On Sunday Night Football, the Bears will take on the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The start of the season brings a clean slate for both of these franchises as Aaron Rodgers and Mitchell Trubisky try to put last season’s disappointment behind them.
The Bears will look to make the next step as a team with Trubisky at the helm entering his second professional season. Aaron Rodger, who missed most of the 2017 season due to injury, will look to take his place once again atop the NFL stat list. This Sunday Night Football matchup will kick off tomorrow at 8:20 PM. ET.
Aaron Rodgers is Back
It’s hard to believe that Rodgers missed most of the 2017 season due to injury. He’s one of top three players at his position, and arguably the league most valuable player. Rodgers’ played the fewest games of his career in 2017, being held to a mere seven starts.
Through seven games, Rodgers completed 64.7 percent of his passes, throwing for 16 touchdowns and 1,675 yards. Across the board, Rodgers totaled career lows in almost every statistical category. With a return to health, expect Rodgers to return to form quickly and make his presence felt early in the contest.
The Packers finished the 2017 season with a record of 7-9 and while that was largely due to the absence of Rodgers, the Packer’s defense struggled mightily. In 2017 the Packers’ defense ranked 22nd in total yards, according to NFL Stats. Unfortunately, the Packers did not add much in the offseason to improve the unit.
The one thing the Packers’ defense does have is tackling machine Blake Martinez. According to NFL Stats, Martinez had a combined 144 tackles, with 96 of those being solo tackles. This dude is the hammer for this defense. Expect him to make his presence felt against the Bears’ rushing attack.
The Bears are a fascinating team coming into the 2018 season. Mitchell Trubisky is primed to make that second-year leap, and he’s got a supporting cast that looks primed to help him achieve just that.
While players like Jordan Howard and Allen Robinson are not yet household names, by the end of the 2018 campaign they very well could be. Howard is entering his third season as the Bears’ primary running back.
According to NFL Stats, Howard has averaged 1,217.5 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per season to start his career. In 2017, Howard was the fourth best running back in terms of yards in the league.
As for Allen, entering his fourth season, he’ll look to bounce back from a down year. In 2016, Robinson had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards. Unfortunately, he regressed in 2017 and saw his yards drop from 1,400 to 883 and his touchdowns drop from 14 in 2016 to 6 in 2017. With the Bears’ offense primed for Trubisky’s second-year leap, look for Howard and Robinson to make a big impact.
Packers Vs Bears Betting Pick
The x-factor in both of these contests will be the tight ends. The Packers’ acquired Jimmy Graham in the offseason to be a difference maker at the position. The idea of pairing Aaron Rodgers with Graham four or five years ago would seem dynamic and would strike fear in the hearts of opponents, but is Graham still that player? Coming off a down year, expect Rodgers to target Graham early in the red zone. If anyone can revitalize Graham’s career it’s Rodgers.
The Bears will also feature a new starting tight end. Tre Burton fresh off a Super Bowl run with the Eagles joined the Bears in the offseason. While Burton played more of a backup role in Philadelphia, the Bears are hoping the dynamic tight end can help expand the Bears offense.
The Bears are coming back with a strong defensive unit and an offense that will look to make big stride early in the season. Don’t be surprised if this game is low scoring while both teams feel each other out. Rodgers, however, has had to wait a while to play a meaningful game, and facing a division rival to start the season is more than enough motivation for Rodgers and company to come out and take an early lead in the standings. Expect the Packers to pull away in the second half and easily cover the spread.
Play: Packers -7 @ BetOnline.ag