We finally got a taste of real football last night in Chicago, but it tasted a little sour. Both the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears struggled to move the ball, and the game became an exhibition of great defense. From a fantasy football perspective, here are my biggest takeaways from Thursday night’s season opener.
David Montgomery is the Best Running Back in Chicago
David Montgomery is my most drafted running back, so it was certainly a disappointment to see the lack of “Mopportunity” for David last night. Though he only had 6 carries and wasn’t used much in the passing game, he flashed the talent that made him such a priority target for many fantasy football owners. His first two runs in the game, he showed off his frenetic, hard-nosed running style, gaining the Bears a first down (which were few and far between for this stagnant offense). Although the lack of touches is a bit concerning, Montgomery showed that he is the best pure runner on the team, and also is able to break off plays in the passing game, as evidenced by his 27 yard grab in the third quarter which tied Allen Robinson for longest reception by a Bears wide receiver in the game. Don’t panic just yet, as I predict David Montgomery reduces Mike Davis’ role as the season wears on, once he becomes more adept on the pass-blocking schemes.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are About to Go on a Run
The Green Bay Packers have a defense. General Manager Brian Gutekunst and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine have turned this defense around in a very short time. Granted, Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears starters did not play much in the preseason, and this was apparent, but the final score of the game also had to do with a much improved Green Bay defense. Blake Martinez is becoming a star in this league and is the key to the defense, leading a young, energetic group of defenders. Rookie safety Darnell Savage provides an X factor on Pettine’s defense and combines with a group of young, dynamic corners that are led by veteran Tramon Williams. The Packers could legitimately finish as a top 10 defense this year if they stay on trend.
MVS Will Top 1000 Yards This Season
It was a rough offensive performance for the Green Bay Packers, but I was encouraged by what I saw out of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. MVS tied for second on the team in targets, behind only starting wide receiver Davante Adams. He was on the receiving end of the 47 yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers that led to the team’s only score, and he tied Davante Adams with 4 receptions, finishing with 52 yards. Considering that Aaron Rodgers seemed a bit rusty throughout the game, and also the fact that the Bears’ defense is clearly still excellent, I am convinced MVS remains the second most targeted player on this offense and easily surpasses 1000 receiving yards by the end of the year.
Mitchell Trubisky Still Has a Long Way to Being a Franchise
The Bears offense clearly struggled as a whole last night, but the largest part of their struggles came down to the quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky was asked to carry this offense, and ultimately mustered a meager 228 yards and no touchdowns on 45 attempts. Trubisky also threw a crucial interception late to former teammate Adrian Amos that effectively ended the Bears chances to tie the game. I don’t expect Trubisky to be throwing the ball 45 times a game, but we saw this type of up and down performance from the young quarterback last year. The Bears will need to lean more on the ground game, as the running backs were given just 12 carries collectively, in a game that was never out of reach given the defensive performance from the Bears. I believe this changes over the course of the season, and Trubisky will definitely have better games, but he still has a lot to prove to be considered a legitimate franchise quarterback.
Allen Robinson is Going to be a Beast if He’s Healthy
The biggest bright spot for the Bears offense last night was the continued rise of Allen Robinson. Robinson was the only wide receiver for the Bears who saw more than 5 targets, getting 13 looks in total. He finished with 7 receptions and 102 yards on a day where the entire team struggled to move the ball. Considering his dominant playoff performance to close out 2018, A-Rob has continued to turn back the clock to his 2015 season in which he finished with 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Robinson will not come anywhere close to the touchdown total he produced in 2015, but if he continues to be a volume monster like he was last night, he could flirt with 1400 yards this season, making him a likely top 10 wide receiver in fantasy football.