Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Matchup Preview 9/5/19: Analysis, Depth Charts, Betting Picks, Daily Fantasy
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The opening game of the 2019 season belongs to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. It is a historic rivalry, and the NFC North projects to be a close one. The Bears went 12-4 last season, ending their season with a brutal playoff loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. Green Bay struggled to get much going on the offensive side last year, and went 6-9-1. It has been a disappointing few years for the Packers, but they hope to change under a new coaching staff led by Matt LaFleur. For odds line movement, and full matchup history, see the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears Matchup page.
Date: Thursday, September 5th, 2019
Time: 8:20 ET
Location: Soldier Field – Chicago, IL
Green Bay Packers: Kevin King (Q) – Hamstring, Equanimeous St. Brown (O) – Ankle
Chicago Bears: None
Green Bay Packers Analysis
After a lengthy relationship with Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers can move on from horrendous play-calling and a poor relationship with Aaron Rodgers. Matt LaFleur is now the head coach, which this is a first time gig for him. He struggled last season in Tennessee, but personnel and injuries limited his potential. He had ties to the Rams and Falcons int he prior seasons. LaFleur will have a better cast this time around, as Rodgers is one of the top arms in the game. Davante Adams has also established himself as a premier wideout. Things take a bit of a drop off after that, as we wait to see who can step up within this Packers team. Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have been the names talked about over the summer that will fill in for the WR2 and WR3 roles. However, Jake Kumerow has made some noise of late.
The Packers have been an up and down team when it comes to the run the last few seasons, and LaFleur has already begun to look to establish a more consistent run game. He has also been someone to encourage play-action, where Rodgers has been in the bottom of the league in that department. Aaron Jones stepped into a more consistent role down the stretch after the coaching change, but Jamaal Williams still figures to work his way in. Stepping behind a solid offensive line is a plus for these two. But there is a reason why Jones is projected for a big year. Getting 65% of the touches in the backfield or even higher will be an optimal move for the Packers.
Green Bay won the opener last season with a 21 point 4th quarter after being dominated for most of the game. The second game was another one-possession game, but the Bears took it 24-17. We shouldn’t expect anything less than a close game between these two, and divisional games will be important as this NFC North is truly up for grabs.
Green Bay Packers Depth Chart
QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB1: Aaron Jones
RB2: Jamaal Williams
WR1: Davante Adams
WR2: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
WR3: Geronimo Allison
TE1: Jimmy Graham
Chicago Bears Analysis
Going 5-11 in the season prior to 12-4 last year, the Bears were a real threat. A missed field goal cost them a trip to move on the in the playoffs. Adding Khalil Mack paid dividends as this defense was back as a premier defense in the league. This led to a ground and pound style of offense as well under Matt Nagy. The big question mark still lies under center, as Mitchell Trubisky will need to offer a bit more consistency with his arm. He will also need to stay healthy, as he had a shoulder injury last season where he missed a few games. Largely this is the same core of players returning, and this was a team that invested a lot into the passing game. Spending money on Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson, and drafting Anthony Miller. Injuries limited this surrounding cast last year, as Robinson missed time and the same goes for Miller. They also brought in Trey Burton who had six touchdowns, but lacked receiving yards.
David Montgomery was a running back the Bears traded up for after Jordan Howard struggled in this offense. Given the draft capital and investment they made overall, we expect Montgomery to have a fairly sizable workload. Tarik Cohen expects to have a similar workload to last season. The Bears did bring in Mike Davis, but he doesn’t project to be a guy who gets in much barring injury. Given this team used the rushing attack heavily, Montgomery’s rookie season should have a lot of touches.
Chicago went 1-1 against the Packers last season, and really should have won both games but collapsed in the first game of the season.The Bears dominated at home last season going 7-1, and I expect them to be a tough team to beat at Soldier Field once again. Look for the Bears to try and get out to a lead and control the game with their rushing attack and stellar defense.
Chicago Bears Depth Chart
QB: Mitchell Trubisky
RB1: David Montgomery
RB2: Tarik Cohen
WR1: Allen Robinson
WR2: Taylor Gabriel
WR3: Anthony Miller
TE1: Trey Burton
Betting Pick: Bears – 3
The Packers have largely dominated this divisional series over the last five years or so. Some of this has to do with the Bears being a mediocre team over that span. Overall this is a group that has come out on top of late, and are three point favorites heading into Week 1. The over/under is set at 46, which is a moderate total given the Bears defense was the best in the league this season, and the Packers aren’t too bad either. I would expect this game to be close as they both were last season. Hard to count a full strength Aaron Rodgers team, even against this defense. The Bears offense is likely going to be on the volatile side, which makes them a tough team to trust. I’m leaning towards the Bears still at -3, as they would have covered both spreads last season if they didn’t blow a multi-score fourth quarter lead in Week 1. The defense is going to be a difference maker again, and the Packers offense is still a question mark.
Daily Fantasy: Wide Receivers Run Wild
This is the first game of the season, and both DraftKings and FanDuel will make this a big primetime showdown slate. For one you are going to start your studs in season long fantasy leagues. Even against a tough pass defense, Davante Adams is in play. He posted an 8-119-0 line and a 5-88-1 line in the two games last season. His target share continues to be the highest on the team, and also within the league. Green Bay struggled in the secondary at times, at ranked 22nd against WR1s and 25th against WR2s. Anthony Miller is worth a shot as a boom or bust play, where we can turn to Allen Robinson as a solid volume option. I wouldn’t be against Chicago backs in this spot, especially the rookie, David Montgomery.
Because this game doesn’t project to be a shootout, the scoring will be narrow. If you are looking play Thu-Sun formats, you could easily skip this game and focus on the the rest of the week.