Packers running back A.J. Dillon carries the ball against the Bears.
The Sun-Times’ experts offer their picks for Sunday’s season opener against the rival Packers at Soldier Field:
The Bears find out that Aaron Rodgers’ absence doesn’t mean an automatic W. They also find out they still have a long way to go on both sides of the ball. If Justin Fields throws for 500 yards Sunday, act like you never saw this prediction.
This is so weird. No Brett Favre, no Rodgers. No Bart Starr. No out-of-state ownership of Chicago. It’s like the cheese has been removed and we’ll be dealing with Yogurtheads going forward. Chow down, young Bears.
The adjustment to life without Rodgers is going to seem more seamless than expected. Even for the Packers. The Bears should avenge this loss at season’s end, but for right now this “learned lesson” (not “loss”) will be good one for them.
Regardless of whether or not you think Jordan Love is a star-in-waiting (I don’t), the Bears lucked out by getting the Packers quarterback now and not in, say Week 6. The Packers will ride their defense and run game to a win.
It’s a fair fight, and a win — no matter how ugly — would be monumental for the Bears as they try to launch a new era. With Rodgers gone and the Bears having made meaningful upgrades, there’s no excuse for squandering this chance.
The Bears figure to need time after going through training camp without key players on both sides of the ball. But they’re at home and have the best receiver on the field. The healthier team wins.