Finally, the NFL season is upon us. The Game of the Week is Thursday, Sept 5th, 8:20 PM on NBC. The Chicago Bears will host the Green Bay Packers and the Bears are a 3 point favorite.
Going into last season, Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers had a combined record of 41-15-1 against the NFC North.
Minnesota Vikings (12-7-1).
Chicago Bears (16-4).
Detroit Lions (13-4).
The Packers had the best off- season of any team in the NFL. Blake Martinez, the 25-year-old linebacker out of Stanford, had 92 solo tackles and 5 sacks in 2018. Free agents Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith could get 17 to 20 sacks between the two of them. Safety Adrian Amos is coming over from the Chicago Bears, he should stabilize the secondary and provide great leadership. Rookie Rashan Gary from Michigan should have an immediate impact in rushing the passer. Rookie Darnell Savage could start right away in the defensive backfield as well.This is a defense that could dominate a team for a quarter a half or a game.
Offensively, One could argue that Adams has been the best WR over the past 2 seasons. The Former Fresno State standout has 185 catches, over 2,100 receiving yards and 23 touchdown catches over the past 29 games. Adams does this, despite being in an offense, that is predicated on spreading the ball around. The Packers will use running back by committee and this could be Rodger’s best season ever. Don’t be surprised if Mr. “Discount Double Check” wins the MVP.
Chicago was 12-4 last season under first year coach Matt Nagy but the Bears lost their defensive coordinator. Nick Fangio is now the head coach for the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Mitchell Trubinsky threw for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He is only 24-years-old and took a major step in the right direction last season. The problem with the Bears is they don’t have any number 1 options on offense. They have a lot of good, not great players. Their offense has speed and talent but I don’t see anyone catching more than 80 balls or rushing for over 1000 yards. Rookie running back David Montgomery our of Iowa State could become the featured back by the half way point of the season. Have teams adjusted to Trubinsky? Over his last 5 games, he has 5 interceptions.
Defensively, former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, Chuck Pagano takes over the reigns for Fangio. The Bears lost safety Adrian Amos and nickel corner Bryce Callahan in free agency. This team led the NFL with 36 takeaways and 27 interceptions last season. Khalil Mack is still one of the most dominant defensive players in the game. This was the best defense in the NFL last year, but I expect them to take a slight step backwards without Fangio.
The 2019 Packers are different, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to win every game on his own. They have a chance to be elite on both sides of the ball. Both of these teams should make the playoffs. Green Bay will win the NFC North and it starts with a victory on Thursday night.
Green Bay 24… Bears… 17.
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