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Green Bay offense eye weak Bears secondary

Did you know there are several publications out there that actually have the Chicago Bears picked to go to the Superbowl? As a diehard Bears fan, I support such crazed ideas, yet afraid reality may set in as early as the first game of the season, as the bears play their hated rivals, the Green Bay Packers, in Green Bay.

The Bears generally bring their "A" game on opening night, which they'll need. They also play their little Bear hearts' out when they go to Green Bay, which is also a plus. But facts are facts, and the facts are things don't add up in the Bears favor against Packers this Sunday.

The Bears pass defense finished 30th last season, which doesnt add well with Green Bay's 8th ranked pass offense. Of the 19 drives the Packers had against the Bears last season in two games 14 (73.7%) ended in Bears territory, with Rodgers completing 47 of 69 passes (68.1%) to 10 receivers for 487 yards and four touchdowns and two interceptions, and he wasn't sacked once.

And what upgrades in the Bears secondary has led you to believe anything different will happen?

Charles "Peanut" Tillman, the Bears top cornerback, just practiced for the first time on Monday, recovering from July back surgery. Former secondary leader and safety Mike Brown is gone, while the other starting cornerback, Nathan Vasher, has fallen off a bit. Trumaine McBride looked awful in some pre-season games, while rounding out the corners is Corey Graham and impressive youngster Zackary Bowman. Safety Al Afalava, a 6th round pick who had an impressive training camp and will start on the strong side, while the Bears moved Daniel Manning from cornerback to free safety, yet he's missed time with a hamstring injury. Kevin Payne is a solid player who started in the exhibition season, and Josh Bullocks came over from New Orleans as a free agent. The Bears also added Jon Hoke as the defensive backs coach.

Any of that make you feel better? Well this won't help.

The Packers' passing offense was impressive in their pre-season games. Rodgers completed 70.7% of his passes (29 of 41) for 465 yards and six touchdowns for a passer rating of 147.9. Plus unlike last season, running back Ryan Grant is starting the season healthy and without a contract hold-out. Wide reciever Greg Jennings is also ready to go after a season which saw him grab 1,292 yards and 9 touchdowns, teaming with noted Bears' killer Donald Driver (1,012 yards and 5 touchdowns), and up and coming wide-outs Jordy Nelson and James Jones.

But hey, it's just the first game of the seaon, those Superbowl predictions could still come true, even if it all goes wrong on day one.

Mike Kincaide


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