BEARS at PACKERS: Week 1 Preview - September 9, 2018

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BEARS at PACKERS: Week 1 Preview – September 9, 2018

Chicago Bears

We have waited 250 days to get to today, so there should be no problem waiting through a few more sleeps to get to Sunday (Michael: Speak for yourself). Football’s longest-running rivalry resumes in prime time this weekend, as the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears in a match-up we’ve had circled on our calendars since it was announced.

For the Bears, it’s the first page in a new chapter for a franchise in desperate need of a clean slate. If you’re just joining us (where have you been?), an emboldened Ryan Pace fired John Fox, blazed through a head coach search, and hired Matt Nagy, setting off a chain reaction of free agent signings and massive trades – all of which have left Bears fans feeling optimistic about the future … and not just because it can’t be worse than its past.

But, of course, in the end, it’ll all come down to Mitch Trubisky. Pace spent the entire offseason putting pieces carefully in place around the second-year quarterback. So make no mistake about it: the Bears will go only as far as Trubisky can take them.

Oh, and I’ll be at the game on Sunday night. So wish me luck in Packer-land.

“Never Tell Me The Odds:”

Green Bay opened as 7.5-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas. The over/under for this game is 47.5, which is the fifth highest total for Week 1.

Series History:

The Packers swept the season series last year to take 96-94-6 lead all-time. Chicago has lost four straight contests and 8 of the last 10. Sigh. HOWEVA, Nagy looks to be the fourth straight Bears coach to win their first game at Lambeau Field, joining Lovie Smith, Marc Trestman, and John Fox. Good luck with that.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Lambeau Field

Broadcast Info: Sunday, September 9th at 7:20 CT on NBC-TV, WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9

Referee: Carl Cheffers

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB Jordan Howard
  • FB Michael Burton
  • WR Allen Robinson
  • WR Taylor Gabriel
  • TE Trey Burton
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG Eric Kush
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Kyle Long
  • RT Bobby Massie

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • DE Jonathan Bullard
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Danny Trevathan
  • ILB Nick Kwiatkoski
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Prince Amukamara
  • FS Eddie Jackson
  • SS Adrian Amos

Bears Specialists: 

  • Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Benny Cunningham, Tarik Cohen (kick returners), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Packers Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • RB Jamaal Williams
  • WR Randall Cobb
  • WR Davante Adams
  • WR Geronimo ALlison
  • TE Jimmy Graham
  • LT David Bakhtiari
  • LG Lane Taylor
  • C Corey Linsley
  • RG Justin McCray
  • RT Bryan Bulaga

Packers Defense Expected Starters:

  • DE Muhammad Wilkerson
  • NT Kenny Clark
  • DE Mike Daniels
  • OLB Clay Matthews
  • ILB Blake Martinez
  • ILB Oren Burks
  • OLB Nick Perry
  • CB Tramon Williams
  • CB Kevin King
  • S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  • S Kentrell Brice

Packers Specialists:

  • Mason Crosby (kicker), JK Scott (punter), Hunter Bradley (long snapper), Trevor Davis, Ty Montgomery (kick return), Trevor Davis (punt return)

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Chicago Bears – Offense

Trey Burton was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded tight end during the preseason. And while preseason stats don’t mean anything once the regular season gets underway, Burton’s value goes beyond the numbers. He’ll be a focal point of a passing offense that didn’t effectively or efficiently utilize tight ends in 2017. Changing that is probably why the Bears gave Burton a boatload of cash over the offseason.

Chicago Bears – Defense

Khalil Mack didn’t participate in training camp and was missing in action when the Oakland Raiders played preseason games. Mack has been a Chicago Bear for six days, but the hope is he can do something like this on Sunday:

Green Bay Packers – Offense

Davante Adams would have been a highly sought after free agent target had he not signed an extension with Green Bay before the 2017 season ended. Packers quarterbacks posted a 111.2 passer rating and 10-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio when targeting Adams during his Pro Bowl season. Now, Adams looks to carry the torch passed on by Jordy Nelson as Rodgers’ top target on the outside.

Green Bay Packers – Defense

Muhammad Wilkerson is the shiny new toy on Green Bay’s defense. Wilkerson is one of the league’s best interior defensive linemen and placing him next to Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark gives the Packers a monstrous front. Wilkerson is strong against the run and has a knack for creating pressure. He’ll be a load to handle for the Bears’ offensive line.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.