The 100th NFL season kicked off in Chicago on Thursday night, and former Boylan star Dean Lowry and his Green Bay Packers' defense came out and just dominated the Chicago Bears in a season-opening 10-3 victory.
"Absolutely, and the whole country is watching," Lowry said when asked if this was a statement win. "It's such a great feeling... I think we showed the country we mean business."
Lowry, a fourth-year Green Bay defensive lineman who started at inside tackle, had three tackles and a quarterback hit. The Packers' defense held Chicago to 46 rushing yards, let them into the red zone just once and forced eight punts. Bears QB Mitch Trubisky was 26-for-45 for 228 yards with one interception, accumulating a 62.1 passer rating.
"They did a great job of mixing it up on us," Trubisky said of the Green Bay defense. "They created a lot of chaos."
Here is a breakdown of the Top Moments from Week 1, Lowry's Top Plays, What Dean Had to Say, and a By the Numbers on Lowry:
Top Game 1 Moments
- For just the second time since 2013, the Packers went without a first down in the first quarter. But then, Aaron Rodgers struck quickly. In the blink of an eye, Rodgers turned the tide. He connected for 43 yards with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and then went 4-for-4 for 74 yards and an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, and Green Bay notched the first TD of the NFL season (and the only of the night) at 13:08 of the second quarter.
- Eddy Pineiro drilled his first field goal as a Bear, a 38-yarder late in the first quarter that gave Chicago a 3-0 lead, and also gave Bears' fans a chance to cheer a kicker. They did. That would be their only chance, and his only chance to kick the ball all night, however.
- There were five sacks for the Bears, tying for the most by Chicago against Aaron Rodgers in his career. The Bears also recorded five last year in Week 15 at Soldier Field. Trubisky was also sacked five times.
- In a key moment in the game, the Bears chose not to attempt a 50-yard field goal with their new kicker, and instead went for it on 4th-and-10. They failed to convert, and Green Bay held on to its 7-3 advantage midway through the third quarter.
Lowry's Top Plays
Lowry played strong-side defensive tackle the entire night, and was on the field for a vast majority of the Packers' D plays from their base package. He did not move around from position to position the way he did in his first three seasons, especially the way he did the past two years.
"That's part of our plan," Lowry said. "Especially with the guys that we have, I'm kind of playing off them, and getting mine when I can."
Lowry's Play of the Night was a one-armed tackle of Mitch Trubisky for a 3-yard gain on a fourth-and-10 play late in the third quarter. The Bears rolled the dice and went for it on fourth down, but it didn't fool anybody, especially Lowry.
Lowry was double teamed 11 times on the night, more than any other player on his team. He has learned a lot about how to get away from a double team, and it showed Thursday.
"It's just more experience," Lowry said. "This is the prime of my career, and I feel great."
After a hole opened up early in the play, Lowry thwarted off a double team and stuffed Mike Davis for just short of a 5-yard gain on the Bears first official play from scrimmage. Lowry had all three of his tackles and his quarterback hit in the first half, and played much less in the second half as the Bears went to the air. But, he did get a finger on Trubisky once.
What Dean said
"It's all kind of coming together in my fourth year."
"Our red zone defense tonight was just great, and that's been our focus."
"We were sitting here about six months ago after a tough loss, but we put in a lot of work, and we just had a great game."
"You could tell they wanted to establish the run game up front, but up front we had some nice stops, and they didn't get many run yards the whole game."
"They have a great defense, too, and those guys played well tonight, as well. But we knew that it was going to be a four-quarter defensive battle, and it's a credit to our coaches for having a great game plan."
Dean's by the numbers
3: First downs the Packers gave up on the ground
3: First downs the Packers gave up on penalties
3: Number of times the Packers forced the Bears 3-and-out
3: Points allowed by Packers' defense
8: Bears had seven punts and one turnover on downs during a second-half stretch of eight plays
10: Both teams had 10 penalites each
15: Number of rushes for the Bears