different areas. We know it's always tough coming up here. They're a good football team. But we're better than we showed tonight."
With two interceptions, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams caught as many of Cutler's passes as Bears receiver
With the defeat, the Bears (1-1) have now dropped five straight and seven of their last eight to the Packers (1-1) since 2009.
The Chicago defense played well enough to win, registering five sacks of Aaron Rodgers and generating two takeaways, including
The Bears were outgained 87-0 in the first quarter. Forte rushed for 25 yards on four carries, but the Bears lost 23 yards on two sacks and two yards on Cutler's only completion in three attempts. Their only first down came on a pass interference penalty against the Packers.
The Bears allowed sacks on three of their first four possessions, resulting in situations of third-and-19, third-and-22 and third-and-33.
After Mason Crosby's 48-yard field goal gave the Packers a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter, Green Bay scored 10 points in the final two minutes of the first half to take a 13-0 lead.
With Crosby lining up to attempt a 45-yard field goal, holder Tim Masthay flipped a shuffle pass to tight end Tom Crabtree, who raced 27 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0 with 1:50 left.
After Cutler's pass intended for
The Bears had a chance to cut the deficit to six points on the opening possession of the second half. But they were hurt by another drop as a wide open Marshall failed to hang onto what would have been a 27-yard touchdown pass in the end zone on third-and-four.
The Bears settled for
The Packers responded with 10 points in a :21 span early in the fourth quarter. After Crosby's 54-yard field goal, Cutler's pass into double coverage intended for Marshall was intercepted by Williams, who returned it 38 yards to the Chicago 26. On the next play, Rodgers connected with Donald Driver for a 26-yard TD pass to make it 23-3.
The Bears crept to within 23-10 on Cutler's 21-yard TD pass to
The Bears will have the weekend off to lick their wounds before returning to Halas Hall Monday to start preparing for next Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams at Soldier Field.
"Normally you see a lot of improvement from Game 1 to Game 2," Smith said. "We have to really make progress and see improvement from 2 to 3 because we're better than what we played tonight.
"In the NFL some weeks it just doesn't go your way. The other team plays better. You just have to go back, correct those things and get ready for the next week. We're 1-1 right now and we've got to find a way to get to 2-1.