Chicago Bears will set the pace in the NFC North with a win

The Bears were picked by many to be a strong team once again in 2012, but I didn't buy into the notion until recently. I still lack a great deal of faith in the Bears' offensive line, which is often described as, well, offensive.

Still, week 1 worked out well for the Bears. Yes, the Vikings won, and the Lions won, but the Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay. This weekend, the Lions will take on the 49ers.

Before the Lions take the field against San Francisco, the Bears have to travel to Green Bay in a game that could set the tone for the entire NFC North for weeks to come. If the Bears can pull off the win, the Packers will suddenly be 0-2, behind every other team in their division.

Beating Green Bay at their home is no easy task. Few teams over the past few years have been able to leave Wisconsin with a win, but the Bears will give themselves a very good shot of doing just that if they can play as well tonight as they did last weekend against the Colts.

I realize that it's easy to look great against a poor team, but the Bears' offense looked more than proficient. Against a weak Packers defense, they'll need to continue where they left off.

Defensively, the Bears need to make a few big plays. Whether that's getting the Packers off the field on third and manageable situations or getting a couple turnovers, it's those plays that will likely determine the outcome.

It sounds crazy, but the Packers could get into a shootout with the Bears, if that's the case, the Packers should be favored. Ultimately, they have the better offensive unit. The Bears are counting on their defense to make some plays. If that unit can change the momentum just a couple times tonight, the Packers could be staring 0-2 in the face, and that's no way to start a season.

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.