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Week 1 Game Preview: Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers

The bad man is gone, but will the hurt remain the same?

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers

SB Nation site: Acme Packing Company

Record: 0-0 (8-9 in 2022)

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, 3:25 p.m. CT, FOX

Spread: DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bears as 1-point favorites over the visiting Packers. The total is set at 43.

Bears all-time record against: 94-104-6 in the regular season, 1-1 in the postseason

Historical meetings: In week one of the 2006 season, the Bears hosted visited the Packers at Lambeau. (h/t Michael Halatek for catching my error).

The Bears kicked things off with a 49-yard Rex Grossman-to-Bernard Berrian bomb for a touchdown.

The defense intercepted Brett Favre twice and sacked him three times.

After four Robbie Gould field goals, Devin Hester capped a great day on the lakefront with an 84-yard punt return touchdown in his first NFL game.

The Bears won 26-0.

Last meeting: Week 13 last year, at Soldier Field, the Packers came to town and took the Bears down 28-19.

The Bears led 19-10 late in the third quarter but Green Bay scored three times in the fourth.

Injury report: The Packers listed six players on their injury report Wednesday. Only five were limited or not participating.


  • LB Rashan Gary (knee)
  • Dontayvion Wicks (hamstring)

Did not participate

  • David Bakharti (vet rest/knee)
  • WR Romeo Doubs (hamstring)
  • WR Christian Watson (hamstring)

Offense: The Packers offense ranked 14th in points last season and 17th in yards.

They ranked 17th in passing yards and 15th in rushing yards.

This year, for the first time in what feels like an eternity, the Packers are starting a new quarterback, Jordan Love.

Love (66.7 pct cmp/195 yds/1 TD/0 INT last season) will fully get a chance to pick up the mantle from the previous two QBs from up north.

While reviews of his preseason are mostly positive, there’s still much to learn about him. But he has some help.

Christian Watson (41 rec./611 yds./7 TD in 2022) came on down the stretch of his rookie year. He looks ready to take over their No. 1 WR role. Romeo Doubs (42/425/3) starts opposite Watson. Samori Toure (5/82/1) starts in the slot. Toure was a seventh-round pick last season and didn’t play a ton last season.

The Packers preseason reports indicate that the team is excited about their second-round picks, TE Luke Musgrave out of Oregon State and slot WR Jayden Reed, out of Michigan State.

The Green Bay rushing attack is still led by their two-headed monster of Aaron Jones (213 att./1,121 yds./2 TD) and AJ Dillon (186/770/7).

Mike LeFleur’s offense returns but will likely look different with a new signal caller. Expect Love to call more of what comes into his headset versus the former guy who liked to change the call and audible a lot.

Also expect a lot more pre-snap motion, again something that the last quarterback wasn’t into a ton.

Defense: Their defense ranked 17th in points and yards allowed last season.

Their rush defense ranked 26th and their passing defense ranked sixth.

Up front, you’ll recognize most of the names. Kenny Clark (4 sk/5 FF/1 FR last year), T.J. Slaton (2 TFL/31 tkl in 2023) and Devonte Wyatt (1.5 sk/1 FF/15 tkl) return along the defensive line but Slaton and Wyatt are new starters.

Rashan Gary (6 sk/1 FF/1 FR/7 TFL last year) and Preston Smith (8.5 sk/20 QB hits/9 TFL/1 FF in 2022) are back at OLB, with rookie Lukas Van Ness coming in next. De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker are in the middle.

In the secondary, Jaire Alexander (5 INT/14 PD, Pro Bowl in 2022) and Rasul Douglas (4 INT/13 PD/1 FF) return.

On the back end, Darnell Savage Jr. (1 INT/5 PD/2 TFL) and Rudy Ford (3 INT/3 PD) are the starting safeties. They are seen as the weak point, or at least the biggest unknown on the Packers’ defense. Savage has been up and down in his career. Ford only has a handful of starts.

Key match-ups: For the Bears offense, this is going to be a test on a couple of levels.

Let’s see what the Bears’ passing game has against a unit that was top 10 last year and returns a lot of starters.

DJ Moore vs. Jaire Alexander is going to be a battle. Alexander is one of the best CBs in the NFC and each guy is probably going to get a win at different points.

The new-look Bears offensive line will be tested against the Green Bay pass rushers.

For the defense, containing Christian Watson and pressuring Jordan Love are big keys. No QB thrives under pressure and Love will be no different. This is just his second career start. Let’s see what a revamped defensive line can do against a veteran Packers OL.

Perhaps the biggest key for the Chicago defense is going to be the Packers’ rushing attack.

Chicago had one of the worst rush defenses last season and the Packers gashed them for 203 and 175 rushing yards in their two meetings.

That has to be improved this year if the Bears are going to build and take the steps they want to take.

Key stats

  • The Packers haven’t ranked below 15th in offensive points since Matt LaFleur became their head coach in 2019.
  • LeFleur has yet to lose to the Bears as a head coach.
  • Jordan Love will make his second career start against the Bears.
  • The Chicago Bears haven’t won a regular season game in 318 days. By Sunday morning that will be 320 days.
  • The Bears haven’t defeated the Packers in 1,726 days. By Sunday morning that will be 1,728 days.

Is this finally the time for the Bears to take the series back? What will it take for the Bears to start the season 1-0?