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Can The Packers Hold Off The Bears In Week 1?

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-2)

Week 1 - Sunday September 10th 2023 at 4:25pm on FOX


The NFL's oldest rivalry will renew once again this Sunday as the 2023 NFL Season kickoffs off in Soldier Field. The Bears haven't beaten Green Bay since 2018, but the bad man is gone which has brought relief to Chicago fans.


Former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was traded to the New York Jets this offseason, which handed the keys to 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love.


While Rodgers may be gone, the Packers still look to take care of business as they enter the next era of football under Love. With a very young team with lots of promise, Green Bay could be one of the worst, or one of the best football teams depending on what happens this season.


With a talented running back duo in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, a top-ten defense, and a speedy wide receiver room, the green and gold could surpass expectations and make a run.

Meanwhile the Chicago Bears would've liked last season to go better.


After starting 1-0 over the NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers, the team finished 2-14 the rest of the season en route to the league's worst record. After devoting their team in 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields, the Bears traded from the first-pick and added receiver DJ Moore, as the team hopes getting Fields a number-one receiver will boost his confidence as the same situation helped Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen become superstars.


Why The Packers Will Win


Green Bay has absolutely owned the Bears since 2018 and just like Ohio State is always expected to beat Michigan, the same situation is here. But with the uncertainty with Jordan Love, that is why the Packers are underdogs on the road. But the team had a good preseason going 2-1 with most starters playing.

Jordan Love had a really good preseason and if he can continue his success, it could translate into a playoff birth for Green Bay. But the key to winning for the Packers will be the run game.


With a top duo in Jones and Dillon, alongside one of the best offensive lines in the league when healthy, Matt LaFleur could look to control the clock and become a run-first team.

We will also see how LaFleur's playbook fully looks, as with Rodgers' immobility, some plays were limited including RPOs.


The Bears defense used to be elite, but has struggled in the past few years. If the Packers can score 24-28 points, it should guarantee a win for the green and gold. The Bears offense can be dangerous with Fields having a long run against Green Bay last year.


Jaire Alexander on DJ Moore should also be a fun battle to watch. But Joe Barry's defense is expected to be elite this season, and holding Chicago to under 21 points is the key to winning.


Why The Bears Will Win


For the past two years, the Packers have been blown out in the first week of the season. Why? The defense held Green Bay's offense to a combined ten points while the offenses have gone off. Remember Jameis Winston had five touchdown passes in 2021, and Justin Jefferson dominated last year.


The Pack always seem to be rusty entering the year and the Bears will need to capitalize on their early mistakes if they want to win. As seen in the preseason, DJ Moore can be an explosive YAC receiver and a five-yard pass can turn into 50 in a second. The Bears will also need to rely on Fields having a strong game as well. With Khalil Herbert taking over after having a solid year as RB2, there is big expectations for the young running back.


If Herbert can't get it done, Justin Fields will need to carry the run game. Finally, it is up to the Bears defense to hold Love and company. In his only career start, Love's offense scored seven points on the Kansas City Chiefs. In the two matchups last season, the Packers scored an average of 27.5 points on the Bears defense. This will need to change for a Bears victory.


Prediction


Green Bay Packers 24, Chicago Bears 19


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