Chicago Bears Week One: Expose the Packers in the middle


The Green Bay Packers are susceptible to being beat over the intermediate middle of the field. The Chicago Bears have the weapons to attack there.

When the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears to open their 2018, the Packers will have some serious questions to answer when it comes to the depth in the middle of their defense. Fortunately for the Chicago Bears, they may have the personnel to match up with this weakness.

At middle linebacker, there is a significant void next to Blake Martinez. Jake Ryan was supposed to step in and handle that duty. However, Ryan tore his ACL this offseason. Rookie Oren Burks was set to step in for Ryan, but a shoulder injury in his last preseason game has him on the sidelines this week in practice.

Given that Burks is a rookie with limited experience it would be tough to rely on him.  This plays into why the Packers traded for Antonio Morrison from the Colts. Still, think about that statement. The Packers are going to start the linebacker that the Indianapolis Colts planned on cutting. That is a big drop off in play.

One thing the Packers are known for doing is bringing an extra safety on the field and sliding their strong safety into the box. They did that a lot with Morgan Burnett. Josh Jones was expected to slot into that role in 2018, but he is dealing with an injury that has him sidelined.

The Packers have Kentrell Brice who provides enough safety depth to handle the loss of Jones, but the team needed Brice in that role anyway, as Jones was going to need to step in for Ryan. The domino effect has this team down a man in the rotation.

The Chicago Bears are a team who could expose that weakness. While the offensive line will be in for a battle in the trenches, Howard is a running back who can attack the middle of the field.

However, where the Chicago Bears can kill the Packers is in the passing game. Trey Burton is a mismatch weapon which can be utilized all over the field. Most of where he will line up is in the slot, in-line and out of the back. All areas will draw matchups with linebackers at points, and Matt Nagy will use motion to isolate those matchups.

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On top of that, they have Anthony Miller who should figure to spend most of his day in the slot. That means he could draw Jaire Alexander for an extended period, but the Bears also have already found ways to get him into mismatches lined up in the middle.

The motioning and depth that the Bears have in the middle of their offense is a great recipe to test the Packers weakened middle of their defense.