The Chicago Bears will open their 2018 season against their long-standing rival in the Green Bay Packers Sunday Night in primetime. It will mark the Lambeau debut for both new head coach Matt Nagy and second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. A win would mean a lot to the franchise following a week of national praise and their recent dismal history against their rival.
The Bears made headlines on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend as the traded for All-Pro and former Defensive Player of Year award winner in linebacker Khalil Mack. Acquiring Mack give the team one of the best defenses in the league and possibly a player who can finally assist in defeating Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers has tormented the Bears over the last decade as he has to lead the Packers to both narrow victories and lopsided wins against the Bears. In three of their last four matchups at home against the Bears, the Packers have won those games by 16 points or more. The most embarrassing loss came in 2014 on Sunday night, where Green Bay beat Chicago 55-14 as Rodgers threw for six touchdown passes in the game.
The last two years in Green Bay have been less than fortunate for the Bears as their quarterback back play was highly poor in those two games. In 2016, Matt Barkley relieved an injured Brian Hoyer to throw two second-half interceptions. Last season, starting quarterback Mike Glennon lost a fumble and was intercepted twice as it was his last appearance of the season as he was bench for Trubisky following the game.
The Bears are hoping that Trubisky could achieve the same level of success that Rogers has obtained, and they have spared no expense for him. General manager Ryan Pace hired Nagy has the offensive coach to develop the team’s quarterback and acquired several new pass catchers to provide weapons in the passing game.
Many things can change with the win on Sunday Night, a good offensive showing will help prove that the team not only drafted the right quarterback in 2017 and that they hired the right coach in 2018. A good showing would also change the stigma surrounding the Bears when it comes to having a quality offense. Momentum would be built and only intensify as the team will play their home opener next week against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
A win would be three years in the making as general manager and his staff has worked hard since 2015 to overhaul the Bears roster. The team has been viewed in a rebuilding phase for the last three seasons, with expectations high for this season finally, especially with the Mack trade.
With a strong win, the Bears would send that message to the nation that they are ready to compete for the playoffs. The last few seasons the team has been embarrassed nationally every time they have gone to play in Green Bay. Following one of the busiest off-season’s in franchise history, a win on Sunday night would be one of the more endearing wins to the fans, players, and to the organization.