The Green Bay Packers‘ 38-20 victory over the Chicago Bears in Week One of the 2023 NFL regular season was many things. It was Jordan Love’s first start as “the guy” in Green Bay, the beginning of a new era of Packers football. It marked Matt LaFleur’s ninth consecutive victory over Chicago since becoming the coach in Green Bay.
Packers edge rusher Preston Smith shared after the game that it also improved his personal record against the Bears to 11-0 (dating back to his time in Washington). Darnell Savage seemingly returned to form, Rashan Gary began his Comeback Player of the Year campaign, and, most importantly, Green Bay starts 2023 1-0 after losing each of their previous two season openers.
It appears, though, that it was so much more than all of those things. According to Dan Wiederer, who covers the Bears for The Chicago Tribune, Green Bay might have actually broke Chicago’s spirit. In Week One.
The Chicago Bears Are Broken After Their Week One Loss to the Green Bay Packers
After each game, it is typical for coaches and players to answer questions regarding what went right and what went wrong. For the Packers, it was easy to see what went right; but it was also clear that there were areas that could use improvement. For example, forgetting about Aaron Jones for a quarter and a half is not usually going to win many football games.
For the Bears, though, it appears as if their players and coaches were stunned by the loss. According to Wiederer, he has never covered a team that is so completely at a loss following their first game of the season:
In my time covering the NFL, I can’t really remember a time where on the Wednesday of Week 2, a building seemed so apparently shaken by and/or short on answers for what happened in Week 1. These next five days are response time and should tell us a lot about this group’s pluck.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) September 13, 2023
All offseason, Bears players and fans talked trash to Packers fans and players. With Aaron Rodgers traded to the New York Jets, they were confident that Green Bay’s run of dominance over them was at an end.
But not only did the Packers beat the Bears on Sunday, they beat them convincingly. Chicago fans were booing their own players. Coaches are now calling their supposed top wide receiver DJ Moore unmotivated and selfish.
Aside from Justin Fields having a few longer runs, there was nothing good for the Bears to take away from the game. Their offensive line was awful, Fields continued to be a liability when throwing the ball, and the defense could not consistently stop the Packers’ youthful offense.
Indeed, Chicago’s Week Two matchup on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be an important one for that franchise. They went 3-14 last year, but traded the number one overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for Moore and other draft capital. They spent more money in free agency than any other NFL team.
Few outside of Chicago expected them to go from the worst team in the NFL to a playoff contender overnight, but they looked like the same old Bears on Sunday.
Week Three sees Chicago travel to Kansas City, a notoriously tough place to play. There is a very real possibility that they start 0-3 if they don’t win against Tampa.
And they have no idea what hit them.