Bears vs Packers: Five Questions with Lombardi Avenue


Nov 9, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers fans hold up signs during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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It’s the Bears vs Packers to open the 2015 season.  Talk about two teams at different ends of the spectrum.  The Packers expect to win the division and hope to get to the Super Bowl after last year’s near miss in Seattle while the Bears just hope to get back to respectability after an embarrassing 5-11 season.  To get us primed for the 191st meeting between the two members from the oldest rivalry in pro football we hooked up with Josh McPeek from Lombardi Ave to preview the Bears vs Packers in the 2015 season opener.

The last time the Packers were on the field in a meaningful game, it was the NFC Championship Game collapse against the Seahawks.  Is there any lingering effect or hangover heading into 2015?  How do you expect the Packers to recover from that heartbreaking loss?  What can they take away from that loss to help them this season?

"That unfortunately, is a game I will never forget. Fortunately, I don’t think you will see it effect the Packers at all on Sunday, or for the entire season. The best way to recover from something like that is to get back up on the horse and hopefully come away with a win. What Green Bay can take away from the loss is to obtain a killer instinct. When you have a team on the ropes you have to finish them off. Seattle had owned Green Bay of late before coming into that game and the Packers dominated for nearly 57 minutes with a below 100% healthy Aaron Rodgers."

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers head into the 2015 already facing some adversity, losing top receiver Jordy Nelson for the season.  How does the loss of Nelson impact the Packers offense?  Besides the obvious choice of Randall Cobb or Devante Adams, who picks up the slack in Jordy’s absence?

"The loss of Jordy Nelson is huge. I’ve never seen another WR/QB duo share a mind like Nelson and Rodgers do on the field. Rodgers knows he can throw it at the back of the defender and Nelson will come back and haul it in. Nelson is also one of the best vertical threats in the entire league. It will impact the offense some, but Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL, so not like it would some teams.Now the obvious choice to pick up some of the slack is reacquired James Jones. Jones caught 14 touchdown passes just three seasons ago for the Packers. It won’t end there however. Look for Eddie Lacy to be even more so prominent in the screen game as well as developing TE Richard Rodgers into a red zone threat."

Jay Cutler has done a great job of taking care of the football in the preseason so far.  What can he and the Bears offense expect from the Packers defense?  Can the Packers beat the Bears if Cutler doesn’t cough the ball up?

"So “Smoking Jay” has found something he is good at –that’s cute! Actually, this may be one of the best times Cutler has to catch the Packers. Green Bay has an extremely young secondary which was heavily focused on during the draft. First and second round picks Damarious Randall and Quentin Rollins showed flashes of excellence along with flashes of being very raw to the NFL during preseason. Casey Hayward will also have his workload increased with the exit of Tramon Williams and Davon House.Letroy Guion and Datane Jones will be serving their suspensions on the defensive line squad. I think it is now or never for Jay to have a good game against the Packers. With that said, I’m still not sure a turnover free game from Cutler is enough to improve upon the 1-11 record he has against the Pack."

Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers have gotten off to slow starts the last couple of seasons, going 0-3 in their last three season openers while Aaron Rodgers has struggled against Vic Fangio’s defenses. Does that mean the Bears have a fighting chance on Sunday?

"The Bears always have a shot against the Packers. This rivalry has been around forever and in my opinion is the best in all of football. Anything can and will happen when these two line up across from one another. Mike McCarthy knows the importance of getting off to a good start, especially with a week two meeting lurking with Seattle. I don’t think Aaron Rodgers will struggle on Sunday, even without Jordy Nelson. Week one also isn’t everything, as being slow starters has still resulted in four consecutive NFC North crowns."

What’s your prediction for the game?  Please include a final score.

"Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb and the best offensive line in football will be ready and fired up. I expect the offense of the Green Bay Packers to put on a show. The only thing that scares me is the unproven secondary of the Pack. Alshon Jeffery appears to be ready and Eddie Royal was a great addition. If Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers can put enough pressure on Jay Cutler to force a couple of 50/50 balls up, it could get ugly. Still in my previous podcasts giving a preview of the NFC North I’ve not been able to give the Bears more than 4 or 5 wins on the season. John Fox is a great coach but from a player standpoint, I don’t see that they added enough pieces to the puzzle.Packers 38 Bears 20"

Thanks to Josh from Lombardi Ave for taking the time to answer our questions.

Next: Check out my answers to Josh's questions