Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers: Five Players to Watch

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Nov 9, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The wait is nearly over. In one day, the Chicago Bears will kickoff their 2015 regular season, with an NFC North match-up with the Green Bay Packers. The Bears and Packers are the oldest and arguably most bitter rivals in the history of the NFL, and while the two organizations are in different places, their games are always worth watching.

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The Packers enter the 2015 season as the favorite to win the NFC North division. Aaron Rodgers once again leads this team under center, and the reigning league MVP will continue to have a lot of pressure to perform for the Packers. Last season, Rodgers led the Packers to a whopping 30.4 points scored per game, the highest total in the entire NFL.

A majority of that incredible Green Bay offense is back this season, except for one major contributor. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. The loss of Nelson will undoubtedly be felt by the Packers offense, but they still have plenty of talent to surround Rodgers.

The Packers’ offensive line is arguably the best unit that Rodgers has had in his career, running back Eddie Lacy is among the favorites to lead the NFL in rushing this season and Randall Cobb leads a still impressive group of receivers. Losing Nelson hurts, but I doubt Rodgers and the Packers even miss a beat.

New Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will undoubtedly have his hands full with the Packers’ offense this week. Fangio will have his players in the best position possible to succeed, but will it even matter? The Bears’ defense was among the worst in the NFL last season, I am sure their transition to a 3-4 this season will help, but I have a hard time believing they are going to slow down the Packers.

Now, the Packers’ offense is clearly elite, but the defense on the other hand, is much less impressive. They are solid up front led by the massively underrated Mike Daniels, and they are good in the defensive backfield where Sam Shields, Casey Hayward and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix roam. Also, of course there is Clay Matthews lining up all over at the linebacker position making plays.

Aug 22, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers’ defense is solid, but they are beatable. Quarterback Jay Cutler and the Bears’ offense have to be on their games, but there will be plenty of potential to score in this one. The Packers are going to score on the Bears’ defense on Sunday. If Chicago hopes to have any chance to compete in this game, their offense has to be productive.

There are many match-ups across the field that will affect how this game unfolds, leading to many players who will be important in the outcome. These are the players who we are going to want to watch the most.

In this post, I am going to try to pinpoint the five players in this game who fans need to be watching the closest. Obviously guys like Rodgers, Cutler, Matthews and Alshon Jeffery (assuming he plays) are going to be major factors, but I am going to try to find the less obvious names here.

Here are five important players to watch when the Bears host the Packers on Sunday afternoon.

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