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Why the Packers Will Beat The Bears and Why They Might Not

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Why the Packers Will Beat The Bears and Why They Might Not

If it seems like forever since you watched the Green Bay Packers in a real football game you aren't alone. The last real game for the Packers came last January, against the Detroit Lions. However, the truth is, the Packers haven't really been the Packers since last October when Aaron Rodgers went down with his shoulder injury.

That injury derailed a perfectly promising season for Green Bay, one that would have certainly resulted in a playoff berth. Yet, it all came crashing to a halt after that. The defense fell apart and even though Brett Hundley kept Green Bay in the mix long enough for Rodgers to return, he really wasn't Aaron Rodgers then either and it's hard to blame him after a long layoff.

As disappointing as the end to last season was, Green Bay needed a change and it got one, both in the front office and at defensive coordinator.

Both were long overdue.

On the personnel side of the things, general manager Brian Gutekunst achieved a lot this offseason. He landed some key free agents such as Jimmy Graham, Muhammad Wilkerson and Tramon Williams, who will all start tonight against the Bears. Gutekunst also landed two exceptional corners in the draft, acquired a future first-round pick and got an extension done with Rodgers, keeping him in Green Bay until he's 40.

All in all, I'd say the new GM is off to a pretty good start. Tonight, we'll see about Mike Pettine and the Packers defense. 

Whenever Green Bay and Chicago meet, it's a special affair. It's one of the oldest and best rivalries in professional sports and here is a look at why the Packers might win and why they might not. 

Why Green Bay will win:

Of course, when Aaron Rodgers is under center, he is the best reason the Packers have a chance to win and against the Bears, Rodgers' chances of delivering a win are even better. 

In 19 career starts against Chicago Rodgers is 15-4 with 42 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. Two of those losses came in Chicago, one was in 2008 and the other was in 2010. Of the two losses in Green Bay, one was the game in which Rodgers got hurt. That was back in 2013. The other loss came in 2015 when Jay Cutler won his only game at Lambeau Field. Since September 2010, Rodgers has lost exactly one game to the Bears he has started and finished. He also has a 40-14 record as a starter in division games overall. 

Outside of that, Rodgers has owned this series. It hasn't mattered much who the head coach was or the quarterback is and if he's in form tonight, the Bears really don't have a shot at winning this game. Much of the talk this week has been about the Bears' pass rush and their defense and rightfully so because if Rodgers has a big game tonight, Chicago will get left in the dust. A stout Chicago pass rush could be the only thing that prevents that from happening. 

Another reason you can expect Green Bay to win tonight is the defense. I am nervous to see if Pettine can pass his first test but from what I've seen so far, he can. This defense is deep and talented in the secondary, especially at corner. The defensive line is stout and if Clay Matthews, as well as Nick Perry, can be productive on the edge, along with Reggie Gilbert, the Packers might really have something.

But up front, Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Wilkerson are going to be a lot to handle. If you want to know the strength of the defense this season, it's the defensive line and that's a good thing. The Packers interior pass rush might be the best in the NFL outside of the Rams and tonight, we will get our first real glimpse at just how effective that will be. 

I also have a feeling that Tramon Williams is going to come up with an interception tonight or some kind of big play. It just feels like his kind of night to jump a route and making some special happen. 

But while Rodgers is one reason the Packers will win, the defense is another. And on top of that, the third is the offensive line, which not only needs to protect Rodgers, it needs to open some running lanes for Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams, who I also think plays well tonight. 

Last year, the Packers ran for 169 yards and 182 years in a sweep of the Bears. Williams ran 20 times for 67 yards and Montgomery ran six times for 54 yards and a touchdown in a late-season win in Chicago, which bodes well for each back tonight. With a healthy offensive line and two healthy backs, plus Rodgers under center, I expect another good day on the ground and a big day from the offense as a whole. 

Why the Bears might win:

There are a lot of reasons to be confident as a Packers fan tonight, with Rodgers being the biggest. However, the Bears do have a young, talented quarterback too and this is his first chance to really show he belongs. He went 4-8 as a starter last season and threw just seven touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. He had some moments though and there is no denying the talent in his right arm.

