GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Green Bay Packers are gearing up for their season opener in enemy territory against the Chicago Bears.

1. No mystery to this history.

Football is finally back and on Sunday afternoon it doesn’t get any better than Packers versus Bears in Week 1. The rivalry between Chicago and Green Bay goes back over 100 years and this game will be the 205th regular-season meeting between the foes. As almost everyone knows by now, it’s the oldest rivalry in professional football starting back in 1921, and the “bad blood” between the two franchises and fanbases is alive and well more than in recent years. Long gone are the days of Lambeau and Halas, but there are still plenty of folks there know how much these games mean, and that includes some of the players on both sides. There are countless Hall of Fame players for both franchises and everyone from Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, and Reggie White, to Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, and Walter Payton has made an impact on the rivalry that has made it legendary.

2. Who “owns” the Bears?

Of course, the Mckaskey family does. But the running joke has always been Packers quarterbacks since 1992 have had a stake in the ownership of Chicago. The Bears haven’t beaten the Packers since 2018, and have only three victories overall since 2010. Ironically, that is exactly the same season that Green Bay went into Chicago and beat them in the NFC championship game to go to Super Bowl 45. The biggest bane in the Bears’ existence was Aaron Rodgers, who told everyone at Soldier Field, “I own you”, and he did. Those days are long gone and now Jordan Love will see if he can start the same kind of streak. 

3. Undermanned, but not outgunned. 

There’s no question that Christian Watson is a difference maker when he is healthy, but as the saying goes, sometimes the best ability is availability. That won’t be the case today in Chicago and even though Romeo Doubs is expected to play, he’s also been dealing with a bad hamstring. This leaves Samori Toure as the only wide receiver on the roster, who has caught a pass in the NFL. Expect a heavy dose of Aaron Jones, and AJ Dillon along with Luke Musgrave, and the tight end group seeing their share of targets.

4. Taking the big shot.

In Matt LaFleur’s first two seasons as head coach of the Packers, he led Green Bay to a pair of tough, and gritty wins over divisional opponents in the season opener. The past two years, the first game of the year has been a dud for the most part. One of the biggest plays from the 2022 season, might be one they didn’t complete. Christian Watson dropped an Aaron Rodgers deep ball up the sideline on the very first offensive play against the Vikings in what was easily a 75 yard touchdown pass. Do not expect that same style of a start today. I could easily see a conservative approach from the offensive side of the ball, and in addition to hammering the football on the ground, the floor and company will undoubtedly try to mix things up throwing to their running backs against a questionable Bears defensive front. I could definitely see Jayden Reed playing a bigger role in the passing game then expected, especially against his hometown team growing up. 

5. Odds on favorites?

Packers vs. Bears spread: Chicago -1.5. Packers vs. Bears Over/Under: 41.5 points.

Green Bay is 8-0 against the spread in their last 8 games against Chicago, and are also 8-0 straight up against the Bears in the last four years. Expect the Packers to cover on both accounts again this year.