NFL’s 100th Season Kicks off in Style with Bears and Packers
The Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears tonight to kick off the NFL’s 100th season. The legendary rivals kick the season off at Soldier Field in Chicago. This season looks promising in the NFC North as all teams in the division have gotten better on paper and the division could be a free for all.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Bears -3; O/U: 46.5
One may not have to go back to the legendary names, and times, of Lombardi and Halas to see why the Packers-Bears rivalry is the most celebrated in NFL history. We are almost one year removed from Aaron Rodgers’ everlasting performance in the Packers’ comeback win over the Bears last season.
Rodgers overcame an early knee injury to throw three touchdown passes in the second half of that unforgettable game. Green Bay rallied from a 20-point deficit to outlast the Bears in a 24-23 victory Sept 9 of last season. The two-time NFL Most Valuable Player‘s heroics were enough to win that game, but the Packers were forced to watch the division champion Bears in the playoffs. The Bears joined Houston as the lone NFL teams to complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018.
Thursday’s game marks the first regular-season affair for Matt LaFleur as Green Bay’s head coach. Chicago’s Matt Nagy returns for his second with new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano taking over a unit that led the league in a few categories. The led the NFL in fewest points allowed (17.7 per game), takeaways (36), interceptions (27) and fewest rushing yards (80.0 per game). Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack reached double digits in sacks for the third straight year. He had a team-leading 12.5. Kyle Fuller tied for the league lead with seven interceptions.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Packers were 6-9-1 in 2018 and that was good enough for 3rd in the NFC North. LaFleur will unveil a new offensive scheme tonight. He will walk the sideline in place of Mike McCarthy, who reportedly had a contentious relationship with Rodgers. The 35-year-old quarterback’s most trusted target Davante Adams is looking to build off a career season. He reeled in 111 receptions for 1,386 yards while finishing tied for second in the league with 13 touchdowns. Running back Aaron Jones enjoyed a brilliant seven-game stretch where he totaled eight scores (seven rushing, one receiving). The magic was cut short as a knee injury ended his season in a 24-17 loss to Chicago in Week 15.
The Bears were 12-4 in 2018 and won the NFC North. Mitchell Trubisky overcame three lackluster games to begin the 2018 season. He shook them off and was able to guide Chicago to its first division title since 2010. The 25-year-old likely will lean on Allen Robinson a good bit. He led the team in targets with 94 targets and 754 receiving yards. That was just ahead of running back Tarik Cohen. The electric Cohen likely will see a reduction in touches out of the backfield despite amassing 1,169 scrimmage yards. He had 725 receiving, 444 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He will be sharing time with third-round draft pick David Montgomery. Montgomery is expected to take on a significant role in place of the departed Jordan Howard.
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The Dart Throw: Bears 27, Packers 23
Chicago Bears Trends
- Trend Under is 5-2 in Bears last 7 games as a home underdog. Hit % 71.40% (7) O/U 2|5 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 6-1 in Bears last 7 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 85.70% (7) 1|6 0
- Under is 4-1 in Bears last 5 games as a favorite. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
- Over is 17-8 in Bears last 25 games as a home favorite of 0.5-3.0. 68.00% (25) 17|8 0
Green Bay Packers Trends
- Trend Over is 6-1 in Packers last 7 games as a road favorite. Hit % 85.70% (7) O/U 6|1 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-1 in Packers last 5 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Over is 4-0 in Packers last 4 games as a road favorite of 3.5-10.0. 100.00% (4) 4|0 0
- Over is 8-0 in Packers last 8 games as a road underdog of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (8) 8|0 0
- Trend Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Chicago. Hit % 83.30% (6) O/U 5|1 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Packers are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 meetings. 70.60% (17) 0 12|5
- Packers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings in Chicago. 77.80% (9) 0 7|2
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