Packers-Bears: A Week 2 Must-Win for Green Bay?

If there was ever such thing as a week 2 must-win game, the Packers might find themselves there. After a rough showing against the Vikings in Week 1, Green Bay faces off against the Bears on Sunday night. Green Bay has dominated the Packers-Bears rivalry under Aaron Rodgers’ tenure, but the upstart Bears under Matt Eberflus and Justin Fields will look to turn the tide. The Packers meanwhile will need to bounce back after another dud to kick off the season.

Last season was a prime example of why it’s important not to overreact to week 1 results. History has shown week 1 can always be crazy. With new coaching staffs installing new schemes, there is typically more unpredictability. And now with less teams playing starters in the preseason, there are even less safe bets. 

But recent history has shown that teams starting 0-2 rarely qualify for the postseason – only 12% from 1990-2019. And since the playoffs expanded to 14 teams in 2020, ZERO teams (0/18) that started 0-2 made the playoffs.

Not to mention that starting the season off with back-to-back divisional losses would dig the Packers into a deeper hole than would be ideal. The Packers lost only three NFC North games total in Matt LaFleur’s first three seasons, so to lose two in two weeks would be a massive disappointment.

With all that said, the Packers are still in no position to panic. Green Bay will continue to get healthy on the offensive line and have Allen Lazard returning to practice as well. There were always going to be growing pains with the rookie WR, but both showed flashes on the potential they can bring to this offense.

Chicago is coming off a big win over the 49ers, but do not offer the same threats the Vikings did. Even with uncertainty again with their starting tackles, the Packers should have an easier time protecting Rodgers against a less formidable pass rush. And conversely, the Packers will have ample opportunity to pressure Justin Fields against a weak Chicago front. The Packers desperately need to bounce back, and the Bears might offer just the recipe to do so.

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Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.

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