Thursday Night Football- Bears vs Packers Preview
The games are coming thick at fast in the NFL as Week 2 kicks off tonight with the Chicago Bears travelling to Lambeau Field to take on their arch-rival Green Packers.
The game will be shown live on NFL Network in America and on Sky Sports 1 in the UK and Ireland.
Here is a full preview of the first Thursday Night game of the new season.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Stadium– Lambeau Field
KO- 1:30 a.m. Irish and UK time
What to Watch
Bears running game vs Packers defense
- Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined for 122 rushing yards and three touchdowns last week vs a completely new Colts defense. Now they are facing another struggling defense against the Packers after they allowed Frank Gore and co. to rush for nearly 200 yards in Week 1.
- It will be interesting to see how new Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice splits the carries between Forte and Bush as he looks to install a new two back system on offense.
Bears wide receivers vs Packers secondary
- For the first time since he arrived at the Bears, Jay Cutler now has a dangerous group of wide receivers at his disposal. Not only did they take a risk by drafting rookie Alshon Jeffery, the Bears front office also traded for Brandon Marshall in the offseason to finally give Cutler a fully fledged targets to throw to on offense.
- Going up against what is a truly awful Packers secondary, the Bears wideouts should see plenty of opportunities to go deep down field vs Tramon Williams and co.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing attack
- After the reaction to the Packers loss to the 49ers, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Aaron Rodgers the Packers passing attack had an awful game. As it turns out, Rodgers still threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns against what is a top 5 defense for San Francisco.
- The point I am making is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Packers passing game or Rodgers and I fully expect him to throw for over 300 yards and numerous touchdowns again tonight.
Who to Watch
Randall Cobb- Wide Receiver- Return Specialist
- Randall Cobb started off his sophomore season with a career high 9 receptions in week 1 vs the 49ers. Although he is just one of many weapons the Packers have on offense, it’s on special teams where he really stands out.
- Cobb returned a punt return for a touchdown last week and will look to do so again in this game. He may even be a more dangerous return man right now than the Bears star returner Devin Hester.
Jermichael Finley- Tight End- Packers
- Jermichael Finley has all the size and speed needed to be a dominant tight end in the league. What separates him from joining the elite tight ends like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham is his hands.
- Finley struggled with dropped passes last season and looks likely to struggle with drops again this year. He dropped several crucial catches in week 1 and will need to improve this time around vs the Bears defense.
Julius Peppers- Defensive End- Bears
- Julius Peppers is one of the most feared defensive ends in the NFL and will likely be a key player for the Bears defense tonight. At 6-7, 278 pounds, and with 4.6 speed, there aren’t many offensive tackles who are up to the task of stopping Peppers.
- The man who will be dealt with that test tonight will be Packers starting left tackle Marshall Newhouse. Newhouse will need to be at his best to handle Peppers.
With these two defenses, this game should come down to quarterback play and turnovers which is why I’ll go with Rodgers and the Pack to get their first win.
Bears 24 Packers 31
So that’s your preview and prediction.
Check back tomorrow for a recap of tonight’s game along with a preview of all the rest of the action in Week 2.