First off, a ton of thanks to Kev for filling in for me on Saturday last week. And second off, as I said a week or so ago, I promised to started talking more football in these spots; this seems like as good a spot as any to start.
We know the Packers are a really good team. I mean, something about an NFC Championship Game, Super Bowl, week one versus the Saints, yada yada yada... But that doesn't mean they're invincible. For as dominating as they've looked in this young season, they still had to fend off a goal-line attack by the Saints late in the fourth quarter and Cam Newton's second consecutive 400-yard performance. Follow me past the jump and let's take a look at three things that can help the Bears beat our rivals to the north.
1) Pass Protection Needs to Be Better
This falls under the category of "Water is Wet and the Pope is Catholic." But the offensive line and tight ends can't continually allow Jay Cutler to get smeared into Soldier Field's turf. This might not exactly be breaking news, but it's hard to lead an offense when your quarterback is missing his head. And it doesn't matter if Mike Martz calls runs, deep passes, screens, slants, curls, whatever, if the pass protection and run blocking can't take care of its business.
2) The Front Four Gets to Rodgers
Penetration by the line is paramount, and the Bears have better interior pass rushers than they had last season. Blitzing likely won't work, because the Packers' receivers find open space on a fairly regular basis and Rodgers is very good at finding them when he needs to.
3) Shut Down the Receiving Corps
The problem here is that the Packers have a very good receiving corps, especially capable of making stuff happen. Randall Cobb showed how dangerous he can be with the ball in week one against the Saints, we know that Greg Jennings is a damn good receiver, Donald Driver is Driver and Jordy Nelson is coming along very well to this point in the season. The cornerbacks and safeties will need to play sharp, which will be tough if the starting safety pair is Brandon Meriweather and Craig Steltz.