The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are both entering Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field with re-tooled offenses, and both teams will be looking to make a statement in the latest installment of one of the NFL’s most storied rivalries.
As we prepare for the game, here’s what fans can expect from each team during the contest.
Bears Offense: A New Dawn
For the first time under new head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears will take the training wheels off of their new offense, giving Mitchell Trubisky the chance to fully utilize the weapons the team has acquired over the offseason.
A big thing to watch for in this first game is how the team deploys tight end Trey Burton and running back Tarik Cohen. Both players have the ability to split out wide and go out on passing routes, and both provide tremendous athleticism if they get the ball in the open field.
The Bears will also be looking to get running back Jordan Howard going, but that job is going to fall to the team’s offensive line. Cody Whitehair has had some difficulty in snapping the ball at times during the preseason, but he is an astute blocker who is very good at clearing holes, and he should get help from Kyle Long and James Daniels in that regard.
Finally, the Bears will have to see what they have in terms of receiver threats. Anthony Miller is the x-factor in that regard, as he could line up in the slot and cause some serious problems for the Packers when they are forced to switch into their nickel defense. Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel will also be making their Bears debuts, and even Kevin White, who could be playing for his Bears future, will figure prominently into their plans.
The Green Bay offense will continue to flow through Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams, but outside of those two, there are a lot of things that will need to be addressed as the Packers take the field Sunday.
First and foremost, the Packers will be operating without long-time Bears nemesis Jordy Nelson, who is now practicing his craft in Oakland. The team will hope that Geronimo Allison and tight end Jimmy Graham will be able to put some serious pressure on the Bears’ defense, but it will be interesting to see Rodgers operating without one of his primary security blankets for the first time.
The Packers will also need to work hard to keep Rodgers upright, as they’ll be facing a Bears’ pass rush that includes talented players like Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith. Both players could potentially play limited snaps in the game, but both have the athleticism to attack the quarterback on passing downs.
Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd could also provide some challenges for the Packers’ line, as both players are eager to show off their skills under returning defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
The Packers’ run game could also be very interesting to watch, as Jamaal Williams hopes to make a big impact out of the backfield. Williams, along with veteran Ty Montgomery, will have their hands full against a talented Bears front seven, and that will be a key matchup that will go a long way toward determining the winner of the contest.