Look For Pack To Start With A Roar.

The NFL couldn't have picked a better opponent for the Packers to welcome to open their 100th season at Lambeau Field in prime time than the Bears--a team on the rise, but one that habitually crawls into a cave and hibernates at the sound of the name Aaron Rodgers.

No quarterback in NFL history has a better career passer rating than Rodgers against the Bears and he's 16-3 against them in games he's started and finished. The Bears figure to be a much tougher foe in the December meeting, with Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith likely to be a much bigger factor and Matt Nagy's offense more in sync.

So what do we expect to see from the Pack? Well hopefully it will look nothing like the quarterback play we saw on Thursday night. It might take Rodgers and company a series or two, but I expect the Packers offense to click early, using no huddle and using lots of multiple tight end sets, to provide some help when needed on Mack and Leonard Floyd. Don't be surprised if Geronimo Allison introduces himself to the prime time audience, with the Bears likely paying very close attention to Adams, Graham and Floyd.

Jamal Williams will get the start, but Ty Montgomery will figure in heavily in this matchup--he's been at his most productive against the Bears. Vic Fangio is a terrific defensive coach and is building a strong young defense, but Rodgers will be too much for his unit and will likely put up around 27 points.

Lots of intrigue when it comes to Mike Pettine's defense. While he doesn't have much tape to go on when scheming against Nagy's offense, he knows it will resemble what we saw in Kansas City. The Bears' optimism this season will go as far as their quarterback can carry them and we have no idea how Mitch Trubisky will play. We do know that he has a lot more weapons this season, including free agent WRs Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton.

His offensive line is nothing special, so I'd expect the Pack's D linemen to harass him all night. Of course, they'll need to contain the duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen on the ground. The trio of Daniels, Clark and Wilkerson is the strongest we've seen in years and Blake Martinez has turned into a tackling machine. The question mark will be at the other linebacker spot, where Oren Burks is wearing a shoulder harness and his availability is in question.

The cornerback group will be fascinating to watch. Do Tramon Williams and Kevin King start on the outside? Alexander in the slot? Will Josh Jackson get snaps? Can they afford to keep him off the field? Is Davon House just an insurance policy at this point? They're in a far better place than they were a year ago.

Like the Bears, the Packers should get better as the season goes along and the defense gets comfortable playing in Pettine's system. I think we're going to see a unit that turns the ball over a lot. Hopefully with Matthews in a contract year we'll see him at his best. The Pack needs that; they're so thin at outside linebacker. I still believe they'll add a guy at that spot before the Vikings game.

This is the 13th straight year that these teams will meet in prime time and the Pack lead the series 96-94-6, their first lead in the series since the 30s. The Bears are coming. If their QB is the real dea,l they'll be a factor in the North sooner rather than later. But on this night, the Packers will remind everyone that their time is now.

Packers 30 Bears 20

Much more on this matchup on "Packer Preview" Sunday morning at 7 on KFAN and iHeart radio. Bob McGinn joins at 7:35 to discuss the 2018 edition of the Green and Gold.


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