Few things are more baseless than picking opening games of the NFL season, as we've never seen these two teams play as presently constituted, but there are two things I think we know about this year's Bears and Packers.
While the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, and more often than not that is all they've needed, the Bears have more young talent overall on their roster — possibly significantly more.
Number two is that, although I'm sure both clubs will be ready to go, few sports are driven more by emotion and want-to than football, and with the focus of their 100th anniversary season, the sky-high expectations for them this year, the crushing disappointment of their last game, and a crazed home crowd, I find it hard to believe the Bears won't have a little more pep in their steps than the Packers.
My gut tells me the Bears jump out early and never look back.
— Hub Arkush, PFW Executive Editor/GM : Bears 34, Packers 23
As long as Aaron Rodgers' right arm remains attached, Bears fans have cause for concern, and after an offseason of seemingly unrivaled buzz surrounding their team, it's easy to think the NFL's biggest stage could be set for a home letdown.
But then I start thinking about the Bears' considerable coaching edge and the facts that they have plenty of their own newness on offense to surprise basically an entirely rebuilt Packers 'D' and all the talent and continuity necessary in their own stop unit to prevent the Pack from mimicking last year's Week 1 heartbreak.
Khalil Mack might not replicate his first-half dominance of a year ago, even with the benefit of a full offseason, but expect him to be the ultimate finisher this time around. The Bears will need Mitch Trubisky to carry them more this season, but unlike the Packers, they still won't require it every week, and the recipe out of the gate feels like it'll be leaning on that defensive experience and familiarity and a new, tackle-breaking feature back that the Packers will struggle to corral in his NFL debut.
— Arthur Arkush, PFW Managing Editor/Bears reporter: Bears 27, Packers 21
The Bears have many questions to answer, but the Packers have even more. The Bears won’t blow a 20-point lead as they did a year ago in the opener, and this time they will get a stop when they need it. The home team opens the season with a victory.
— Barry Rozner, Daily Herald Sports Columnist: Bears 26, Packers 24
For the Bears, a repeat of last year's success starts with avoiding a repeat of last year's season opener, when they (and Kyle Fuller) let victory slip through their hands. All eyes are on Eddy Pineiro, who needs to make his kicks (PATs included), and Mitchell Trubisky, who needs to show he (and not new running backs) is the main reason why the Bears offense will be better in 2019.
— Joe Aguilar, Daily Herald Sports Reporter: Bears 24, Packers 13