Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Bears revised offense a challenge for Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With two words, Jay Cutler dismissed the notion that the Green Bay Packers would be able to disrupt the Chicago Bears' new-look wide receiver corps with physical play: Good luck.

Emboldened by a makeover that featured the arrival of Brandon Marshall, Cutler believes the Bears are better prepared to handle any sort of clutching, grabbing or jamming by the Packers.

"Our speed guys are going to get around them and our big guys are going to throw and go," Cutler said. "We invite press coverage. We invite man. And if we get in that type of game, our guys outside have to make some plays for us."

If the Bears (1-0) somehow find a way to outscore Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (0-1) at Lambeau Field at 8 p.m. today, the result will be something that seemed unlikely going into the season: The Bears could send the NFC North heavyweights to an unlikely 0-2 start at home.

Four days after their defense got pushed around in a season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers must find a way to stop a Bears offense that put up 41 points on Indianapolis in a Week 1 victory.

Renewing the productive partnership he had with Cutler in Denver, Marshall caught nine passes for 119 yards with a touchdown.

"They definitely have better personnel, especially on the perimeter," Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said. "Jay has confidence in those guys and is definitely going to give those guys a chance to go get the ball."

Williams said Marshall's size and skill present a tough challenge but added, "I'm up for the task."

Marshall had a big game the last time he faced the Packers, catching 10 passes for 127 yards with the Miami Dolphins in 2010. He welcomes the physical brand of coverage the Packers have used to neutralize Bears receivers in the past.

"It's all about matchups," Marshall said. "I'm 6-5, 230. There aren't too many DBs walking around that big. If they want to get physical, I do welcome that. But again, you look at Williams and [Sam] Shields over there and even [Charles)] Woodson when he's down there, they like to mix it up a lot. They give you different looks and that's what gives them big-play potential."

One thing the Bears didn't appear to fix in the offseason was their offensive line.

Cutler was sacked 23 times in 10 games last season before breaking his right thumb. He was sacked twice in Sunday's victory over Indianapolis -- and the Colts played most of the game without Dwight Freeney, who left with a sprained left ankle.

Even Akers stunned by 63-yard field goal

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- David Akers' mouth fell open and his eyes popped as he threw his arms into the air in both celebration and disbelief. Somehow, a field goal from 63 yards out had gone in -- after bouncing off the crossbar.

Akers knows well that this one easily could have missed badly, and poked fun at himself as he relived the record-tying kick this week.

"It's about like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Akers said, once finally able to reflect and watch the field goal on film. "It was neat to get the opportunity and to finish it off in such a great fashion, because most of my kicks that have hit the poles in years past make that lovely sound like we heard and then it comes bouncing back onto the field."

Moments later, San Francisco's spot-on kicker was mobbed by teammates as the 49ers (1-0) headed into halftime of last week's season-opening victory at Green Bay with a 16-7 lead.

Akers compared his feat to a golfer going with just the right club and making a hole-in-one.

"You have to do two things on every kick: You have to get it long enough and you've got to get it between the sticks," Akers said. "The one thing I didn't want to do is overkick it. I almost didn't hit it, I thought, well enough. That's where a lot of the shock came from. To me I just think it's a blessing and a miracle, honestly, for my own little personal deal.

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