Few things could have punctuated the Green Bay Packers’ season-opening victory in Chicago quite as well as having one of the Bears’ own former players come up with a rally-halting interception for them in the end zone.
The most brutal part of it all for the Bears, who dropped a second consecutive season opener to the Packers in the Matt Nagy era? Amos apparently saw the play coming and talked to his teammates about it before actually making the grab.
Packers cornerback Tramon Williams explained in the postgame that Amos has recognized something in the Bears offense early in what would amount to their final genuine shot at tying the game. And what he noticed ended with Mitchell Trubisky’s deep ball right in Amos’ hands.
“They ran the play early on in the drive also, same thing,” Williams told reporters Thursday night in the visitors’ locker room. “Adrian said they ran a 7 route. I said I felt it. I didn’t quite see it, but I felt it. I don’t know if that makes sense. And he says, ‘They going to come back to it.’ I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be there.’ And on the last, they came back to it. I saw him running a 7 route, I turned right into him. Obviously, I couldn’t see Amos cause he was behind me, but he made a heck of a play.”
The Packers signed Amos as one of their big offseason acquisitions, soliciting him away from the Bears with a four-year $36 million deal that came with an $11 million signing bonus and a total of $12 million guaranteed. He was coming off a career-high 73 tackles in 2018 with two interceptions, nine passes deflected and a fumble recovery.
The Bears replaced Amos with former Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who tied Khalil Mack for the second-most tackles for Chicago on Thursday night.
“I won’t lie to you, it feels real good,” Amos said in Thursday’s postgame. “It feels great to come back and win how we did as a defense, held them to three points, got a takeaway, and it’s a great start to the season.”
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Williams Throws Shade at Trubisky
Williams had a very steady answer behind why the Packers defense was able to limit Trubisky and the Chicago Bears to just three points and 254 yards of offense, according to The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman.
With Amos’ interception the lone takeaway of the night, the Packers defense was the unquestioned highlight of the night and a sign that the 6-9-1 season of last year is in the rearview for Green Bay. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers repeated it twice, a big grin on his face in the postgame.
“We have a defense,” Rodgers said after his offensive unit struggled for the majority of the night, coming together for a single touchdown drive on four plays after Marquez Valdes-Scantling helped create an opportunity for Jimmy Graham in the end zone.
While Rodgers was visibly frustrated with the five sacks his own offensive line allowed Thursday night, his own defenders took Trubisky to the turf just as often. Another testament to Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst’s offseason spending, as Za’Darius Smith (1) and Preston Smith (1.5) each came up with sacks along with a number of tackles.
Trubisky finished the night with just 26 completions in his 45 throws, gaining 228 yards in the air and another 11 on the ground. Half a dozen of his misses, though, were errant passes or throwaways as the Bears offense as a whole looked disjointed.
Strong play from the other members of the Packers secondary helped see to the Bears’ frustrations Thursday night. Williams stopped a big-gain reception when pushed an airborne Allen Robinson out of bounds before he could land well within field-goal range.
“That was fun to watch,” Rodgers said of the defense’s performance, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a performance like that. … We didn’t do them a whole lot of favors with our performance on offense.”