Jun 16, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
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NextImg:Bears vs. Packers — What to Watch 4

Key matchup

The Bears’ offensive line was a work in progress in the season opener against the Packers, with rookie Darnell Wright making his first NFL start, Teven Jenkins on injured reserve and the combination playing together for the first time.

It showed in a shaky opening performance. Justin Fields was sacked four times, and the Bears were down 24-6 in the third quarter by the time the running game got going.

Sixteen games later, the Bears’ line is as strong as it has been all season, with left tackle Braxton Jones, left guard Jenkins, center Lucas Patrick, right guard Nate Davis and right tackle Wright. That combination not only is the team’s best, but it has established elusive continuity, starting five of the last six games.

The Packers counter with a strong defensive line that gave the Bears trouble from all angles in Week 1. Kenny Clark (6œ sacks), Rashan Gary (nine) and Preston Smith (eight) are all potential game-wreckers, and Devonte Wyatt (4œ) had 1œ sacks against the Bears in Week 1.


With four interceptions against the Falcons last week (two by Tyrique Stevenson and one each by T.J. Edwards and Kyler Gordon), the Bears have 16 in their last six games to jump from 18th in the NFL in interceptions per pass play to first.

Packers quarterback Jordan Love has thrown one interception in his last six games — with 16 touchdown passes.

Player to watch

One week after playing arguably his finest game with the Bears, quarterback Justin Fields might be playing his final game with the Bears — typifying the Bears’ post-Luckman quarterback history.

Fields accounted for 313 yards (268 passing, 45 rushing) with one touchdown passing and another rushing against a Falcons defense that ranked sixth in points and ninth in yards. He is 0-5 as a starter against the Packers with a 72.8 passer rating (four touchdowns, seven interceptions) and 267 rushing yards on 38 carries.

The last quarterback to make his final start with the Bears at Lambeau Field was Mike Glennon, who was benched after throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles (one on a strip sack) in a 35-14 loss in 2017.


The Bears are playing out the string. But with a solid core in place and virtually every key starter healthy, they’re motivated to finish strong and solidify a foundation for the 2024 season.

The Packers, on the other hand, are playing for their playoff lives, likely needing a victory to make the postseason. In a similar situation in Week 18 last season — at home against the Lions with the great Aaron Rodgers — they crapped out in a 20-16 loss.

They’re determined to atone for that failure, but against a Bears team that is on the upswing — winning five of their last seven games — the Packers can’t afford to play tight with the playoffs on the line.