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QB Jordan Love arrival: Does it signal a turning of the tide in Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers rivalry?

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are preparing to begin the post-Aaron Rodgers era in their rivalry. The new quarterbacks, Justin Fields and Jordan Love, remain calm and focused on being the best versions of themselves. The game is filled with unknowns and uncertainties for both teams.

The Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers rivalry took a new turn as the starting quarterbacks avoided making bold claims of ownership. While Aaron Rodgers' infamous outburst in the Soldier Field end zone in 2021 will forever be remembered as a symbol of his dominance in the rivalry, this week's media interviews with the quarterbacks in Green Bay and Lake Forest showcased a different side. Both Justin Fields and Jordan Love appeared calm and reserved as they prepared to usher in the post-Rodgers era in the NFC North.

When asked if he was motivated to be the best quarterback in the division now that Rodgers was gone, Fields responded with indifference. He stated that he wasn't driven by external factors and focused on being the best version of himself, constantly striving for improvement. Love, on the other hand, didn't give much thought to being one of the new faces of the rivalry. He acknowledged that it was cool but didn't let it affect his mindset.

While the anticipation for a fiery showdown between the quarterbacks is high, it's difficult to predict which one will ultimately deliver. This game and the current state of both teams are filled with uncertainties. The questions surrounding Fields and his ability to elevate the Bears' passing game with a new set of teammates have been discussed extensively in Chicago. The answers to these questions will likely play a significant role in determining whether the Bears can break the Packers' eight-game winning streak in the rivalry and start their own.

The biggest uncertainty, however, lies with Love. After spending three seasons as Rodgers' backup, he now steps into the spotlight as the Packers' starting quarterback. Green Bay has been fortunate to have consistent quarterback play for decades, with only two other quarterbacks starting a season opener since 1993. Love follows in the footsteps of Brett Favre and Rodgers, both future Hall of Famers. The fact that the Packers could seamlessly transition from one elite quarterback to another long-term starter might seem absurd to the Bears, who have experienced a revolving door of quarterbacks over the years.

When asked about Love, Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson acknowledged that Rodgers' absence would naturally result in a drop-off. However, he still expressed respect for Love's abilities and recognized the Packers' strong coaching, solid run game, and explosive young receivers. Johnson emphasized that the matchup wouldn't be easy, but the Bears were looking forward to the challenge.

Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams revealed that the team immediately began analyzing the potential changes in the Packers' offense after Rodgers' trade to the New York Jets. They acknowledged the loss of Rodgers but quickly shifted their focus to the new chapter ahead. Williams stressed the importance of staying focused on their own fundamentals rather than getting lost in what the Packers might do.

The Bears may have limited NFL tape on Love, but offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who previously served as Love's quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, provided some insight. Getsy praised Love's athleticism, natural passing ability, and humility. Love's career has been limited to just 83 pass attempts in three seasons, with 50 completions for 606 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. In his only career start, the Packers scored only seven points in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Love threw for 190 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and a passer rating of 69.5.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson admitted that there isn't much film on Love, so they need to focus on playing their own game. He believed that Love would try to establish his confidence early on with quick completions, and the Bears needed to be prepared.

Love's experience of the rivalry comes solely from the sidelines and through the eyes of Rodgers, who boasted an impressive 25-5 record against the Bears. Love acknowledged the intensity of the rivalry and gained an understanding of its significance through Rodgers' words and emotions.

On the other side, Fields, who is friends with Love, has experienced four consecutive losses to the Packers. The Bears' last victory in the rivalry came in Matt Nagy's first season as coach in 2018 when they won the NFC North. As the Bears aim to reclaim the division title, Fields preferred not to dwell on their recent struggles against the Packers. He emphasized that it was the most important game of the season and that the team was focused on the present, not the past.

While the quarterbacks may not have made grand proclamations in their interviews, perhaps the real action and excitement will unfold on the field, where their performances will speak for themselves.

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