The Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears in the week 2 opener on NFL Network.
It’s a bit early to deem this a must win for the Packers, but they can ill afford to fall two games back in the division this early.
Here is my BSO preview, and unique matchups for this contest.
1. Marshall Law
The tone has already been set on the outside with Jay Cutler all but saying the Packers can’t press cover Brandon Marshall. A Packers defense that looked confused and missed several tackles may have a problem dealing with the physical Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery. If the Bears can give Cutler time and keep Clay Matthews off of him, expect the Bears to unleash and aerial assault.
2. What’s Your Forte
A huge part of that aerial assault will include running back Matt Forte. Just because the Bears feel they have an advantage in the passing game doesn’t mean Forte should not get a combined 25 plus touches via the run and pass. Green Bay gave up 186 yards to the 49ers, so the Bears may have their choice of how to proceed on offense.
3. Cedric The Entertainer
The Packers must get Benson more than the 9 carries for 18 yards he amassed last week. They must make the Bears respect the running game and not allow them to focus everything on Aaron Rodgers. Benson should be inspired to face the team that gave up on him a few years back. Benson also benefits from the Bears not being nearly as good of a defensive unit as San Francisco had. Benson must be productive to allow Green Bay some clock management to help soothe the holes in a poor defense.
4. Mr. Rogers Way
Lastly the Packers have to make franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers comfortable. He’s come under fire for being arrogant and nonchalant about their season opening loss. Greg Jennings will be a game time decision, and one has to wonder how effective he’ll be. This will be a great opportunity to see how Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb look without the soon to be free agent wide receiver. This may be a good time to give Donald Driver some extended playing time also.
Tight end Jermichael Finley has to play as big as the chip on his shoulder is. Finley has been passed by other tight ends around the league and is looking pretty normal lately.
Again it’s kind of early to call this a must win, but yea it’s a must win for the Packers.