I’m 2-0 in my weekly predictions – woop woop. Scores haven’t been exact, but it’s the W that counts; and that’s the name of the game. The only issue this time is the game is the Packers and regardless of how you look at it, it’s as tough a game as it comes
The Packers had one of the worst games on record in their first game of the season losing by 35 points to the Saints. Since then however, they have rampaged their way through their opponents winning 4 straight games, scoring a total of 117 points, averaging almost 30 points per game under 3rd-year head coach Matt LaFleur.
And it’s easy to understand why. Rodgers is Rodgers and after linking back up with Randall Cobb, he has another trusted weapon to go with Devante Adams and Aaron Jones. If you look through the team, it is one of the most complete teams there is and it’s proven with the amount of times they have won the NFC North.
This then is the toughest task of the season for the Bears who have themselves started a small revival of late after a shakey start to the season. It is not an insurmountable challenge, but the game plan will have to be accurate, well planned and well executed.
For example, Green Bay’s biggest weakness seems to be their defense. Though they have won the last 4 games, they have also given up a lot of points. 122 points to be exact, in 5 games, averaging almost 25 points lost per game.
Green Bay have also lost a few defensive recruits with them having a couple of secondary players ruled out of the game. Both CB Kevin King and All-Pro Jaire Alexander are ruled out with shoulder problems. Having a mid-range defense weakened by losing two key players is a big boost to the Bears.
BEARS NEED TO PROTECT JUSTIN FIELDS
So unbeatable the Packers are not. They were ran close by the 49er’s and were fortunate to beat the Bengals due to many missed field goals – the Bengals who were very much beaten up by the Bears. This a big positive for a Bears defense who, similarly to the Packers, have shown up after a very poor start in their first game.
This is where the accurate, well planned and well executed strategy needs to come into play in a big way. The short version is to exploit the poor defense and to pressure Rodgers so much he can’t get the offense firing.
The longer explanation is that the Bears need to protect Justin Fields. That seems like the short and quite obvious answer, but yes there is more too it. Keeping Justin Fields upright means he can make the big plays downfield, and with the speed the Bears have at WR coupled with the weakened Packers secondary is a huge way forward.
Getting a few big plays early doors will force the Packers to think about dropping deep for the rest of the game for the fear of being exploited. And that will allow for more space and gaps to appear for Khalil Herbert to gain yardage after both David Montgomery and David Williams have been ruled out for the game.
Keeping Fields up and allowing him to make deep plays, dropping the defense in fear / anticipation, allowing more space for the run game, means that the Packers defense are on the field more for longer, tiring them out and allowing more plays. It’s a vicious cycle that also plays into the Bears defense.
The more plays the Bears can exploit from the Green Bay defense, means that the Bears’ defense can rest up and in turn have more energy to pressure Rodgers. The more pressure they can create on each play will help stunt the momentum of the Packers offense.
But that is easier said than done. And the question is will the Bears be able to make it work? The Packers aren’t unbeatable but it will take a lot of moving parts to get them into the right situation to get the W.
I feel bad for saying this, but I feel like the Bears will not be able to execute the plan well enough to succeed. The Packers offense is ‘all guns blazing’ and the Bears offense is ‘some guns smouldering’; and I don’t think the defense will be able to pick up the slack. Happy to be proven wrong, but I feel Green Bay have it this week.
Bears 17 – Packers 25