Game Overview ::
By Mike Johnson >>
- Green Bay starts a new era and hopes to return to the playoffs with Jordan Love under center.
- Chicago has surrounded Justin Fields with speed and weapons as they look to make a run in the wide-open NFC North.
- Green Bay’s defense ended 2022 on a tear and will look to pick up where they left off against a Chicago team that worked hard to shore up their offensive line this offseason.
- The excitement around the potential for both offenses in 2023 may have to be subdued for a week due to the matchups and expected game flow.
How green bay Will Try To Win ::
The departure of Aaron Rodgers brings the Packers a lot of questions as well as opportunities. For the first time in his career as a head coach, Matt LaFleur can fully implement his offensive vision and potentially change some things that Rodgers demanded. All eyes will be on Jordan Love, who looked very good in limited preseason work and has had a lot of positive buzz throughout the offseason. Luckily for Love, he has a very good supporting cast, including an above-average offensive line, two capable running backs, and a far superior receiving corps than the one they entered 2022 with.
The Packers offense should once again primarily revolve around their dynamic running back duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Those two combined for 25 to 30 touches on a weekly basis in 2022, and that seems like a relatively solid bet to continue this year – especially early in the season. The rest of the Packers personnel seems pretty set in stone, as second-year receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs operate as the top receiving options, and rookies Jayden Reed (WR) and Luke Musgrave (TE) appear to have locked up starting spots as well. Musgrave played almost every snap with the starters in the preseason and appears to have locked up a full-time role to start the year – a rare feat for a rookie tight end. Watson and Musgrave have explosive skill sets for their respective positions, while Doubs and Reed are very technically sound receivers with reliable hands. It really is a group that complements each other very well.
The Packers played at the slowest pace in the NFL in 2022 at 31 seconds per snap and were still slow-paced with the starters on the field in the preseason. While I do expect the pace to pick up for them as the season goes on and Love gets more comfortable early in the season, it seems likely they will continue a methodical approach. The Bears defense was atrocious in 2022, but they made several key additions during free agency and the draft, which should make them a much more formidable opponent this year. The Packers are likely to focus on efficiency and play methodically in their season opener, with a balanced approach that uses all of their young weapons and reliable running backs. The Bears blitzed on less than 20% of their defensive plays in 2022, but it will be interesting to see if they dial up more pressure in this matchup to see what Love is made of.