Bears at Packers: Preview, Predictions and More
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
The 1-5 Chicago Bears visit the 3-2 Green Bay Packers in a key NFC North matchup on Thursday Night Football. The Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night last season.
Led by quarterback Brian Hoyer, the Bears are more than capable of winning this game. Don’t let Chicago’s 1-5 record fool you; they’ve been competitive the last three weeks beating the Lions and losing to the Colts and Jaguars by a combined nine points.
This is the most heated rivalry in the NFL, so you better believe the Bears will come to play. The Packers are a wounded animal and the Bears are ready to pounce.
For Green Bay, this is a must win. The Packers are riddled with injuries in the secondary and at running back. Couple that with a struggling Aaron Rodgers and you can see why Green Bay must have this game or they are in trouble.
Bears Keys to Victory
1. Start Fast Offensively: The Bears need to get off to a good start offensively. If Chicago can score first, they will turn up the heat on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers struggling offense. Chicago won at Lambeau last season because they played with the lead and put pressure on the Packers to match them offensively. They’ll have to do the same in this day.
2. Pressure and Contain Rodgers: Chicago must be in the face of Rodgers all night. Not only do they need to get pressure on Rodgers, but they need to keep him in the pocket. Despite his struggles, Rodgers is still dangerous outside of the pocket extending plays.
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3. Finish: An inability to finish has cost the Bears the last two games against the Colts and Jaguars. If they want to pull off the upset in this game, they need to finish. They must play well for four quarters.
Packers Keys to Victory
1. Can the Real Aaron Rodgers Please Stand-Up: What has happened to Aaron Rodgers? How do you go from being the best quarterback in the league to among the worst quarterbacks in the league since the end of last season? Rodgers has been terrible the past two weeks and needs to start playing better or the packers are in big trouble.
2. Run the Football: With both Eddie Lacy and James Starks out with injuries, running the football will be tough. The Packers need to find a way to run the football so that they can take some of the pressure off of Rodgers and the passing game. Enter newly acquired Knile Davis who will be expected to carry the load tomorrow night and in the coming weeks.
3. Generate Turnovers: The Packers need to find a way to generate turnovers and give the offense the extra possessions they are going to need in this game. Chicago is a -1 in the turnover department so they are prone to turning the ball over. The Packers have only forced six total turnovers, so they’re due.
Point Spread: Green Bay -7.5
Moneyline: Chicago +300, Green Bay -360
I can’t imagine the Packers losing a second-straight home game but they did lose to the Lions and Bears last season at Lambeau so it is possible. Green Bay needs to win this game or they could be in trouble with a game in Atlanta next week. It is hard to pick against the Pack at home. That is why despite their struggles, I think they’ll win this game and right the ship temporarily.
Pick: Green Bay Packers: 24, Chicago Bears: 17