The Green Bay Packers picked up an impressive victory in Week 1 of the 2023 season. They went on the road against their NFC North rivals, the Chicago Bears, and handled business with relative ease, 38-20.
While there are certainly a few things that still need to be cleaned up, the franchise has to be happy about how the Jordan Love era has begun. Bears fans certainly aren’t as they hoped Aaron Rodgers moving on would mean it is their time to shine; through one week, that certainly isn’t the case.
The Packers dominated in multiple facets of the game. The most impressive, however, was likely in the trenches. That is where football games are won; if you can control the line of scrimmage, you will find success. Green Bay was able to do just that on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, their most experienced group is the offensive line. They took the charge in Week 1, something left tackle David Bakhtiari warned the rest of the NFL about heading into the season. As the oldest player on the team, he is leaned on for leadership and experience. Evidently, he also knows how to fire his teammates up.
“Defensively, I love the pieces that are there, and I don’t think anyone’s perfect, but we got some f***ing solid pieces. … I’d like to see that we have a young team that no one knows s*** about that everyone counts out and that’s great, but a relentless young team that’s gonna beat you to a f***ing pulp and not quit because they’re just too young to f***ing know any better. That’s what I would like to see. That’s a winning recipe for a young team.
“That’s what I love seeing about this team, and that’s the identity and recipe that I see as a successful Green Bay Packers for 2023.” (H/T The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman)
Through one week, the Packers certainly embodied what Bakhtiari was sharing. The offensive line was dominant against a remade Bears’ front seven, keeping Love clean in the pocket. Some work still needs to be done in the running game, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Defensively, the Packers were relentlessly pressuring Justin Fields. The team’s run defense also looked much improved, holding Chicago to 4.2 yards per carry. That was a point of emphasis this offseason, as Green Bay was routinely steamrolled on the ground last season.
So far so good when it comes to beating the pulp out of their opponents. If the Packers can continue living up to Bakhtiari’s words, they are going to surprise a lot of people during the 2023 season.