Vegas Odds & NFL Predictions: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (September 9th, 2018)
Chicago Visits Green Bay as Old Rivalries are Renewed on Sunday Night Football
The Chicago Bears have been a bad team much more often than not in the past 30 or so years. So it is easy to forget that their rivalry with the Green Bay Packers when both teams have something to play for is actually among the most fierce in all of football.
With last week’s huge trade for Khalil Mack by the Bears, the pendulum is definitely swinging way up as it comes to this rivalry.
The Bears already figured to be a team on the upswing this season after the major changes they made on offense. They are following the script that turned the Philadelphia Eagles into Super Bowl champions beautifully. They hired a coach from the Andy Reid coaching tree in Matt Nagy after he transformed the Chiefs offense into a force last season. Nagy took over from Doug Pederson the current coach of the Eagles.
They have a second year highly drafted QB in Mitch Trubisky on a cheap rookie deal and they have thrown all their chips into the table to surround him with talented veterans in his second year. It’s true that Carson Wentz showed a lot more in his rookie season that Trubisky, but Pederson was already in place.
In Chicago, John Fox was playing to survive and the wide receiving talent was thread bare. Now they have Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel starting and perhaps even a healthy Kevin White to back them up. Trey Burton comes over at tight end from the Eagles and the dynamic running tandem of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen remain.
The defense in the meanwhile was actually solid with gusts up to excellent last year and now they’ve added Mack to that unit. If Trubisky can take the expected second year leap and Robinson can stay healthy this team’s ceiling all of a sudden got a whole lot higher.
The Packers in the meanwhile have QB Aaron Rodgers healthy again after he missed most of the last two thirds of last season. Jordy Nelson is out at wide receiver, but TE Jimmy Graham is in and should thrive in this offense. RB Jamaal Williams has also flashed big potential in the preseason and should help this unit be one of the best in the league.
The big question marks will be the offensive line and the defensive secondary, but they have made some important changes there and this will be a great first test.
Green Bay is -7 point favorites with a 46.5 point over/under. That to me seems too high for a Bears team whose confidence should be high. I think a field goal decides this one. The Pick: Chicago 20-17.