If the Bears are going to upset the Packers at Lambeau Field, they are going to need a couple of things to happen. For one, the defense is going to have to dominate. At least hold Rodgers and the Packers to around 20 points. If Green Bay gets close to 30, it's hard to see Chicago matching that. But with Jordan Howard running the ball and if Trubisky can play well, 20 something might be possible for the Bears, who also have a fancy new free-agent wideout in Allen Robinson.

Everyone wants to focus on Khalil Mack and it will be interesting to see what he can do. He certainly can't be in game shape but the pass rush is the Bears best hope of slowing Rodgers and the Packers, so expect him to play as much as possible. If Chicago can sack Rodgers him a few times, force a turnover or two, run the football effectively and if Trubisky can have a coming out party, Chicago could leave Green Bay with a win. Just know, that's a lot of if's. 

What's more likely to happen is Aaron Rodgers get his 16th-career victory over the Bears and the Packers start the season 1-0. 

 

 

 

__________________________

Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (55) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hematite's picture

The Bears still suck!!!!!

Chris Peterson's picture

Chorus: The Bears still suck!

Johnblood27's picture

They really, really, really, really, really, really suck;

The Bares still suck!

LayingTheLawe's picture

The ladies now:

The B$%rs still suck!

The TKstinator's picture

I’m thinking GB 24, Chi 23.
Rodgers might get knocked out of the game early but return for the second half to fuel a furious comeback.
Just a gut feeling.

Bearmeat's picture

The Bears are going to have to hit Rodgers about 8 times and hope to have some type of turnover to even have a shot. And not turn it over themselves.

Considering the quality of the OLs and QBs in question, It's not likely.

Pack roll.

EdsLaces's picture

I dont even need to click your icon to know what it is lol kudos.

Nick Perry's picture

Personally I think Bearmeats icon is probably the BEST icon of all posters on any site. I was kicked off the Daily Norseman (Or whatever the stupid site is called) but would pay money to see it posted on that site...magnified by X's 100...That should swing their ass back to reality as they hang a chicken s*** division banner up!

Tarynfor12's picture

"...back to reality as they hang a chicken s*** division banner up!"

Yes,because nearly everyone here boast about all those chicken sh%t Division titles the Packers have won and use to define as success.

Bearmeat's picture

lol. Thanks.

I haven't gone over to DN in ages. Talk about a moronic tinfoil-hat-wearing fan base. They are so deluded with jealousy and rage that they can't understand which way is up in anything football related.

Bearmeat's picture

ooooh. Speaking of purple inferiority, methinks a few of them showed up on the blog after they won today. LOL!

EdsLaces's picture

I feel the rivalry has been renewed . We all wanna talk down the bears a bit and I get it, but I feel some of it is cause we are a bit nervous. I think we win. But I I think it's a close one. Go pack go..

Jonathan Spader's picture

I'm not at all nervous about the 2018 Bears. It'll be interesting to see their 2019 draft. They have 4 total picks. Rounds 3, 4, 5, 7. They don't have a 1st rounder in 2020 although they do have 2 and round picks. They also gave up a 6th round for Mack. I liked their 2018 offseason but man did they mortgage quite a bit of their future and you think the Packers overpaid for mediocre talent....

Cubbygold's picture

Yeah its a huge vote of confidence in trubisky. Either they see this as a win now team, or theyve just made a move that will significantly hamper a rebuild process that seemed to be going in the right direction

dobber's picture

It's Ryan Pace gambling big to save his job.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

"Last year, the Packers ran for 169 yards and 182 years in a sweep of the Bears."

That's amazing how the Packers run game ran 182 years into the future in the 2 Bears- Packers games last year with combined stats. In the season series, we all saw how their run game changed the laws of classic Newtonian physics and we all saw the run game time travel, but seeing the numbers again reminds me of just how amazing the feat was.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"182 year sweep of the Bears"

Dilly Dilly

Spock's picture

You beat me to it. I literally did "Laugh out loud", lol, when I read the 182 years reference in the article. Ty must have been driving the Doc's DeLorean!

Handsback's picture

This game isn't determined by just one guy unless its at QB. If Bear fans think adding Mack is the answer to stopping Rodgers...they are wrong. Compare the two teams, and unless the Packers have a meltdown (which is possible but not probable) they will win late by over 10 points. Too much Rodgers w/ new weapons and too little offense from the Bears.

Cubbygold's picture

Bears fans think they've got better talent at every position but QB... We'll see about that

HankScorpio's picture

The biggest reason to like the Packers is Mitchell Trubisky.

HankScorpio's picture

The biggest reason to like the Packers is Mitchell Trubisky.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

You can say that again.

The TKstinator's picture

I see what you did there.
Well played.

SJ EC's picture

Finally the season has begun! I am very confident of a Packers win for a few reasons:

1. A-Rod and a some shiny new toys - the brief glimpse we had of Aaron and Jimmy G. in the red zone leaves me with a child-like giddiness. The speed and size of our WR draft class also gives Aaron a few interesting targets that might open up the deep pass in ways that we haven’t seen for some time in GB

2. Rejuvenated defense - the change to a new coordinator and a young and talented secondary gives me hope that a young QB might struggle with lots of unscouted looks and disguised pressures. The new front will want to get out there and put the rest of the league on notice that our D line is going to be the strength of this defense’s pass rush capabilities.

I am a realist, though and realize that the world is not all sunshine and rainbows:

1. Offensive line - with Bulaga only having played a few series this preseason and coming off his second ACL, I have some misgivings about how he might look (at least early in the game). Also, these guys have not played together very long and the O line really needs to gel to kick it into high gear.

2. Bears defense - without going to the obvious here, the Bears defense was no slouch last year. People seem to be focusing in on K Mack (rightfully so), but they also have a few other ways to get to the QB.

All in all, I’m confident that the Pack will get the win tonight, and am looking forward to an awesome game where the Bears will actually put up a bit of a fight.

GO PACK GO!!!! (The Bears still suck!!)

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I trust Bulaga and Campen to know if he's ready. Those guys are old pros now.

Old School's picture

To the Zen mind, there is only one question.

Are the Packers a top team in the league that will make the playoffs this year?

If the answer is 'yes', then they win at home. If they cannot defend their field against a division rival, then they are not a top team in the league.

I think the Packers will win this game. But I think the Bears will be a better team this year than they were last year.

4zone's picture

AR has not played a real football game at full strength for almost a year. Our TEs and our new CB corps will be the real keys today. I like us for at least one Int. and putting 24+ on the board. I feel like the days of Chewy and Jackson are back in Titletown. I'm smelling burnt bear meat already. (no offence Bearmeat)

Rossonero's picture

Division games are tough old games. We must never underestimate our opponents. Respect them, but then destroy them. The Bears have made a lot of improvements, but so have we.

One thing I'll be interested in is Rodgers Average Depth of Throw (ADOT). He surprisingly ranked near the bottom of the league with some of the shortest average throws. It's a better metric than Yards Per Catch, because it's really about how far the football is traveling.

Tonight, I'm hoping to see Jimmy Graham over the middle and a deep shot to Davante. This Bears secondary is nothing special, and we need to take advantage of it.

Packers 27
Bears 16

Since '61's picture

Reasons the Packers will win:
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Packers OL
3. Jimmy Graham
4. Pettine's defense
5. Packers win field position battle thanks to our new punter.
6. We're playing at home
7. The Bears still suck.

Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

You only listed ARod once, '61!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

The Bears couldn't beat the Hundley lead Packers at in Chicago last season. So adding Rodgers to a team is greater than adding Mack. I expect the Packers to win.

MarkinMadison's picture

Matchups, matchups, matchups.

Bear pass rush v. Packer O-line. I have to give this one to the Bears. The back-up tackles are not ready. I'm not sure that Bulaga is either. And have you really seen enough of Justin McCray to know what he is? I'll give the edge to the Bears' front seven, even if Mack is playing half of the time.

Bear DBs v. Packer Receivers/QB. Graham, Adams & Cobb. Edge to the Packers, no question.

Packer Rushing Attack v. Bears Front Seven. Not an area of strength to begin with, and down our best back. Edge Bears.

Bear Rushing Attack v. Packer Front Seven. Packers were weak against the run in pre-season. Not sure why that would change a lot now. Jordan Howard is big, powerful and productive. Edge Bears.

