The Bears opened the season in disappointing fashion Sunday night, losing to the Rams 34-14 at SoFi Stadium in l. a. . Making his Rams debut, former Bears NFC North rival Matthew Stafford completed 20 of 26 passes for 321 yards with three touchdowns and a 156.1 passer rating, including scoring throws of 67 and 56 yards. The Bear’s offense advanced into l. a. territory on its first seven possessions into the fourth quarter but mustered just two touchdowns. “We’re disappointed within the loss,” said coach Matt Nagy. “We gave up some explosive plays and that we didn’t execute within the red zone a couple of of these times, to start out the sport especially … we have got to use this to grow and we have got to remain positive.”
David Montgomery starred for the Bears, rushing for 78 of his 108 yards on 10 carries within the half. Andy Dalton completed 27 of 38 passes for 206 yards with one interception and a 72.9 passer rating. Justin Fields saw limited action, completing 2 of two passes for 10 yards and rushing for a 3-yard touchdown. The Bears produced two big plays early within the game. Rookie Khalil Herbert fielded the opening kickoff seven yards deep within the end zone and returned it 50 yards to the Chicago 43. On the Bears’ second play from scrimmage, Montgomery raced 41 yards to the Rams’ 12. But on third-and-6 from the 8, Dalton’s pass intended for Darnell Mooney was tipped by linebacker Kenny Young and intercepted by cornerback David Long Jr. within the end zone.
Three plays later, Stafford heaved a 67-yard touchdown pass to receiver Van Jefferson, giving the Rams a 7-0 lead with 10:36 remaining within the half-moon. Jefferson caught the ball at the ten and tumbled to the bottom. Veteran safeties Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson Sr. both had an opportunity to touch him down but didn’t. On their second possession, the Bears turned the shock on downs when Dalton’s pass intended for Allen Robinson II was choppy by cornerback Jalen Ramsey on fourth-and-4 from the l. a. 41.
The Rams took advantage of the great field position, extending their cause 10-0 on Matt Gay’s 53-yard field goal with 4:39 left within the half-moon. The Bears then committed their second turnover on three drives as Dalton fumbled when he was sacked by linebacker Justin Hollins on fourth-and-4 from the Rams’ 38. Young recovered the loose ball at the l. a. 42. The Rams converted the turnover into Gay’s 22-yard field goal, extending their cause 13-0 with 11:39 to play within the half.
The Bears then awakened on each side of the ball. Their defense forced a three-and-out, thanks partially to an Akiem Hicks sack. And their offense responded with a 9-play, 55-yard drive capped by Montgomery’s 3-yard touchdown run, which cut the deficit to 7-3 with 34 remaining within the half. On the opening possession of the last half, Stafford took advantage of a blown coverage within the Bears secondary and lobbed a 56-yard touchdown pass to wide-open receiver Cooper Kupp, extending the Rams’ cause 20-7.
“They had too many [explosive plays],” Nagy said. “You can’t give those big plays up for touchdowns … we have got to urge that fixed. But I even have tons of belief in our guys, I actually do. They know that we will play better.” The Bears responded with a powerful 16-play, 81-yard drive capped by Fields’ 3-yard touchdown run, cutting the deficit to 20-14 with 4:14 remaining within the third quarter. J.P. Holtz blocked two defenders on the play.
The Rams answered immediately with an 8-play, 75-yard that culminated with Darrell Henderson Jr.’s 1-yard TD run, widening the margin to 27-14. Stafford completed 5 of 6 passes for 69 yards on the drive. Stafford later threw his third TD pass of the sport, hitting receiver Robert Woods with a 2-yard strike within the back of the top zone to offer the Rams a late 34-14 lead. The Bears will return from l. a. to host the Bengals in their home opener next Sunday at Soldier Field.
Asked about the mood within the room following the loss to the Rams, Dalton said: “It’s an extended season; I feel everybody understands that. we have got to seem at today. we have got to seek out the areas we’d like to urge better and things we’d like to enhance on and obtain ready for next week.”