SOLDIER FIELD — There was something different about the Bears season opening 23-17 loss to the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.
It wasn’t the fact that the Bears failed to tie the game on 4 downs inside the Falcons 5 yard line with under a minute left in the game. No, that was the familiar part. Yesterday at Soldier Field we witnessed proof that good things can sometimes come in small packages.
Tarik Cohen, the 5’6 180lb rookie running back was much more than meets the eye. Used as the Bears secret weapon, Cohen provided plenty of “oohs” and “ahhh’s” on his way to a team leading 66 yards rushing on just 8 carries and 8 catches for 47 yards. Tacking on another 45 yards via punt returns to give him 158 all purpose yards on the day, it was the most ever for a Bears rookie in a season-opening game since Matt Forte racked up 141 in his 2008 debut.
The Bears made the running game a focal point of the offense early and Cohen made the most of his touches shrugging off some early NFL sized hits but chalked them up to being his “Welcome to the NFL” moments. “It wasn’t that hard.” Cohen told The Bigs. “It was good sound effects to it but you know, I bounce back off that.”