(Too) Bold Predictions aims to take nuanced, well-researched information and use it to make wildly improbable predictions. Analysis!
1. Eddy Pineiro will make all three of his field goal attempts
Since my official prediction is Bears 23, Packers 16, that means Pineiro is going to have to make three field goals. And here's the thing: He won't miss one, nor will he miss either of his two PAT attempts. The Bears trust Pineiro to deliver in his regular season debut, with his leg strength and confidence earning him the team's kicking job over the last few months. He can earn plenty of goodwill with a strong showing in the first meaningful game at Soldier Field since the double-doink, and he'll do that on Thursday.
2. Roquan Smith will lead the Bears in sacks with 2
Remember when Smith sacked DeShone Kizer on his first NFL snap? The second-year inside linebacker has an excellent feel for blitzes, and Chuck Pagano’s aggressive scheme should afford him more opportunities to get to the quarterback. The best way to counter the sort of Shanahan/Kubiak/McVay offense Matt LaFleur will run is to hit home on blitzes. Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks will deliver their usual pressure but Smith will be key in slowing down Aaron Rodgers.
1. David Montgomery's going to have 2 rushing touchdowns in the 1st half.
Montgomery's kind of a hard guy to read, but when the entire defense tells you that nothing fazes him, I'm going to take their word for it. He's going to get his fair share of touches tomorrow night, and if camp and the limited preseason snaps he got said anything, it's that a big chunk of them will be in the red zone. Montgomery's vision and first cut are both so lethal that he seems like a perfect candidate to have a couple 9-12 yard scampers – especially on earlier downs.
2. Cordarrelle Patterson throws a touchdown before Mitch Trubisky does.
The Bears didn't add much to their offense from last season, but you can bet they'll want to give fans some of the Cordarrrelle Patterson Experience right off the bat. Head coach Matt Nagy was coy with reporters during training camp abouut his plans for the receiver, but he did make a comment about how strong of an arm Patterson had. Nagy always has a little something extra planned for primetime, and he's surely aware that this will be one of their most-watched games of the year. [points to cork board] PLUS Soldier Field just unveiled a new Walter Payton statue. It's happening. If you have tickets, don't miss that first drive.