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Hoge's Bears Things: My prediction for Bears-Packers and other items for Week 1

Adam Hoge Avatar
September 8, 2023

Happy Friday, Bears fans. Scared of the Lions after last night?

OK, let’s focus on the Packers first. 

Here are the biggest Bears Things I’m focused on going into this Week 1 matchup against Green Bay:

It’s not looking good for Christian Watson. The Packers’ young No. 1 wide receiver hasn’t practiced the last two days because of a hamstring injury and, at this point, you have to assume he’ll at least be limited Sunday — if he even plays. In my opinion, the Bears’ secondary already had an advantage against the Packers’ young receiving corps, but if Watson doesn’t play, it’s hard to imagine Jordan Love having a big day through the air.

What’s up with Nate Davis? Unfortunately, this question lingers, as the new right guard’s ongoing personal issue kept him out of practice Thursday. Still, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that Davis will miss Sunday’s game. If he doesn’t play for some reason, the Bears would likely go with second-year guard Ja’Tyre Carter, although newcomer Dan Feeney could be an option too. The Bears are already without starting left guard Teven Jenkins in this game.

Who will be the Bears’ kick returner? We know newcomer Trent Taylor will be the punt returner, but special teams coordinator Richard Hightower didn’t want to reveal his kick returner Thursday. Ultimately, this is probably more of an offensive decision between Velus Jones Jr, Tyler Scott and Equanimeous St. Brown. Personally, I’ll be shocked if Jones isn’t active. He’s still the team’s best kick returner and I suspect the Bears still have high hopes for his offensive contributions. My guess is that Scott is inactive. 

My X-factor against the Packers: Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. We know a couple of things about Stevenson: 1) He’s going to be really fun to watch and 2) He’s probably going to make some early mistakes. If he can avoid those mistakes and play steady, don’t be surprised if he picks off a pass and makes a big impact on the game. 

Prediction: Bears 23, Packers 13. Compared to last season, I believe the Bears’ defense is trending up and the Packers’ offense is trending down. Meanwhile, there should be enough Justin Fields-DJ Moore fireworks to score enough to win. 

Up Next: Gameday is almost here, but our pregame coverage is far from over. Will DeWitt and Nicholas Moreano will continue to break down the matchup on today’s CHGO Bears Podcast, while our CHGO Bears Pregame Show will be LIVE Sunday at 2:30 CT and we’ll also have a live watch along with the CHGO Sports during the game .

And if you’re going to the game Sunday — or even if you’re not — you can still buy tickets and join us at the official CHGO Bears tailgate!  

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