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Normally, in a cold-weather, late in the year game versus the rival Packers, I would say that the keys to victory for the Bears would be the ability to run the football, grind out the clock, and keep Aaron Rodgers and Company off the field.
Unfortunately, I've all but given up on the running game for 2009.
What have we learned so far in 2009 about the Bears and the Packers?
For starters, Dom Capers' 3-4 defense has turned out to be quite a formidable foe for opposing offenses, giving up the fewest total yards in the NFL.
The Bears are in the bottom third of most statistical categories, but have shown some flash on both sides of the ball at times.
For this week's keys to victory, you can throw out your father's traditional grind-it-out football game. If the Bears hope to tally a win, it's going to be because of:
- Big plays offensively + big plays on special teams.
- Generating turnovers defensively.
It's almost a given that Rodgers is going to carve up the middle of the defense of Chicago, and that Cutler and Forte are going to have defensive bodies all over them all game. So what I am hoping for is to see our defense come out and nail people all game (causing turnovers in the cold weather), our special teams put some points on the board, and Cutler to find Knox/ Hester deep for a score or two.
Otherwise, this could be another long day for Lovie Smith and Co. By the way, Smith has never been swept by the Packers since becoming Head Coach in 2004.