The oldest rivalry in the history of the NFL continues in week one of this season in prime time on Sunday night as the Packers take on the Bears for the 197th time in the regular season. Green Bay leads the series 96-94 with 6 ties. This one will feature a matchup of the highest paid players in league history on each side of the ball with Aaron Rodgers facing off against the Bears newly acquired stud Khalil Mack. Here’s a few things to watch for this game:
Matchup to watch on Offense: David Bakhtiari/Bryan Bulaga VS Khalil Mack
According to Pro Football Focus this is a match up of the 6th best edge pass rusher versus the 2nd best left tackle and a right tackle coming off an ACL year. Mack can disrupt any game his is apart of but the fact is he hasn’t been with the team, or any team for that matter with his holdout, all offseason. Expecting him to be his normal self is a lot to ask for but his pure ability is something that needs to be accounted for. On the packers side, Mack needs to be accounted for no matter where he goes. The addition makes the bears, an already stout defense, one of the leagues best on paper but their secondary can be beat with enough time.
Matchup to watch on Defense: Packers run defense VS Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen
Cohen joined Howard last year to form a dynamic thunder and lightning like duo which is going to be the focal point of the bears offense as they try to grow a young QB in Mitch Trubisky. On the other side Green Bay took a risk and gave former All-Pro Mo Wilkerson a 5 million dollar contract to join Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark on their defensive line. The line is the core of the packers defense and partner them with the leagues leading tackler last season Blake Martinez it gives the packers a strong front 7. This battle will dictate if the Bears can get their offense going and not have to rely on Trubisky or if they will need a huge jump from their young QB, who has yet to throw multiple touchdown passes in his 12 NFL starts.
Starting the season in prime time means all eyes are on these teams and their offseason acquisitions. These players will play a huge role in the outcome of this game and these teams respective season. This game is always a close one no matter how good or bad either team is. It’s great to have football back and of course Go Pack Go!