As the Green Bay Packers head into week one of the regular season, their matchup against the Chicago Bears got a lot more interesting with the Bears addition of Khalil Mack.While Mack is likely to be on a snap count, the pass rush situations he gets against David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga will play a significant role in Green Bay’s ability to win the game. Here’s a look at three other matchups that will determine the outcome of Sunday night’s game:
Davante Adams vs. Kyle Fuller
The Packers flirted with adding Fuller in free agency this offseason. He is a good cornerback who is entering is prime, but should largely be outmatched against Adams who is pushing to be in the elite wide receiver conversation in 2018. If Adams can show the consistent ability to get open against Fuller, it will force the Bears to have safety help over the top. That would open up the middle of the field for…
Jimmy Graham vs. Roquan Smith
Smith has been dealing with hamstring tightness and may not play. He is the one Bears linebacker who has the speed and coverage ability to play with Graham, but even if he plays he won’t be 100%. I would expect Graham to put on a master class in dominating the middle of the field and the red zone, especially if he’s facing a backup like Nick Kwiatkowski.
Trey Burton vs. Blake Martinez
Flipping to the other side of the ball, Burton might be the most important addition to the Chicago offense this past offseason. He has the ability to stretch defenses and be the check-down option Mitch Trubisky needs. I expect the Packers to be able to hold down Jordan Howard and the running game with dominant defensive line play, so Trubisky will be forced to throw a lot. While there’s no way the Packers defense will allow Martinez to be alone in coverage against Burton, they need to find a way to cover him with scheme since Oren Burks won’t be playing. If the Packers can prevent Burton from having a big day, they have a really good chance to hold the Bears to under 17 points.
If Green Bay can win these three matchups they will have a great chance to come out on top. While there is certainly a lot of disappointment in losing out on Khalil Mack to a division rival, the Packers have made tremendous strides in improving their team, and fans have a lot to be excited about for Sunday night.
Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig