This is the game that every Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers fan circles once the schedules are first released. What makes this game even more intense than usual; this will be both teams’ first nationally televised game of the season, Thursday Night Football. Both the Bears and Packers have a pretty difficult path leading up to this game. The Bears start off the season against Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh. The Packers will be facing Seattle, Atlanta, and Cincinnati. If you have read my previous articles in this series, you will see that I have the Bears at 1-2 at this point of the season. Realistically, the Packers will most likely they will be 2-1 once they hose the Bears, meaning this game could determine who will hold the NFC North crown after the first quarter of the season.
Based solely on regular-season games, the Bears are in the lead of this rivalry with a record of 93-91-6. But don’t be fooled, Aaron Rodgers has a higher win percentage against the Bears than Brett Favre. Rodgers also set a Packers franchise record against the Bears last season when they faced off on Thursday Night Football by completing 39 passes. This game will be the third time the Bears will face the Packers on Thursday Night Football and the Packers hold the lead 2-0.
The Packers are pretty much the New England Patriots of the NFC North. Since 2002, Green Bay has won the NFC North nine out of the fifteen years. Depending on how the Bears fair in the first three games of the season could make all the difference. It’s all about momentum and confidence. If the Bears front seven and secondary, can perform at a high level in the first few games, they may build up enough confidence to battle the high octane offense of the Packers; which now includes a “healthy” Jordy Nelson, the infamous Martellus Bennett, and Ty Montgomery. One of the keys to the Bears defeating the Packers last year was putting enough pressure on Rodgers. Even though Rodgers is deadly on the move, when he is comfortable in the pocket he can be twice as effective. The Bears drafted Leonard Floyd partially to hunt down Rodgers and the other NFC North quarterbacks just as he did with the strip sack for a touchdown he accomplished last year on Rodgers.
Green Bay has lost Julius Peppers, but they did add: Kevin King, the lengthy corner out of Washington; as well as, S Josh Jones out of NC State, and DT Montravius Adams from Auburn. Not a bad haul what so ever. It is unclear how much of an impact these new additions will make on the Packers defense but it definitely couldn’t hurt since last year the Packers gave up the 4th most points and the 8th most yards in the league.
I imagine at this point of the season Glennon will still be the starting quarterback but in order for him to be effective this game, Jordan Howard and the stable of running backs will need to perform at their best. This will be a game where both the offense and the defense for the Bears will have to be running on all cylinders if they want to compete. Overall I believe the Packers offense will be too much for the Bears to handle, especially with this game being played in Lambeau Field.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:
Green Bay 30