Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Sunday, September 9, 2018 – 8:20 pm Eastern TV: Fox, NBC
Lambeau Field – Green Bay, Wisconsin
Opening Line: Green Bay -9 (even)
Current Line: Green Bay -7
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 46 1/2
Opening Money Line: Packers -400 / Bears +325
Current Money Line: Packers -320 / Bears +260
The Green Bay Packers host longtime rival the Chicago Bears Sunday night in the season opener for both teams. These teams have been playing since 1921. Green Bay leads the series 96-94-6. The Packers have dominated the series recently winning 17 of the last 20 meetings including four straight games.
Green Bay went 7-9 last year under coach Mike McCarthy. The Packers missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2008. Green Bay went 2-2 in the preseason.
Chicago went 5-11 under coach John Fox. The Bears fired Fox and hired Matt Nagy as the new coach. He was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bears went 2-3 in the pre-season.
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Chicago was outscored by opponents 20-17 last season. The Bears were #10 in points allowed and #30 in scoring. Chicago averaged 287 yards per game on offense including 176 passing and 112 rushing yards. The Bears were #32 in rushing and #30 in total offense. On defense, the Bears allowed 319 total yards per game including 211 passing and 108 rushing yards. Chicago was #11 or better in all defensive categories. Chicago was 78/223 on third and fourth conversions and opponents were 92/230. Chicago forced 42 sacks and allowed 39 last season. The Bears were even in turnovers.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed 59.4% of his passes for 2,193 yards with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 41 carries for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was sacked 31 times. Chase Daniel is the backup.
Running back Jordan Howard had 276 carries for 1,122 yards and 9 touchdowns, plus 23 catches for 125 yards and no touchdowns. Tarik Cohen had 87 carries for 370 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 53 catches for 353 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver Kendall Wright had 59 catches for 614 yards and a touchdown. He was released in the off season and has yet to sign with a team. Receiver Josh Bellamy had 24 catches for 376 yards and a touchdown. The Bears signed receivers Allen Robinson from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Taylor Gabriel from the Atlanta Falcons. Both will start at receiver. Trey Burton will start at tight end. Six defensive players and four tight ends are on the injury report.
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Green Bay was outscored 24-20 last season. Green Bay was #26 in points allowed. The Packers averaged 306 total yards per game on offense including 198 passing and 108 rushing yards per game. Green Bay allowed 349 total yards per game on defense including 237 passing and 112 rushing. The Packers were 98/239 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents were 97/218. Green Bay forced 37 sacks and allowed 51 sacks last season. The Packers were -3 in turnovers.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 60.8% of his passes for 1,675 yards with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and had 24 carries for 126 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked 22 times. He missed about half the season with a broken collarbone. DeShone Kizer is the backup.
It will once again be a running back by committee for the Packers. Jamaal Williams has 153 carries for 556 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 25 catches for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. Aaron Jones is suspended for the first two games. He had 81 carries for 448 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ty Montgomery had 71 carries for 273 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 23 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver Davante Adams had 74 catches for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. Receiver Randall Cobb had 66 catches for 653 yards and four touchdowns. The Packers signed tight end Jimmy Graham from the Seattle Seahawks. Graham had 57 catches for 520 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jordy Nelson signed with the Oakland Raiders. Five defensive players are listed on the injury report.
The favorite is 11-4 ATS in this series recently. Seven of the last nine games have gone over the total but the under is 7-3 in Green Bay between the teams. The Packers are 25-10-1 ATS against the Bears recently and 5-2 in Green Bay.
Chicago could have a dominant defense especially with the acquisition of Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders last week. The offense will likely struggle again. Green Bay looks to get a full season from Aaron Rodgers who just signed a lucrative contract extension. However, the offensive line needs to be much better as does the defense. Still, I like the Packers to win at home but the Bears stay within the number.