Undefeated Bears Travel to Lambeau: Week Two Game Preview

| September 16th, 2022

They weren’t supposed to win the opener. They’re not supposed to win Sunday night at Lambeau. So, one might ask…

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?







The “Packer Week” Thing

The Packers have never bothered me. There are many reasons for this.

First, I’m not from Chicago and I think that matters. Geographic proximity seems to breed sporting animosity, but specifically that 200-mile range. It is roughly 200 miles from Chicago to Green Bay. It is also roughly 200 miles from New York City to Boston, and Ann Arbor to Columbus. (There are about 40 miles less in the journey from Tuscaloosa to Auburn.) But if you’re not from these places (or if they’re not your alma mater) it is incredibly difficult to feel the rivalry.

Also, for the entirety of my lifetime, Bears vs. Packers has been a terrible rivalry. Green Bay has had a Hall of Fame quarterback since I’m ten years old. Brett Favre was 22-10 against Chicago. Aaron Rodgers is 23-5. This is a rivalry? 45-15? I get the historical underpinnings of the whole endeavor, but it hasn’t been a fair fight since George H.W. Bush was in the White House.

And for those who got angry at the whole “I own you” episode with Rodgers a year ago, I ask you this: why? Rodgers is a desperately sad individual. His prolific professional career has been marred by disappointment. His life has been a mess. His family has written him off. He’s constantly searching for magic elixirs that will enter his bloodstream and trip whatever wire releases the happiness enzymes. If proclaiming ownership over a franchise that has beaten him a total of five times in 14 years brings him closer to whatever nirvana he seeks, I’m willing to let him have that.

I’ve always done the “Packer Week” thing around here because I figured it’s what the fans want. Until this rivalry becomes a rivalry again, and produces some memorable games/moments, I’m done with it. Let me see the Bears win four of the next eight and then we can go on and on about “Packer Week”.

Mourning Jean-Luc Godard

Until this summer, I must admit, I was not a huge fan of this oft-proclaimed master of the French New Wave. As a matter of fact, I much preferred the films of Francois Truffaut to Godard. But a revisiting of his work, in the wake of my return to academia, has enlightened me. And though it won’t mean anything to Godard, who died this week at 91, I’m very glad to have seen a print of Bande à part with the First Lady of DBB at Film Forum in NYC while he was still alive.

Here are some great quotes about Godard.

Roger Ebert, from a 1969 review of Weekend: “Godard is a director of the very first rank; no other director in the 1960s has had more influence on the development of the feature-length film. Like Joyce in fiction or Beckett in theater, he is a pioneer whose present work is not acceptable to present audiences. But his influence on other directors is gradually creating and educating an audience that will, perhaps in the next generation, be able to look back at his films and see that this is where their cinema began.”

Woody Allen: “Then he said I could say whatever I wanted to say. He plays the French intellectual very well, with the 5 o’clock shadow and a certain vagueness. Meanwhile, when I got there for the shoot, he was wearing pajamas—tops and bottoms—and a bathrobe and slippers and smoking a big cigar. I had the uncanny feeling that I was being directed by Rufus T. Firefly.”

Pauline Kael: “Godard’s sense of the present is dominated by his movie past. This is what makes his movies (and, to a lesser degree, the movies of Jacques Demy) seem so new: For they are movies made by a generation bred on movies. I don’t mean that there haven’t been earlier generations of directors who grew up on movies, but that it took the peculiar post-World-War-II atmosphere to make love of movies a new and semi-intellectualized romanticism. To say it flatly, Godard is the Scott Fitzgerald of the movie world, and movies are for the sixties a synthesis of what the arts were for the post-World-War-I generation—rebellion, romance, a new style of life.”

Andrew Sarris, from Interview Magazine: “Although Godard always admired American movies as a critic, he never practiced their pragmatic virtues as a filmmaker. He was always much closer to Rossellini, for example, than to Hitchcock. Like Renoir, Godard always sacrificed form to truth. Godard’s career was undeniably shaped to some extent by necessity. If he had the choice, he would have preferred to make lavish Technicolor films with Kim Novak and Tony Curtis, two pop icons he understood much better than did his American middlebrow detractors. But dire economies and commercial failure drove him eventually into the abyss of television and video. Nonetheless, every foot of film he has ever shot is defined by the extraordinary treatment of reality as a volatile mixture of the subjective and the objective, fact and fiction, logic and improbability, plausibility and actuality. Godard’s characters often read “real” newspapers aloud on the screen, and what they read from the uninflected journalism of their time is infinitely more bizarre than anything Godard could invent. Truth was stranger than fiction, and history was hysterical. This was Godard’s narrative aesthetic, and he accepted full responsibility for it. He never said that this was life but that it was life as filtered through the camera. This acceptance of responsibility was the ultimate source of Godard’s personal brand of realism. By standing between us and his characters, Godard forced us once and for all to accept the director as a creative force. For those of us who made an aesthetic principle out of the fact that movies did not materialize miraculously on the screen, Godard became the foremost realist of the modern cinema.”

The Game Limerick

Up north lives a QB named Aaron.

With a postseason record Saharan.

Fought Covid with hope

While drinking weird dope

Cuz he’s intellectually barren.

Tweet of the Week

Brian Cassella of the Tribune was the journalistic hero of the monsoon game at Soldier Field Sunday. His photographs were nothing short of incredible.

Why Week One Doesn’t Matter for Week Two

  • Last year the Packers were embarrassed 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in their opener. They would win their next seven games with a point differential of +60. Overreacting to their struggles in Minnesota is not something you’ll see in this space.
  • The Bears completed eight passes Sunday and won by two scores. That kind of thing can only happen these days when you play a football game in absurd conditions. (And as noted Tuesday, there is not game plan that doesn’t involve heavy doses of Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. Unless that game plan faces the specter of a doomsday rainstorm.)
  • Nobody knows what either of these teams are right now. So, writing some in-depth analysis would just be filling the space for the sake of filling the space. The Packers are the better team. They have the better quarterback. They are home, coming off a tough loss. They deserve to be a significant favorite in the game. But this is clearly the weakest crops of receivers Rodgers has had in an awful long time and it remains to be seen how much he can get out of them.

Game Prediction

I used to pick the Bears every week, but I won’t do that anymore. I’m going to have a clear head with this group.

Packers had no answer for Justin Jefferson a week ago. The Bears don’t have a Justin Jefferson. And I don’t see this offense on the precipice of a big output. Points are coming, but not yet.

But the Bears do have a pass rush capable of exploiting an injured/struggling Green Bay offensive line. And pressure on Rodgers will require his receivers to win their one-on-ones and they did very little of that in Minnesota.

The Packers should win this game, but the Bears should keep it close.

Green Bay Packers 26, Chicago Bears 24

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