The start of the regular season is usually the worst thing that can happen to the teams that win the offseason and the Bears can’t let that be the case as they open in Green Bay this Sunday.
It isn’t a stretch to say that losing to Green Bay has cost every coach the Bears have had since Mike Ditka their jobs. The likes of Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron, Lovie Smith, Marc Trestman and John Fox have compiled a 13-38 record against the Packers since 1993.
Smith was the toast of the town when he won six of his first eight meetings with the Packers. He then he lost nine of his last eleven. Outside of that four-year period in which Lovie had success, the Bears have gone 7-36 against the team to the north. Trestman and Fox both scored prime time victories in Green Bay in their first seasons but it was all downhill after that.
The Packers aren’t just another team. They’re not viewed that way by most fans and they certainly aren’t viewed that way in the big offices at Halas Hall. If Matt Nagy is going to be separated from the poop platter that the team has had since Ditka, he has to beat the Packers.
He has to do it on Sunday.
He has to do it consistently.
Going from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers has made the Packers tough for anyone to beat over the last quarter century. Most of the Bears coaches never had rosters that could compete with what the Packers were throwing around their star quarterbacks. But Nagy does.
The trade for Khalil Mack changed the 2018 Bears and their expectations. The Bears made that trade thinking they had at least a chance of winning the Super Bowl this year. By adding Mack, they have arguably the best front seven in the entire league and a secondary that is pretty darn good too. This has a chance to be the best defense the Bears have ever put against Rodgers.
But it’s the offense that needs to come through. Even when the Bears have beaten the Packers in recent years they’ve done so by scoring 17, 20 and 27 points against mediocre defenses. The Bears hired Nagy to change that. They drafted Mitch Trubisky and spent a boatload of cash on the likes of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel to put points on the board.
Lovie beat the Packers because his teams were better and Nagy’s Bears are in the same boat. On paper, the Bears are better at almost every position and, as great as Rodgers is, he’s been very beatable against good teams the last three years.
There is a great feeling around the Bears. Rightly so.
Keep it going.
Beat the Packers.