1.) Get to the Quarterback
Aaron Rodgers was sacked four times in Week One. With both tackles out, and most likely out vs. the Bears, Robert Quinn and company need to attack the offensive line and get pressure on Rodgers. Throughout the last two weeks, David Bahktiari and Elgton Jenkins have been in practice but limited to one-one-one drills. Both are coming off knee injuries from last season. If they are both out, it would give the Bears a huge opportunity to get to Rodgers. Even if they are in, they haven’t played since last season and will be rusty. With Dominique Robinson, a player I’ve been high on since the draft, coming off an amazing week and Trevis Gipson, Robert Quinn, and Al Quadin Muhammad looking to make their presence felt, the Bears will be able to wreak havoc on the Packers offensive line. If the Bears can make Rodgers even half as uncomfortable as he was last week, they will have the upper hand and can take an enormous win on Sunday night.
2.) Blanket the Field (Offensively and Defensively)
A big part of the Bears win last week was their defensive backs. Eddie Jackson with the interception, Jaquan Brisker with a huge TFL in the red zone, and Jaylon Johnson being his normal lock-down self, the Bears kept the 49ers in check and won the game. Of course, the monsoon-like conditions helped, but that shouldn’t take away the great game the young secondary put together. After going against Deebo Samuel and Brandon Ayuik, the Packers receiving core should be no problem for the Bears. However, Aaron Rodgers is still the quarterback and he can work his magic with anyone. If the Bears want a chance at a Sunday Night upset, they need to be all over the field defensively. Even with Allen Lazard questionable(more likely than not he plays), they have a much weaker receiver group than they did a year ago. With Rodgers still getting acclimated with his new WR, the Bears need to jump on the opportunity and lock them down.
On the flip side, the Packers secondary is one of the better groups in the NFL. The Bears are closer to the Packers receivers in skill level and didn’t really give a reason to think differently last Sunday. However, the receiver group(or Justin Fields) proved that they don’t need their top producers to play well. Darnell Mooney, who led the Bears in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in 2021, was covered well the entire game but Equanimous St. Brown and Dante Pettis found their way into the endzone. The WR core needs to play at the highest level they can and a lot of that should come from play calling. Screens, crosses, slants, or anything else to get them open and give Fields easy completions. The Packers DBs are coming off a pretty bad game, giving up over 180 yards to Justin Jefferson, the Vikings superstar receiver. They will be looking to improve and bounce back from the rough outing and will be playing hard and fast. The Bears need their receivers to get open and get all over the field if they want to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.
3.) Don’t Let Them Play with the Lead
While the Packers receivers are not exactly the cream of the crop, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion are one of the best running back duos in the league. If they get a sizable lead, they have the ability to run the ball and take up time. The Bears CANNOT let the Packers get ahead of them. As we’ve seen in many years past, the Packers get out to a lead and run out the game. If the Bears allow them to stomp all over them like they did against the Niners last week, they have no chance of keeping the momentum. The Packers are coming off an embarrassing loss where they let up 23 points and only put up 7 of their own. In games after a loss, Matt LaFleur is 9-0. He hasn’t lost a game following a loss in his entire career. If the Bears give up easy points and plays, they will get left in the dust. In order to keep themselves in this game, they need to play disciplined football and limit the Packers scoring opportunities.
The Bears come into this game with all the momentum. They beat the NFC Championship runner-ups in some of the worst conditions in recent memory. The Packers are coming off a bad loss where they looked really bad on both sides of the ball. The Bears need to keep the foot on the gas by getting out to a hot start; on offense and defense.