3 keys for Bears to upset Packers in Week 2

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Despite the Bears pulling off a big upset win in Week 1, and the Packers losing in a blowout to the Vikings, Vegas bookmakers are still predicting the Bears will lose in Lambeau Field by more than a touchdown. There are plenty of reasons why Vegas likes Green Bay to get right. To start, Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur are a perfect 9-0 in the regular season when coming off a loss. The pair have proven they’re great at making adjustments, and as Rodgers reminded Bears fans last year, he owns them. That’s no lie, as Rodgers has a 22-5 record against the Bears in the regular season, and hasn’t lost to them since 2018. That said, another Bears upset isn’t impossible. If they can execute on these three keys, they’ll give themselves a chance to win.

PLAY STICKY COVERAGE STARTING AT THE SNAP

Last week, the Vikings were able to generate serious pressure on Rodgers by attacking the Packers’ undermanned offensive line. Their offensive line may not play any better on Sunday Night, but you can be sure the Packers will have a new plan to mitigate that. Expect the Packers to get the ball out of Rodgers’ hands very quickly, either on quick-hitting slants or screens. If the Bears play soft coverage off the line of scrimmage, Rodgers can pick them apart little by little, as we’ve seen so many times before.

PENETRATE BACKFIELD TO STOP AARON JONES, A.J. DILLION

With so much focus on Rodgers, it’s easy for fans to look past the Packers’ talented backfield. Apparently it was easy for Packers coaches, too. Despite averaging 9.5 yards per touch, Aaron Jones only touched the ball eight times. Matt LaFleur told reporters after Week 1 that the team would have to do a better job of feeding him the football. A.J. Dillon acts as the thunder to Jones’ lightning and was effective in his own right, averaging 6.1 yards per touch. Each man is equally capable in the run and pass game, and presents a unique challenge for the Bears defense. The best way to stop them will be to affect what they do behind the line of scrimmage, so that the swarm of Bears rushing to the ball that we saw against the 49ers can bring those guys down.

JUSTIN FIELDS MUST PLAY WELL FOR FULL 60 MINUTES

The Bears were the beneficiaries of many 49ers mistakes in Week 1, which kept the game close, and allowed the Bears to shake off an abysmal first half. The Bears were able to take the ball away twice in critical areas (once while the 49ers were in the red zone and once when the 49ers were still on their side of the field). Further, the 49ers were hit with 12 penalties that helped keep several Bears drives alive, and helped the Bears offense to put points on the board. The Packers likely will play a much more disciplined game. They committed only two penalties, which cost them 10 yards total in Week 1. According to the Football Database, they had the fewest penalties assessed against them last season, at 69. That averages out to just over four per game. Further, Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league when it comes to taking care of the football. He hasn’t thrown more than five picks in a season since 2017, and led the NFL in interception percentage in each of the past four seasons. Long story short, the Bears offense likely won’t be gifted with extra chances like they were in Week 1. Justin Fields won’t have to play the best game of his life to keep up with the Packers, but he’ll have to play a much more consistent game than he did against the 49ers.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION

Rodgers and the Packers are simply too good in these get-right games, and we’ve seen Rodgers pick apart zone defenses like the Bears deploy too many times. He’s earned the benefit of the doubt to come away with the win in scenarios like this.

Packers: 27, Bears 17

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