Bear Receivers/QB v. Packers DBs. We're all talking Alexander and Jackson. They won't be starting, and will have some big bumps in the road when they play. Ha-Ha needs to prove it again. Brice is Brice. This is a revamped offense with new personnel, a new head coach and probably a lot of unscouted looks. We'll see how good Pettine is at adjustments pretty quickly. Toss-up.

Bear OL v. Packer Pass Rush. This looks like a patchwork OL, but they weren't horrible last year. They gave up fewer sacks than the Packers O-line in both games last year. Really, if you think this is going to change much you are really counting on Pettine. Toss-up.

I see a low scoring, ball-control, field position game evolving here. The Bears will run the ball and control the clock. The Packers will do a lot of quick passes to try to wear Mack down and keep Rodgers clean. The question is, can the Packers stay out of 3rd and long? I think this game is a toss-up.

4zone's picture

Pack will negate any advantage the Bears have in pass rush with multiple TEs all over the place, blocking, relief outlets and carving up their secondary. I think we carve them up and our new D turns up the heat.

4thand10's picture

Mercedes Lewis.

Jonathan Spader's picture

"Bear Rushing Attack v. Packer Front Seven. Packers were weak against the run in pre-season. Not sure why that would change a lot now. Jordan Howard is big, powerful and productive. Edge Bears."

The preseason is played by backup players. Our DL is one of the strengths of the team. I expect Pettine to shut down the run and force the Bears to rely on Trabinsky's arm. Cohen is the X factor if he gets the ball in space he's dangerous. I wish we had Burks or Jones to help neutralize the threat.

cheesehead1's picture

No reason we shouldn’t win, but I hope the coaches and veterans get the message across that there are no easy games in the NFL. Looking to see how much Pettines D has improved. Go Packers!

4thand1's picture

I'm hoping the biggest reason the Packers win is because of their defense. It would be great to see the barelys punt 6 to 8 times.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

This is an easy one. It is everything that is good and right with the world against perpetual suckitude. Good wins over evil 62-0.

TheBigCheeze's picture

this never gets old.....THE BEARS STILL SUCK!!!!!!!

Lphill's picture

Never take anything for granted , first game of the season , limited reps for veterans it's not going to be a cake walk but the same goes for the Bears plus it's a road game prime time for them so advantage is for the Packers who win by a TD .

A Pickled Packer's picture

I expect good things from our offense, but what I'm really looking forward to is seeing how different our defense really is under Pettine. Third and long all day long. When was the last time we had a game like that? More than turnovers, hoping we get that today, then I'll know we're on our way. Go Pack go!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Saints lose! Saints lose!

YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!

Tundraboy's picture

10 more to go?

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I wish. But no, the Saints won't lose that many.

Every Saints loss is PURE GOLD for us though, baby!!!

HankScorpio's picture

They were a 7-9 team for 3 straight years before going 11-5 last year. In those sub .500 years, they had a defensive rank of 31, 31 & 27 before improving to 17th.

So the question at hand is whether 2017 was a fluke good year for a bad defense or week 1 of 2018 a fluke bad week for an improving defense. Answers to come but as a Packer fan that believes (hopes?) the former is the case, I feel pretty good right now.

Skip greenBayless's picture

They gave up that no. 1 for defensive help and it doesn't appear to have helped them. 48 points given up? Wow!!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

They were a complete sieve today. Good to see, because their offense is a machine.

HankScorpio's picture

That's one of hopefully many more.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I'm watching some of the Broncos-Seahawks game. Denver's sheer dominance in the trenches is something I've rarely seen. Due to mishaps and big plays, Seattle led 10-7, and I'm thinking, "Denver wins this by 30."

My goodness, what dominance. Seattle isn't even on the field.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Now Seattle's punting. Please God, have someone throw in a towel and call this game.

It makes absolutely no difference who plays QB or halfback for Denver. They can literally do whatever they want.

Wow. Seattle, just say "Uncle" and surrender. You're gonna get guys hurt.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Two straight sacks for Von Miller. Russell Wilson looks terrified.

I seriously don't know if he'll avoid injury in this game.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Okay, maybe it does make a difference who plays QB for Denver. Keenum has all day to throw, but still has 3 INT's. Unreal.

Denver still winning with total line dominance, but Keenum has been Seattle's MVP.

Bure9620's picture

Im so jacked up, get me a helmet!

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Quote

"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."