The NFL season is officially here for the Packers as their 2023 campaign has officially begun. It all starts in week one as they are going on the road to soldier field to take on the Chicago Bears. The Bears and the Packers are one of the oldest and most historic rivals in NFL history.
This will be a good test for this new-look Packer team as a lot of changes happened in the offseason, especially no longer having future hall-of-famer Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. However, hearing from the players and coaches themselves, the standards are still high for this football team. Here are the matchups to watch in week one against the Chicago Bears.
Matchup #1- Packers Run Defense Vs. The Bears Run Game
The Packer’s run defense has not been good in quite a while. They will indeed be tested against the Chicago Bears this week. Despite the sweeping of the Bears last season, the Packers were not able to stop their rushing attack.
The Bear’s offense last season had one of the best running games in the NFL. They will look to win the time of possession and keep the Packer’s offense off the field. The Bears have a really good stable of running backs in Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman, and Roschon Johnson to give the Packers defense issues. If the Packers can not contain the run of the Bears, it could be a long day for the Packer’s defense.
Matchup#2- Packers Secondary Vs. The Bears Wide Receivers
The Packers have a very talented secondary, and they will be going against a very much improved Chicago Bear wide receiving core. The Bears traded for DJ Moore, who is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL. Have Chase Claypool, who could be the perfect complement to Moore.
In addition, have Darnell Mooney, who can take the top off of defenses as he is the true deep threat on the Bears offense. Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, and Kisean Nixion will have a very tough task against the Bears wide receivers. However, with the huge question mark on safety, that could be a problem, and where the Bears will probably take advantage of. This will be a matchup the Packers need to win to limit the big plays on the Bear’s offense.
Matchup#3- Packers Pass Rush Vs. Justin Fields
The pass rush of the Packers looks much improved, as they made sure to address it after it was very lackluster last season. They look very promising and have a ton of talent, and probably the deepest they have ever been in years. Rashan Gary even loves what the Packers have at pass rush in his recent tweet showing his excitement.
— Rashan Gary ® (@RashanAGary) August 30, 2023
The hype is real for this pass rush, and it will be tested by Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Fields has developed as a passer, but he is most effective when using his legs. The Packers pass rush has to get constant pressure and contain Justin Fields. They can not give him any time to throw, as he will dissect the Packer’s defense if he has time. Also, do not let Fields also beat them with his legs, as that is where he is most dangerous. It is a very tough task for the Packer’s pass rush, and they will need to rise to the occasion to help slow down Justin Fields and Chicago Bears offense.
Matchup#4- Matt LaFleur And Adam Stenavich Vs. Alan Willams And Matt Ebderflus
Week one against the Chicago Bears is the first true test for head coach Matt LaFleur and second-year offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich. Both are taking on the Bears’ head coach Matt Ebderflus and defensive coordinator, Alan Williams. Both LaFleur and Stenavich have a very young Packer offense, and Jordan Love is in his first year as the starting quarterback for the team.
With the amount of inexperience, that could mean that Williams and Ebderflus could be more aggressive on defense and challenge the Packers’ offense. The Bears do have talent and look more improved on defense this year and could give this young Packer offense some fits. Matt and Adam have to help get these young players ready for a huge matchup this week, especially on the road. A big opportunity for Matt LaFleur and Adam Stenavich to show how good of coaches they are with a very young and inexperienced Packers offense.