In my 15 years as a Bears fan, I have seen the Chicago Bears sweep the Green Bay Packers once.
One single season. Across Fifteen years.
Since Aaron Rodgers took over at Quarterback, Green Bay has consistently throttled Chicago — the Packers have won a staggering 26 out of 31 contests and have left the Bears with a lower win percentage vs Green Bay in that span (16.12%) than Chicago finished with in a last-place 2022 season (17.65%).
As a matter of fact, Chicago enters this weekend’s game with two concurrent losing streaks against the Green Bay Packers:
- The Bears are 0-8 in their last 8 games against Green Bay
- The Bears are also 0-8 in their last 8 September matchups against the Packers
Thus, if you’ve ever felt like Chicago simply couldn’t beat Aaron Rodgers, you were right.
But Chicago doesn’t face Aaron Rodgers this weekend.
After more than a decade of dominance, a new face now leads Green Bay. Jordan Love has taken the reigns at Quarterback, and he brings with him a wildly young offensive skill core with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
There are virtually no expectations for this Packers team, save that the young guns develop on offense, but that’s not to say they’re without talent — with high-pedigree draft picks like Christian Watson, Luke Musgrave, and Jayden Reed, the 2023 Packers are a dangerous team. But, as of the time of writing this article, they’re also as weak as they’re likely to be this year.
The Packers’ starting CB2, Eric Stokes, will open the 2023 season on the PUP list. Tyler Davis, GB’s veteran TE3, will start the season on IR and force rookie Luke Musgrave into a starting role early.
2nd year possession receiver Romeo Doubs tweaked his hamstring and missed the Packers’ final preseason game. Star EDGE rusher Rashan Gary tore his ACL in 2022’s Week 9 and, though he’s slated to play in Week 1, will assuredly lack some measure of explosion for at least a few more months.
This Packers team is young, untested, and banged up. If Chicago can’t beat them now, when will they?
I could wax on about the Bears’ own deficiencies, about how they’re by no means a finished product, but if 2023 is to be a year where Matt Eberflus’ defense and Chicago’s 3rd year Quarterback step forward I can’t imagine writing a postgame column about how “The Bears simply lost to the better team”.
Even so, that may be exactly what happens — after all, Green Bay holds major advantages in both the offensive & defensive trenches. Chicago’s offense is still young & may need time to gel. The Bears’ defensive line, in particular, could be a huge problem against a Packers running game that will relentlessly pound the ball and set up a Packers’ play action attack that may give the Bears’ linebackers trouble.
But if Chicago can’t beat a young Packers team at home before they have time to find their footing, how long will Bears fans have to wait for a victory? I hope we won’t have to find out.
If you’ve got the time, this video breaks down Jordan Love’s skillset very, very well.
Your Turn: Do you see this game as a must-win?