On Sunday Night the Chicago Bears will open their 2018 season against the Green Bay Packers to celebrate the 100th year of Lambeau Field. It will be the eighth-consecutive primetime game in Green Bay.
The Bears have only won twice in those eight games. Turnovers and ineffective offenses have been a recurring theme in those loses, but with several new changes for 2018, Sunday could yield a different result.
Here are five keys to Bear victory against the Packers:
1.Mack attack in Mr. Rodgers neighborhood
The biggest key to a win on Sunday night against the Packers is to limit Aaron Rogers’ comfort level in the pocket when passing against the Bears defense. Defensive Coordinator will have the luxury of dialing up blitzes featuring both Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd off the edge.
With their outside linebackers providing pressure from the outside, the Bears defensive line will be responsible for cleaning up if Rodgers steps up in the pocket. Green Bay’s offensive line is questionable and Fangio’s defense should provide pressure early and often on the future Green Bay Hall of Famer.
2. Trubisky needs to stay turnover free in his debut
With a defense that can control a game, Nagy does not need to rely on his quarterback to beat the Packers. Trubisky does not need to make the all-star throws, but he needs to make the throws given to him by the defense. Long drives that lead to touchdowns will be more valuable than trying to go for the big play against the Packers defense.
In the Bears last four losses at Green Bay, quarterbacks have thrown at least two interceptions in each of the losses.
3. No need to get cute in coaching debut
With coach Matt Nagy’s head coaching debut coming in front of national audience, it would not be surprising if he wanted to get cute in his debut. Whether going for it on fourth down or opting to challenge a questionable play, Nagy should play it safe than go for it because of the situation.
He has over eight years of experience of working with one of the best head coaches in the league in Andy Reid. Under Reid’s guide, Nagy should know not to get cute for the sake of getting cute in costly situations in his head coaching debut.
4. A strong rushing game is a good source of offense
Nagy has a luxury that most new head coaches don’t have and that is having a running game in place. Not only the Bears new head coach have a consistent 1,000-yard rusher in Jordan Howard, he also has a complimentary back in that of Tarik Cohen.
The Bears can control the game with rushing attack if they utilize both Howard and Cohen in the proper way. Bears’ teams are most successful when they have a quality running game that are used efficiently.
5. Don’t have a let down in the season opener
The one thing the Bears can afford, especially after the trade and signing of Mack, is to have a let down in their season opener against their rivals. A bad loss against Green Bay would completely ruin all momentum that was build up the previous week with the Mack acquisition. Fans and the media are expecting the Bears to compete, and a bad showing on Sunday night would be a disastrous way to begin the 2018 campaign.
Even with a close loss, the Bears can still keep the momentum they have built up leading up to the opener.