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A Look Back at Week One Of The 2023 NFL Season

Greg Gabriel reflects on what transpired week one with the Bears and around the league.

NFL: SEP 10 Packers at Bears Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I purposely waited an extra day to write this because of what I consider to be a bit too much of an overreaction to the Chicago Bears losing to Green Bay on Sunday. Yes, it was maybe the most highly anticipated game in years, and fans felt this was finally the chance to beat the Pack. It didn’t work that way, as the Bears did not play well in just about all phases of the game.

That being said, it’s not the end of the world. There are still 16 games on the schedule, beginning with a road trip to Tampa Bay this Sunday. The season is far from lost.

Right after the game ended, the first thought I had was of the 2022 Detroit Lions. Last year, the Lions started out losing six of their first seven games. They were a bad team, as shown by some of the scores. They lost to New England 29 – 0, the following week they lost to Dallas 24 – 6, and then the losing streak ended the next week with a 31 – 27 loss to Miami.

Things looked bleak in Detroit, and many felt they were one of the two or three worst teams in the League. That all changed the following week when they beat Green Bay 15 – 9. That began a streak of winning six of the next seven games, and by the end of the season, the Lions were in the Playoff hunt. The moral of the story is to stop the overreaction; it’s, and it’s not worth it. The season is just beginning and far from over.

I don’t think like most fans. My 30+ years in the League taught me how to handle a loss. Yes, I was disappointed, but you know who was more disappointed than most fans? The players, the coaching staff, the front office and ownership. How do they react to a loss? They watch the tape, find out what went wrong and why it went wrong, and begin the process to fix it.

Not only were Bears fans disappointed, but so were the fans, players, and staff of 15 other teams. Every team in the League goes into the season with high expectations. A loss takes the wind out of the sails of those expectations. Just like here in Chicago, the fan bases are angry and looking for heads to roll. It doesn’t work that way.

Kansas City won the Super Bowl last year, their opening game was supposed to be a celebration of that feat, but they played poorly and got beat by Detroit. Cincinnati was the other AFC Championship game participant last year. They felt they would be able to repeat that success this year, but when they traveled to Cleveland to face the Browns, the Browns kicked their butt!

The Giants were a playoff team last year. They added some new productive players and then opened at home against their biggest rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Do you think the Bears looked bad? Dallas walloped the G-Men 40-0, and if not for poor weather, Dallas probably would have scored more. How do you think the Giants fans feel right now?

The Aaron Rodgers Debut

The talk of the NFL this offseason was the New York Jets trading for future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. The Jets had Super Bowl hopes, and the League bought into it by having the Jets be the Hard Knocks team this summer. Everything we saw in the NFL was the Jets and Aaron Rodgers. All that ended less than 3 minutes into the game as on the fourth play of the game, former Bear Leonard Floyd sacked Rodgers, who then ended up tearing his Achilles because of the way he was twisted around. It’s a devastating injury for both the Jets and Rodgers. In fact, it could be a career-ender because Rodgers turns 40 in three months, and Achilles rehab isn’t easy. I went through it four years ago, so I have firsthand knowledge. I’ll be shocked if he ever plays another game.

The thing that stood out to me in the four plays that Rodgers participated in was his lack of movement skills. He’s always had some quickness in the pocket, but not on Monday night. He was like a statue. Rodgers attempted three passes Monday night and got hit on all three. Even if he had survived Monday’s game, my opinion was his days were numbered. He was going to get hurt and hurt badly; it was just a matter of when, not if.

What were some of your thoughts about week one around the league?