Mary Langenfeld- US PRESSWIRE
The opening game for the NFL in Week 2 features a matchup between two longtime rivals, the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. The Packers (0-1) are coming off a disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers while the Bears (1-0) beat up on rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts by the score of 41-21.
Every time these two teams meet it’s a big deal as this is the longest rivalry in all of football. However, even tough this game is only in Week 2, there seems to be a lot at stake. The Packers are looking to avoid an 0-2 start which would mean that the Bears would have an early two game lead on the Packers including holding the tie breaker at the moment.
The Packers struggled on both offense and defense against the 49ers in Week 1 and they have plenty of improvements they will have to make if they want to beat the Bears. Defensively, the Packers secondary struggled as there were many open receivers and blown coverages throughout the game. Also, the pass-rush looked very similar to last season. Outside of Clay Matthews there was hardly any production from the defensive line. The Bears offensive line is still weak and this will be a great opportunity for Green Bay to get some pressure on the quarterback and carry some momentum for the rest of the season.
On Offense, the Packers mainly kept the ball in the air but were only able to score seven points through three quarters. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Packers were able to get into a rhythm which enabled them to score 15 points. This week Green Bay will be going against another great defense in the Bears and they need to try and get a balanced offense to hurt this Bears defense. The Packers only ran the ball nine times in their loss to the 49ers and that will have to change this week. The Bears have a great defensive line that needs to be kept on their toes during the game. They cannot anticipate a pass every play or they will get a step advantage at the line. Even if the running game is failing, the Packers need to calling run plays to keep the Bears defense honest.
As for the Bears, they will have a much tougher task then they had last week going against the Colts. The defense was able to create five turnovers on their way to the win which will be a tough challenge going against a team that does a great job at protecting the ball. However, that might be the key to a Bears victory. The Bears need to take advantage of their strong suit which is their defensive line and focus on pressuring Aaron Rodgers the entire game. The Packers offensive line is young and the Bears should have the edge at the line. If the Bears can collapse the pocket and force Rodgers to make off-balanced throws and create turnovers, the Bears will be able to start the season 2-0.
Offensively for the Bears, Jay Cutler will need to make sure he doesn’t take any risks in this game. Cutler is known for taking risks out on the field and throwing into double coverages, but he will have to be more conservative against the Packers. Green Bay’s offense is deadly and Cutler can’t afford to make any mistakes that will create short field position for the Packers. Also, with the struggles it looks like the Packers secondary is having, there will be opportunities for Cutler to makes plays, he just has to be patient and learn when to throw the ball away.
Both teams may be missing key players as the Bears Charles Tillman is listed as questionable with a shin injury while the Packers’ wide receiver Greg Jennings is doubtful with a groin injury. There is good news for the Bears though as linebacker Brian Urlacher looks like he will be able to play and is listed as probable.
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