Chicago Bears: Predicting an undefeated September in 2018

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Leonard Floyd Chicago Bears
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Week 1: At Green Bay Packers

Keys to the game

Hit the quarterback

In what should come as the most obvious of all keys to the season opener, the Bears must not only get to Aaron Rodgers or simply force him out of the pocket, but bring him down. Rodgers is as good as it gets out of the pocket, and if the Bears do not hit him, repeatedly, he will make them pay as he always does.

Exploit linebackers

Jake Ryan is now out for the season, therefore the Packers will be looking at starting either rookie Oren Burks or Ahmad Thomas in his place. Of course, Blake Martinez is penciled in at the other starting spot. But, the Bears could significantly expose the Packers’ linebackers by utilizing their tight ends correctly.

Trey Burton will be a matchup nightmare in pass coverage, and the rookie Burks could have his hands full. Additionally, the size of Adam Shaheen will cause problems in the red zone. Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are mainly pass rushers, and neither will be able to keep up with Burton if it came to that.

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Run the football with your workhorse

Last year, in two games against the Packers, Jordan Howard ran the ball 33 times for a total of 107 yards. In this season’s opening action, the Howard must establish himself early. This is crucial, especially for quarterback Mitch Trubisky kicking off the year in a new system.

If Howard gets going, it opens things up so much more for Trubisky and the offense. If Howard cannot gain some momentum, the playbook becomes a bit thinner and more pressure lies on Trubisky. This is obviously the case regardless of opponent, but Howard’s limited production last year against the Packers is noteworthy.

 If the Bears win in these areas, they begin the season 1-0.