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Cheese Curds, 9/7: Packers & Bears both set to reveal new-look defenses

The two division rivals took different paths to get their fans excited about changes on defense, but now it’s almost time to reveal how they will use new personnel.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Change came early and often for the Green Bay Packers’ defense when the calendar switched from 2017 to 2018. Out went Dom Capers and in came Mike Pettine and a handful of new assistant coaches. Out went Damarious Randall and in came Tramon Williams, Jaire Alexander, and Josh Jackson. Throw Muhammad Wilkerson and Oren Burks into the mix and you have a vastly different group from the one that took the field in week 17 last year.

A few hours’ drive south, the defense of the Chicago Bears didn’t really change much this offseason from the unit that finished 2017 14th in DVOA, 9th in points allowed, and 10th in yards allowed. The personnel was largely the same as last year and the team retained coordinator Vic Fangio despite hiring a new head coach and offensive staff. Yes, the Bears drafted a new inside linebacker with a top-ten pick, but that was the one major acquisition. However, that all changed last weekend when the team traded for Khalil Mack, adding a former Defensive Player of the year to Fangio’s group.

On Sunday night, both teams will release their new defensive acquisitions on each other’s offenses at Lambeau Field in the opening game of the 2018 regular season, hopefully providing answers to some questions that have been lingering for months — in the case of one team — or mere days.

Packers defense ready to let it all loose |
Ready to see what Mike Pettine’s scheme is REALLY all about? We are. If you’re a subscriber to The Athletic, be sure also to check out this great piece from Ben Fennell that looks at some of the things Pettine has already shown in the preseason.

Can't be blocked? Packers relying on line investment to withstand Khalil Mack |
Between David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, the Packers have a lot of money invested in their offensive tackles; center Corey Linsley and left guard Lane Taylor have pretty substantial contracts as well. All told, the contracts for the Packers' five starters on the line total to $130 million, but that's $11 million less than the total value of the contract Khalil Mack just signed.

Packers RB Ty Montgomery could be game-changer vs. Bears | Packers Wire
Sure, Jamaal Williams is the starter, but Montgomery has gashed the Bears in the past, including a game with more than 160 rushing yards and two touchdowns back in 2016.

Bold predictions for all 32 NFL teams for 2018 season | ESPN
The big prediction for the Packers here is that Aaron Rodgers wins a third MVP award. Well, as we all know, he did it the year after his first collarbone break, so why not again?

The Falcons red zone failures have become a capital-T Thing -
The Falcons’ offense is essentially the opposite of the Packers’ -- they get into the red zone and then bog down, rather than converting on few opportunities like Aaron Rodgers and company.

Trey Burton a fan of Eagles’ ‘Philly Special’ 2.0 -
Yep, they did it again, this time with Nelson Agholor throwing the ball to Nick Foles.

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