Bears vs. Packers: Preview, Predictions for rivalry game
Mark Hoffman - USA Today Sports

Bears vs. Packers: Preview, Predictions for rivalry game

by - Senior Writer -

Week one of the NFL season is a fun time for fans as it is the only time every team will be in first place. The first game of an NFL season is filled with hope, optimism, and the belief that your team will not only go to the Super Bowl but also win it. That is no different for the Chicago Bears and their fans, as there is a belief in the locker room that this team is good and could be good enough to make a playoff run.

However, week one of the 2023 NFL season isn't just any game. It is a game to make a statement as the Bears and the Packers get set to renew their hated rivalry once again. Unlike the past 30 years when Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers patrolled the sidelines, Jordan Love takes over for the Packers in hopes of becoming the next outstanding QB in Green Bay.

When it comes to Justin Fields, he is hoping to improve and become the best QB Chicago has ever seen. For that to happen, a ton of work must be done, but Fields has the weapons at his disposal to make something happen this season.

Here are three things to look at for the Bears-Packers contest:

Is Jordan Love the next in line?

Make no mistake about it, the Green Bay Packers have owned the Bears for the better part of 30 years, and it isn't even close. That tends to happen when you have a pair of Hall of Famers under while the Bears are hoping for someone who can throw more than 3,000 yards in a season. With Rodgers now in New York, it is time for a new era as Love takes over for Green Bay under center.

After sitting behind Rodgers for three seasons and barely playing, Love is entering the year about as fresh as a rookie, so you still don't know the type of player he is. No one expects him to come out and look like a Hall of Famer. However, should he do that, you could look at another run of success for the Packers, as they have had the Bears number for over a quarter of a century.

Time for the new guys to step up

When you look at this Bears roster and compare it to last season, you would think this is an entirely different team, as nearly every starter from last season is gone. That is what happens when you go 3-14 and drop 10 straight games to end the season, as the Bears underwent wholesale player changes. With Ryan Poles being very aggressive in free agency, the Bears went on the trade market and brought in DJ Moore as the team's No. 1 option for Fields.

The Bears also drafted several critical pieces throughout the NFL draft as they will look to carve out a role on this team. The rookies have the most to prove this week, as Chicago will be going with a lot of them on Sunday. It will be up to them to show they belong and figure out how to adjust to an NFL game when things get tough. Their play will set this team up for a brighter future.

The wide open NFC North

With Rodgers no longer in this division, you could make a case that this division is as wide open as ever. Sure, the Vikings are the defending champs and have most of their pieces, while the Lions are the favorites to win this season, but don't put it past the Bears to be in the conversation. As fans have seen in the past, the NFL is the easiest sport to go from last to first in and vice versa, as the Bears are trying to accomplish that this season.

Facing off against your biggest Rival and the only team that has been consistently able to make the playoffs for the better part of three decades is an excellent start for Chicago. Should they find a way to win this game, they are sending a message that Chicago has what it takes to be division champs in 2023.

Prediction: Packers 24 - Bears 20

This may not be the same Packers team as they have questions at QB, but they still have a much deeper roster than Chicago. Pair that with Matt LaFleur, who has done nothing, but win since coming to Green Bay, and it will make things a lot easier on Love.

Should the Packers defense show up and play at the level they played during the season's final seven weeks, this Green Bay team could be tough to beat. As much as it pains me to say this, I have to go with the Packers in this one, as the overall chemistry and experience from their roster find a way to get a massive road win to open their season.

Ariana Pensy - Correspondent: Bears win 28-24

Tony Crumpton - Senior editor: Bears win 24-21

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