(Too) Bold Predictions: Bears and Packers kick things off at Lambeau Field


You've stumbled into (Too) Bold Predictions, a weekly column that is exactly what it sounds like! Here, we'll take nuanced, well-researched information and use to make wildly improbable predictions. Analysis! 


J.J. Stankevitz 


1. Trey Burton will have no fewer than eight catches, 80 yards and one touchdown.


No player showed a better chemistry with Mitch Trubisky during preseason practices than Burton, whose savvy route running ability and good hands quickly meshed with the second-year quarterback. The Packers are without inside linebacker Jake Ryan, who tore his ACL in August, and could be beatable by an athletic tight end like Burton. Look for him to make a major impact right out of the gate. 


2. The Bears won’t win, but it’s more likely they blow out the Packers than get blown out by the Packers.


My official prediction is Packers 21, Bears 20 — but I said this on the Under Center Podcast this week: My gut feeling is the Bears have a better chance of winning comfortably (which we’ll say is by 10 or more points) than losing handily. Aaron Rodgers remains the difference in this game, and until the Bears can show they’ve closed the gap on a team that’s 16-3 against them in their last 19 meetings, he’s the reason why the Packers winning remains the most likely outcome on Sunday. But think of it as a sliding scale: The Packers have a 40 percent chance of a close win, while the Bears have a 30 percent chance of a close win and a 20 percent chance of a comfortable win, while the Packers have a 10 percent chance of a comfortable win. And even if the outcome is a narrow loss, if the Bears show they’ve closed the gap on the Packers, that could bode well for the rest of the 2018 season.


Cam Ellis


1. Eddie Goldman will celebrate his new four-year contract with two sacks


Goldman will be riding the high of his new four-year, $42 million extension into Sunday night's game, and with the Packers' line focusing on the likes of Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith (among others), Goldman's going to eat. Green Bay's line isn't bad, but their stellar production from the tackle spot masks some underlying issues on the interior. Pro Football Focus grades all three of the Packers' starting interior line as below-average or worse, so there's going to be a lot of space in the A-gaps for Goldman to work. 


2. The Bears will win, despite getting outplayed. 


On paper, the Packers are the more talented team. On the football field? The Packers are still the more talented team. Still, I'm going to buy into the completely-arbitray pattern of first-year Bears head coaches getting wins at Lambeau and say Matt Nagy joins the list. Cody Parkey kicks a 48-yard field goal with four minutes to go and Khalil Mack seals the win with a crucial tackle on 4th down. Bears 27, Packers 24. 

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