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Bears vs. Packers prediction: Can Justin Fields beat Jordan Love in 2023 season finale?

Bears vs. Packers prediction: Can Justin Fields beat Jordan Love in 2023 season finale? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears are completely different from the team that faced the Packers in Week 1. Vibes are high, they’re feeling the momentum. But can they carry that momentum into Lambeau Field, where the Bears haven’t won since 2015? Here’s what the Under Center Podcast crew thinks:

KENNETH DAVIS

Well, well, well, the Bears finally get a chance to seek vengeance against the Green Bay Packers for one of the worst opening season miss-managed beatdowns I have ever witnessed as a Bears fan. I've never felt such despair for an upcoming season after a season opener.

The Packers and Jordan Love have found something on offense, around 30 points per game the last six games, about 27.3 points over their last six outings, going 4-2 in said games. The Packers may also get key pass catchers back in Jayden Reed, Christian Watson, Luke Musgrave and Dontayvion Wicks.

But the Bears defense and secondary have become top-notch heading towards the season's close. This could be Justin Fields’ last time playing alongside his teammates against the hated Packers. I'm sure he wants to send a message regardless of what his future may entail in a Bears uniform.

I can honestly say after the first half of this season I would never believe Matt Eburflus could have somewhat righted this rudderless ship. But he did. The Packers have spent a lot of draft equity on the defensive side of the ball and have yet seen a consistent return on investment.

Let's go out with a bang and stop the Packers from entering the playoffs like the Lions did in the last game of the season last year.

Bears: 33, Packers: 27

JOSH SCHROCK

Sunday’s game could be a moment for the Matt Eberflus Bears. The Bears have lost nine straight to the Packers but enter Sunday’s game red-hot with a chance to essentially knock their rival out of the playoffs. It’s a chance for Eberflus, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and quarterback Justin Fields to make a strong closing statement before tough conversations are had around Halas Hall to start the offseason.

All signs point to Eberflus returning, but things are much less clear for Getsy and Fields. Fields has complicated the Bears’ QB conundrum with his solid play over the last month and playing well in a win over the Packers would make it even tougher.

The Packers’ defense has been a disaster of late. Green Bay let Tommy DeVito and Bryce Young move the ball at will on them. Everything screams Bears. But I can’t do it.

Fields has struggled against the Packers’ zone-heavy defense in his career. In five games against Green Bay, Fields has thrown for 938 yards, four touchdowns, and seven interceptions while completing 63.9 percent of his passes. Fields has also rushed for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Against zone coverage this season, Fields is completing 67.9 percent of his passes with five touchdowns, five picks, and a passer rating of 86.8.

Jordan Love, on the other hand, has been tremendous of late. The Packers’ young quarterback has thrown 16 touchdowns and only one interception in his last seven games with a quarterback rating of 109.9.

I have to see Fields and the Bears beat the Packers before I can pick them. It will be a grimy game, but the ghosts of Lambeau are hard to beat.

Packers: 26, Bears: 20

ALEX SHAPIRO

I’m going all-in on the narrative with this final prediction of the season. No football analysis.

The Bears are undoubtedly riding a heater right now. They’re going into Green Bay extremely motivated, both to knock the Packers out of the playoffs and to avenge their embarrassing Week 1 blowout.

But the Packers aren’t going to be surprised by any extra effort from the Bears this Sunday. In fact, they’ve probably learned from last season when they needed a win in Week 18 against the Lions. Detroit got the best of them last year and knocked them out of the playoffs. The Packers won’t let that happen again.

The Bears made tangible progress in their rebuild this year, and it appears they’ve laid a sturdy foundation for their franchise. But this season will end just as it started, with a disappointing loss to their bitter rivals. And that bitter taste will fuel more offseason growth.

Gotta leave some demons to be exorcised next year.

Packers: 24, Bears: 20

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