The Bears are slight 1-point favorites against the Packers in Week 1, according to BetMGM. The over/under is set at 42.
Can Chicago snap their eight-game losing streak against Green Bay to kick off the 2023 NFL season? Our Bears Wire staff share their game picks for Sunday’s matchup.
Alyssa Barbieri (0-0): Bears 23, Packers 20
A new era of the Bears-Packers rivalry gets underway Sunday, where Chicago is looking to snap an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry. This is the first time in a long time where this rivalry feels like it’s on a level playing field, now that Aaron Rodgers is in New York.
Justin Fields goes into this matchup with the advantage at quarterback considering he’s started more than one game that Jordan Love has. Fields’ weapons at wide receiver and tight end are also the better of the two teams. Then there’s Chicago’s top-ranked rushing attack from a season ago, which will be a focal point against the Packers. For the first time, in a long time, Chicago appears to have an upper hand on offense.
On defense, the biggest challenge will be containing the two-headed monster at running back in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Chicago notably had the second-worst run defense in the NFL last season, and the onus is on the front seven to clog those run lanes and force Love to beat them through the air. We’ll see if the Bears can get pressure on the young quarterback and force him into mistakes.
I’ve said in the past that I’m not picking the Bears to beat the Packers until they actually beat them. But that’s not the case in Week 1.Call it early-season optimism or blind faith, but I’m picking the Bears to start this new chapter of the rivalry with a close win over the Packers…and make them wait 16 games until they get a chance at revenge.
Brendan Sugrue (0-0): Bears 20, Packers 19
Buckle your seatbelts. Bears fans, because this Week 1 matchup is about to unleash all of the stress and anxiety that’s been building for months. The Bears and Packers matchup always means more, whether we want to admit it or not, and it jumps up a notch when it’s the first game of the season. But given the fact that Green Bay is forced to turn the page following the conclusion of the Aaron Rodgers chapter, there’s a hope in the air that hasn’t been felt in at least four years.
Jordan Love is set to take over at quarterback, and we truly don’t know how he’s going to fare in his biggest challenge yet at the professional level. What we do know, however, is that the Bears can knock him off kilter by containing the Packers running game. Stopping Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon should be priority No. 1 for the defense to make sure Love doesn’t have the benefit of short yardage situations. If defensive coordinator Alan Williams’ group can neutralize the Packers strong rushing attack and force Love to make plays out of the gate, good things should happen.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Justin Fields also faces a tough challenge as he looks to start the season off on the right note. Green Bay’s front seven will likely make things difficult for him in the pocket, but Fields now has the weapons to bail him and the offense out of sticky situations. Fields is the more experienced quarterback and should make enough plays to outplay Love. But this game is going to be a nail-biter all afternoon long. Even with a new signal caller, you can never count out Green Bay.
The Bears and the Packers will trade blows all afternoon long, with Green Bay taking a late lead, just as other opposing teams did to Chicago last season. But Fields and the offense will rally and finally get the fourth-quarter comeback fans have wanted to see, culminating in a field goal from Cairo Santos with little time left on the clock. The Bears get the victory and land the first punch in this new era of the most historic rivalry in the NFL.
Lucas Hunt (0-0): Bears 17, Packers 13
Here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Chicago and Green Bay. Fields against Love. Two new eras set to clash for the first time. At Soldier Field, Week 1. Let me just take a moment to say, doesn’t it feel SO good to say football is back?
Now, onto the game. The Bears are much better equipped to battle the Packers than they have been in past years due to bringing in impact players like star receiver DJ Moore, tackle Darnell Wright and safety Jaquan Brisker, to name a few. Chicago’s offensive calling card in 2022 was the run game, and I expect the squad to return to that method in Week 1. The Packers were in the bottom tier of most defensive rushing metrics last season, and the Bears will stress-test their defense to see if that will be the case this year.
The big question will be if Fields can hit the ground of Soldier Field running and take his play to the next level right away. I mentioned in our Keys to Victory article that the offensive scheme will feature creating easy throws and designed runs for Fields to get him up to game speed. QB1 has infamously been inconsistent in the first half of games, only to play at a borderline All-Pro level in the latter half. I believe the coaching staff will begin the game calling scripted plays with the goal of getting Fields comfortable, and then he’ll be playing at full force the rest of the game. Just expect some turbulence to start things off.
Ironically, the Bears defense is equally as susceptible to the run, and the Packers have two beasts at running back that will take advantage. I fully expect Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to gash the Bears’ defense for big chunks of yards, as the front four won’t be getting much of a push. Chicago’s ability to rush the passer is equally concerning; Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker will definitely have an impact, but who can be trusted outside of those two? Both Dominique Robinson and Rahseem Green are non-factors until they prove otherwise. It doesn’t matter how good the Bears’ defensive backfield is, Love will find someone open if he has all day to throw.
All things considered – and this may be my bias speaking – I think the Bears will slightly edge out the Packers for the win, 17-13. The game will be close throughout, but I think the X-factor will be Fields. Fields is a blossoming superstar, and I don’t think Love is quite there yet. When it comes down to it, Fields will make the plays in crunch time to get the win.
Chicago gets a huge win over Green Bay, signaling a change of guard in the NFC North.
Ryan Fedrau (0-0): Bears 27, Packers 16
It’s Packers week, and it’s personal. The Bears haven’t beaten the Packers since Week 15, 2018. That’s eight straight losses, including three blow out losses, a quarterback change, and a head coaching change.
Both Matt Eberflus, 0-2, and Justin Fields, 0-4, are winless against the Packers, but that is all going to change on Sunday. Fields is going to issue in a new era of Bears football, starting off the Love/Fields rivalry with a two-score victory, at Soldier Field. Fans have been waiting for the tides to switch, and Aaron Rodgers going to the Jets might be enough to change things for the time being.
If the Bears’ aren’t successful in making the playoffs this season, two wins against the Packers would be more than enough to keep fans happy and excited for 2024.
Nate Atkins (0-0): Bears 24, Packers 21
The 2023 NFL season begins with a classic: Bears versus Packers. While Green Bay is navigating the post-Aaron Rodgers world, putting their trust in Jordan Love and leaning on the running game, the early transition period for them will be tough.
Chicago, however, is coming off a three win season. Justin Fields had shown promise and looked to improve the offense with tackle Darnell Wright and wide receiver DJ Moore and is looking to be better than the 25th best offense last year.
It’s a tough matchup against a Packers defense that’s one of the best in football. For Bears fans, hope springs eternal. This season opener might just tip in Chicago’s favor.