The 2015 NFL season couldn’t start out in a bigger way for fans of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears fans, as one of the league’s oldest rivalries ensues in Week 1. While the Packers are coming off a season that saw them narrowly miss out on a trip to the Super Bowl, the Bears ended up on the opposite side of the spectrum after a rare last-place finish in the NFC North division. With new head coach John Fox, who comes to the franchise after a successful tenure in Denver, the Bears will be looking to get back on track in the upcoming campaign.
Even coming off a down year, Bears tickets are highly coveted on the secondary market. In fact, their average ticket price for the season is $265.35, while their Week 1 showdown against Green Bay is clocking in as one of the most expensive games on the schedule, with an average ticket price of $512.77 and a get-in price of $184. This is understandable, though, as not only is this the season opener for two storied franchises, it’s also the opening game at Soldier Field in Chicago for the new campaign.
Additionally, fans will have the ability to save significantly on their parking in Chicago by using ParkWhiz.com, which has plenty of spots available nearby Soldier Field starting from $20.
Historically, the Bears have been a team paced by their defense, but that certainly wasn’t the case last season, when the defensive unit surrendered the most points (442) in the NFC. That’s where Fox comes in, long considered as one of the better defensive minds in the NFL. His presence and schemes could fix Chicago’s most glaring weakness.
It wasn’t just the defense, though, that led to the Bears’ downward spiral from last season. Veteran quarterback Jay Cutler endured a nightmarish season, one that resulted in him being benched later on in the campaign, and it won’t get any easier for him after the team dealt away No. 1 wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Jets. Even so, young and emerging Alshon Jeffery is more than capable of filling in as the team’s new top receiver, while veteran Eddie Royal was signed during the offseason to give Cutler another reliable target. With Matt Forte still in the Chicago backfield, the Bears continue to have one of the best running backs in football who can do it all.
If the Bears are to improve upon their last-place finish from a year ago, they’ll need to improve on their record against division opponents. In fact, Chicago went just 1-5 against their fellow NFC North residents, including a hopeless 0-2 showing against these same Packers. They lost their first meeting of the year, 38-17, before getting absolutely torched by Green Bay later on during the season on Sunday Night Football. The Packers throttled them in the definition of a blowout, 55-14.
There is hope the Bears can steal this one, however, and get the new started off on the right foot. The Packers are missing their No. 1 receiver, Jordy Nelson, for the entire season, which could pave the way for a team to emerge in the division. With Fox at the helm, a bounce-back season is very much possible, as well as the potential to be that team in the NFC North that rises up if Green Bay falters. At the end of the day, though, Chicago’s season will live or die based on the performance of Cutler.