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NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Pick: Packers vs. Bears

An Old-TIme Rivalry Showdown in The Windy City.

Aaron Rodgers by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

NFL Week 1 Thursday Night Pick: Packers vs. Bears

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

EDITOR’S NOTE: I wanted to point out that Matt got this in before the game, but we weren’t able to get it out in time. This is 100% the post he submitted with no edits due to my inabilities 😉

Oh yes friends! Can you hear it and can you feel it?! Mmmmmhmmmm oh me oh my! Football is back, which means every week from now until February you get my weekly picks! Strap in because it’s going to be a helluva ride.

This season marks the National Football League’s 100th season and it kicks off with a great matchup between two teams who have been part of the league’s oldest rivalry. The Green Bay Packers head to Soldier Field to take on their NFC North nemesis Chicago Bears.

Different Looks for Both Teams

Things have changed for both of these teams. The Packers’ front office SPENT MONEY this offseason. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst is like the friend you have who you can’t pry away from the roulette table during a weekend in Vegas. Gutekunst spent $183 million on three defensive players and an offensive lineman 89% of the country has never even heard of, who are all decent players but not showstoppers by any means – at least in my opinion.

In last year’s NFL draft, the Packers practically went all in on defense. It didn’t quite work out. Then they mostly drafted defense again this offseason but they also spent a bazillion dollars on – you guessed it – DEFENSE. Let’s hope they have a good…defense this year.

Meanwhile the Packers NEVER drafted a single wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers this offseason. Not…one. The Packers once had Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson who were good receivers but also great friends of Rodgers. The Packers released them. Clay Matthews who did State Farm commericals with his QB pal – Packers let him walk.

Green Bay Welcomes Matt LaFleur

Green Bay brings in a new head coach, Matt LaFleur, and right off the bat he doesn’t allow Rodgers to call audibles. Aaron Rodgers is 35 years old, has a Super Bowl ring, and is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league, and the head coach doesn’t let him call shots at the line of scrimmage. That’s like a movie director who’s been in the industry for 5 years telling Willem Dafoe he can’t rehearse his scenes off set. What I don’t understand is that when the Packers were interviewing head coach candidates, did they like…run any of this by Rodgers? Was he at all part of the vetting process?

Anyway, before it really started to turn into a “How to Lose A Quarterback in Ten Days” situation in Green Bay, luckily Rodgers and LaFleur appeared to have worked out their issues. And that’s good news, because LaFleur was about ready to go beast mode on the media…

So this Packers team has a new coach and practically a new defense. I think it may take some time for Green Bay to get going in the season. But good news, Packers fans! Remember when Matt Ryan won the league MVP in 2016? You know who his quarterback coach was…

Matt LaFleur!

Yup, indeed he was. It’s just too bad that, when he was Ryan’s quarterback coach, he never taught him how to GET RID OF THE FOOTBALL when you’re about to be sack lunch 15 yards away from field goal range in a Super Bowl.

How Will Chicago’s Defense Start the Season?

Anyway, as for the Bears, I think the loss of running back Jordan Howard will be bigger than we all anticipate. Howard has scored at least 9 TDs in each of the past two seasons, but now he is on the Eagles. It seems Tarik Cohen could be the RB1 for Chicago, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. Rookie running back David Montgomery could be an impact player, but time will tell at the moment.

The Bears also do not have Vic Fangio at the helm of the defense anymore and so I wouldn’t be surprised – as talented as the Bears defense is – if the defense starts off a bit sluggish; especially against Aaron Rodgers.

The Bears’ Kicking Woes

That might not even be the biggest issue for the Bears at the moment, however. Chicago practically had open tryouts for kicker this offseason, and after much deliberation, they decided to go with Eddy Pineiro.

Well in his first preseason game, Pineiro did this and probably forced the Bears to reconsider their decision…

It wasn’t even close. So now what? That’s what Matt Nagy is fighting with right now.

And the Winner Is…

So when it’s all said and done, I think the Packers will be sluggish on offense, and the Bears will be sluggish on defense. Rodgers is great but both these teams don’t really have all that powerful offenses, which I think makes for a low-scoring, sloppy joe of a game. I expect a low score, and I actually think there will be a lot of turnovers in our first game of the season. Give me the Packers to barely pull off an ugly upset. Perhaps it will come down to a field goal, which would be absolutely terrifying for Bears fans.

Packers win 17-14

Enjoy the Game!

*Also, WELCOME TIME OLSEN! NEWEST MEMBER OF OUR TURF TEAM! Check out his article on the Thursday Night game here.

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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