A win is a win. It doesn’t really matter by how much, only that you got the win and you learned something from it so you can improve and get better next time you play.

That’s what I told my girls club soccer team this past weekend following our 1-0 victory in the season opener. Coincidentally, those exact words likely were said by every Packers player, coach and fan following Sunday’s season-opening 31-23 victory over the host Chicago Bears.

Before the game, most Packer fans were predicting a blowout of their hated rival, much like what happened twice last season, and that it would be the first of 14…15…even a perfect 16 victories this year.

After a strong showing in our preseason tournament, many of our soccer parents were predicting the same future. Only thing is you can’t predict what team will show up on game day.

The Packers showed up, played a consistently strong game from kickoff to conclusion by scoring in every quarter, holding the Bears scoreless in the fourth quarter until 34 seconds remained, and most importantly not turning over the ball (penalties are another matter, 10 for 74 yards). But the Bears played much better, too.

Chicago put together several long drives, especially in the first half, which kept the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands, and the Bears offense pushed the Packers’ defensive front line around for much of the game with Matt Forte rushing 24 times for 141 yards.

But they also failed to score touchdowns in the red zone and had to settle for field goals, and committed a costly turnover in the fourth quarter on Clay Matthews’ interception of Jay Cutler that pretty much sealed the game for the Pack, despite giving up that late touchdown.

Rodgers was an efficient 18 of 23 for 189 and three touchdowns, two to James Jones, who looks like he hasn’t lost a Packers beat.

Cutler played better (18 of 36 for 225 yards) for couldn’t make the big plays again when it counted the most. Eddie Lacy rushed for 85 yards. More surprising was the play of the Packers special team units. Rookie Ty Montgomery finished with more than 100 return yards in the game—the first time that’s happened since 2011—and the Packers kick team defensively forced Chicago into playing on a longer field.

We’re going to have to play much better the next game. Our opponent looks like one of the better teams in our division so we have to take advantages of our opportunities offensively and play tough, aggressive defense to limit their scoring chances.

That’s me and what I’ll say to my soccer team this week. With an angry Seattle Seahawks team coming to Lambeau Field this Sunday after losing its season opener to St. Louis in overtime, the same certainly could be said among Packer players and fans.

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