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Bears vs Packers: Six-Pack Keys to Victory

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We're re-examining the prior matchup against the Packers and revising our keys and game plan to get the Bears on the right track.

Scott Cunningham

Let's recap really quick the keys I laid out last time the Bears played the Packers, back in week 4 at Soldier Field:

1) Matt Forte
2) Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery
3) Jordan Mills vs Clay Matthews (Or: The Pass Rusher versus the Bears Offensive Lineman)
4) Return the Favor
5) Eddie Lacy
6) Full of Fuller (Fuller Vs Jordy Nelson)

Largely, things still hold true - the Packers are still last in the league in rushing and the Bears ran all over them last time... but the Bears still lost. And with everything we've learned the last few weeks, we need to update the keys for round two.

2) Will the Real Receivers Please Stand Up?

Two hundred and thirty-five yards rushing couldn't help the Bears win - part of that being the Bears' defense not being able to stop the Packers at all, but the Bears' offense mostly stagnated in the air. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery each had a touchdown catch, but neither broke 40 receiving yards. Teams have been doing a good job of shutting down the Bears receivers and forcing the passing game to flow through Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett, which puts a cap on what the offense is capable of. Marshall and Jeffery have to get going, and we know the Bears have been able to get Marshall and Jeffery going for a play or two (see: Jeffery's touchdown against these Packers last time).

4) Willie Young in Full Time (AKA: Houston, we have a problem)

The problem with Willie Young has been that as a starter, he hasn't gotten as much as he gets when used as a rotational guy (See, Jared Allen's absence). So, what happens here? Does Trevor Scott get an opportunity in rotational duty to keep Young fresh? Do those snaps go to the once-again-promoted David Bass? How do the Bears get more out of Young when he has to start?

6) The Challenge of Stopping Jordy Nelson (And Randall Cobb)

The Saints did everything they could to take Jordy Nelson out of the game in their matchup two weeks ago, and it worked as the Packers' offense was held to its lowest output since before beating the Bears. Kyle Fuller hopefully returns from his aggravated hip pointer, and he'll again get the matchup of Nelson, but a little extra help shutting down the main yardage receiver in the Packers' offense could go a long way. The problem is doing it so as not to free up Randall Cobb, who's done dangerous things to the Bears (and other teams) en route to nine touchdowns on the season.