Green Bay Packers

Jordan Love and the Packers Face An Uphill Battle In Week 1

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eventually, Green Bay Packers fans can move on from Aaron Rodgers. For now, though, he remains a shadow looming over the indefinite future. The legacy he left behind spoiled fans and fellow team members alike, but now it creates a boogeyman for the 2023 team. That boogeyman will be creeping along throughout the preseason, all the way until Jordan Love steps on the field on September 10, 2023.

When Love steps on the field, though, it will be against Aaron Rodgers’ Chicago Bears. Wait, I mean just the plain old Chicago Bears.

Rodgers’ dominance against the Bears may be a worst-case scenario, or best, depending on the Week 1 results. Rodgers had a career record of 24-5 against Chicago. So when he joked that he “owned” them, he wasn’t kidding. They never seemed to get the upper hand on Rodgers, even when meeting in the 2011 conference championship game.

For Love, it may not be a conference title game on September 10, but it could seem that way in some people’s minds. And it may prove to be a tough test for the fourth-year passer.

Christian Watson Struggled Against Chicago

The new No. 1 receiver for the Packers will be looking to take advantage of a fresh start in 2023. Watson was Green Bay’s second-round pick in 2022 and proved to be a two-faced coin. There would be weeks where he looked like a draft steal and one where it appeared to be a miss at a position of need.

As Jordan Love looks to make a good first impression in 2023, Watson will be looking to get ahead of the Bears for once.

In two games against the Bears in 2022, Watson only had six catches for 57 yards and one touchdown. If Love is going to secure a win while looking good in the process, Watson needs to have a game similar to the totality of what he had against Chicago last year.

The Bears Revamped Their Defense

In what was already a steep hill to climb, the Bears gave their team a facelift as they continue their turnaround. Obviously, on offense, they made some critical changes such as D.J. Moore at receiver and Darnell Wright at tackle but that doesn’t concern Jordan Love. However, Chicago’s additions on defense should concern him, and there are plenty of them.

Namely, the Bears gave their linebacking corps a makeover while the secondary got deeper. Players such as T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds have the linebacking group looking better than ever. It’s hard to imagine that it would get better after trading Roquan Smith last year but Ryan Poles has seemed to do so. In the secondary, adding Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith in the draft have the cornerback room looking as fresh as Febreze.

New Rookie Tight Ends May Not Matter

Rookie tight ends almost always face a steep learning curve when entering the NFL. While Tucker Kraft and Luke Musgrave are very promising prospects, they face a long road to success. When you weigh that and look at what the Bears gave up last year to tight ends, Love may be searching for answers.

In 2022, the Bears only gave up 22 receptions and two touchdowns to tight ends in a 17-game season.

While the defense has some new faces in the middle and may not quite be stiff competition, it still will be a test because the concepts remain. The Bears’ defense was quietly a bright spot. Pair that with a Packers offense that will be transitioning, and it may prove to be the perfect storm.

Jordan Love can do this. I fully believe it. He has been behind Aaron Rodgers long enough that we should see a new version of him. That new version will probably come out of the gates slowly, especially after the preseason. The version you see may look different in the second half And if Week 1 isn’t it, Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons is a fresh start.

In the word of a certain quarterback, R-E-L-A-X. Jordan Love deserves your patience even if he loses to the Bears. It will be tough, but it will be okay in time.

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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