Coming off a humbling, 30-22 home loss in the season opener against the 49ers that revealed more weaknesses than most probably thought the Packers had, it would be easy to overreact.
With the second game of the year coming up, several things will be keys to beating a Chicago team that is similar to San Francisco. Perhaps running the ball more effectively, stopping the Bears' rushing attack and QB Aaron Rodgers registering a 120 passer rating might be the solution.
Those would all be very nice, but let's delve deeper. Here are this week's three keys to a victory over the rival Bears on Thursday night:
1. Blitz Cutler: Bears QB Jay Cutler has lost five of the six games he's played against the Packers. In those games, he's been sacked 19 times, hit 30 times and knocked out of a playoff game due to injury, staggering his way to a 59.1 passer rating. Compare that to last week, when Cutler was sacked once against Indianapolis and he got in a rhythm, picking apart the Colts for 333 yards and two touchdowns.
The Packers need to pressure Cutler. Their cornerbacks haven't proven they are good enough to defend big, talented receivers like Brandon Marshall (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and Alshon Jeffery (6-3, 216). The onus will be on the pass rush to disrupt Cutler's timing. Clay Matthews produced great pressure last week, but he'll undoubtedly be battling double teams Thursday.
OLB Erik Walden is back from suspension and he looked robust in preseason. Also, if DE C.J. Wilson (groin) can't play, rookie Jerel Worthy's playing time will increase. It's an opportunity to show the penetration ability that compelled the Packers to draft him in the second round. Fellow rookie Nick Perry did some good things at OLB last week but he really needs to bring something different than raw power to his rush.
CB Charles Woodson registered 1.5 sacks last week coming on blitzes. Without a consistently provocative pass rush from their defensive front, the Packers need to blitz outside more from cornerbacks and up the middle from inside linebackers.
2. Pummel Peppers: DE Julius Peppers has the potential to make QB Aaron Rodgers' life miserable. He'll line up often against LT Marshall Newhouse, who is considered the weak link of the Packers' offensive line, but he's also going to move up and down the Bears' defensive line. Green Bay's linemen will have to communicate constantly and be aware of where he is at all times.
“I know it's something we expect to see this week with Julius playing in all four spots,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “It kind of falls into the ‘unscouted look' category, where potentially you may see some things that [you] have not in the past. At the same time, we have to trust our principles."
Newhouse played excellent against San Francisco's Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, arguably the best right-sided pass-rushing tandem in the NFL. But maybe the only way Newhouse can stand up to Peppers is if he gets more physical. Peppers has disappeared from games when he's physically battered early on. It's not really in Newhouse's nature to be nasty, but he's going to have to be.
3. Be more special: Both offenses can put up a lot of points, and both defenses have holes. The game could be won on special teams, an area the Bears have dominated in the past. In September 2010, the only time Chicago has won in the last seven meetings, Bears return man Devin Hester scored on a 62-yard punt return. K Robbie Gould has frequently killed the Packers with his strong, accurate leg.
But the Packers have been improving on special teams for a few years. K Mason Crosby is close to automatic and has been routinely driving his kickoffs out of the end zone since. Tim Masthay is punting as well as anyone in the game, blasting balls deep and accurately. Both Crosby and Masthay will be integral to mitigating Hester's impact.
Also factoring into the equation is dynamic WR Randall Cobb, who has three return touchdowns in two seasons, including the 75-yard punt he took to the house last week. He's always a threat to break a long one, as Bears coach Lovie Smith noted this week.
"He's just a good football player," Smith said. "Can make you miss in the open field, can catch the ball. A guy that we'll have to deal with."
Follow Packers reporter James Carlton on Twitter @CBSPackers.