A new season of Chicago Bears football is upon us, but like many seasons, it starts with a game against the Green Bay Packers. But this season is different, largely because Aaron Rodgers has taken his talents to the Big Apple and Jordan Love is now QB1 for the Packers.
It’ll be the first time since 1991 that the Bears and Packers will square off in a game where Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers aren’t on the Packers roster and that certainly leaves a lot of uncertainty for our neighbors to the North.
Here’s what Justis Mosqueda of the Acme Packing Company had to say about the Love-led Packers.
1. Obviously, all eyes are going to be on Jordan Love. Bears fans have plenty of interest in how he performs this Sunday and moving forward this season. From what you’ve seen of him so far, what aspect of Love’s game are you most confident in and what aspect gives you the most concern heading into week one?
Love seemed to have command of the offense throughout the summer. I’m pretty confident that he can “run the offense” and hit throws over the middle of the field that Aaron Rodgers never seemed interested in attempting. The one major piece of concern with him is his deep throws down the sideline, as he and his young receivers don’t seem to have enough chemistry there yet to connect on those consistently.
2. I think there’s plenty of reason to be confident in Green Bay’s offensive line and running backs, but the wide receivers and tight ends could be an issue. Sure, there’s plenty of potential talent there, but the group is quite inexperienced. How concerned are you that Love doesn’t have any veteran weapons to lean on to help him while he gets his feet wet?
That is everything this year. The point of this season is for those pass-catchers to grow with Love. Tight end Luke Musgrave played all but one snap that Love was on the field for this preseason, so I expect him to be the number one tight end. At receiver, starters Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are both dealing with hamstring issues, which might make Sunday’s game even more complicated.
3. Matt LaFleur has had plenty of success as the Packers head coach, but the doubter would say, “Sure, but he’s had Aaron Rodgers.” Do you feel this season is a “prove it” year for LaFleur that he can captain a successful offense without a hall of fame quarterback?
Not really. The “prove it” year is for left tackle David Bakhtiari (health) and defensive coordinator Joe Barry (competence). Besides them, I believe that everyone (outside of maybe the running backs) is part of the Packers’ long-term plans.
4. For this week one Bears-Packers match-up, is there a particular play that you would consider your “best bet” for the game?
I think the most interesting prop play would be a Malik Heath anytime touchdown, simply because he was the next man up as an outside receiver during the preseason. If either Watson or Doubs misses the game, he’ll be a “starting” receiver on the team as an undrafted rookie in Week 1.
5. Where is the Packers fan base with Aaron Rodgers? I understand the conditions with the draft pick so obviously Packers fans are going to want to see him stay on the field. But do you think the fans want to see Rodgers have success in New York or do you think most fans hope he struggles throughout the year?
65 percent! It’s about rooting to get a first-round pick and wanting that pick to be as high as possible. Like team president Mark Murphy said, the Jets being bad with Rodgers on the field is what’s best for the Packers this year.
Packers fans certainly have plenty of confidence in their squad still, and it seems that confidence in the Packers has been steadily growing throughout the month of August. Answers will be provided on Sunday, it should be a fascinating game for both fan bases.
And as always, if you want to place a little wager on the game, our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook has you covered.