Occasionally this weekly piece will have a one-off for the Thursday opener; that's life in the new NFL order. The rest of the selections will have to wait.
For Thursday, give me the Packers in the Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'Em Game, spotting the five.
Generally I don't put a lot of stock into player-vs.-team matchups, but I will consider them for divisional play. The teams meet twice a year, after all. And while personnel changes pretty darn quick in the NFL, Green Bay's offensive huddle hasn't changed much.
Aaron Rodgers has never lost to the Bears at Lambeau Field, covering four starts. He's posted a 112.3 rating over that span, and the Packers have a plus-61 point differential. Add it all up and it's 80-for-115, 923 yards, nine touchdowns, two picks. Chicago's defense typically doesn't give you a lot of gimmicks or diversity, and Rodgers and Mike McCarthy have been able to solve it fairly easily.
To a lesser extent I note Jay Cutler's struggles in Green Bay (0-2 record, 38-for-75, 445 yards, one TD, six picks), but perhaps those stats belong in the shredder. Cutler didn't play in last year's meeting, and obviously the 2012 Bears have additional weapons on offense. Perhaps Cutler can keep up in a shootout, post 20-30 points, keep it interesting until the final gun.
At the end of the day, I'm giving the Niners more credit than I am the Packers blame for the Week 1 result. Green Bay will be without Greg Jennings — and you hate to lose his super route-running skills, especially for McCarthy's nifty route combinations — but at least Green Bay is deep at the receiver position. Let's toss a Week 2 Dart on the hosts; let's run with the Pack.