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Bears Vs Packers: Six-Pack Keys To Victory

We're offering our six keys for the Bears to take a win over the rival Packers.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

1) Matt Forte

Let's talk about Matt Forte a bit to start off this week's six keys, because the Bears haven't run the ball well at all in the first three weeks here, and with the Packers' run defense having its issues in the first three weeks, this seems like a prime week to get him going, right?

Well, here's a couple issues with that - in eleven career games against the Packers, Forte has a career yards-per-carry of 3.80, and while he has more receptions against the Packers than any other team, he only has one receiving touchdown against them. He does average just a shade under ten yards per reception, however. Getting Forte on the swing passes and extended runs, and on the runs once the field is opened a bit, may well be the way to go.

However, this could be the week that all changes; is the Packers' run defense that rough, or is it merely a product of the offenses they've faced? Ah, the joys of Week 4.

2) Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery

Bennett has been huge for the Bears early in the season; his four touchdowns give the Packers someone to watch in the middle of the field, especially in the red zone. Tight ends haven't done much against the Packers this year, but with the run games the Packers have faced, they haven't had to. Bennett could be used as a reliable middle target to open things up on the outside.

Speaking of the outside, here's Alshon Jeffery, who's played really strong when he's had to, after leaving week 1 with an injury. Brandon Marshall's own injury, aggravated last week, left him with only one reception for six yards; Jeffery filled the void quite nicely, with a huge middle-of-the-field catch for a first down. I'd say that leg is fine.

3) Jordan Mills vs Clay Matthews

And where I write "Matthews," put "pass-rusher", and where I write "Mills," put "Michael Ola, Jermon Bushrod, or Bears offensive lineman" as well.

The blitz last week against the Jets gave the Bears fits leading to four sacks, and given how the Packers have still been getting Matthews in pass-rush situations, coupled with Julius Peppers, the Packers' pass rush can still get some things done.

4) Return the Favor

However, the Packers' offensive line itself is pretty shaky, despite Derek Sherrod returning to the bench in favor of Bryan Bulaga. Jared Allen showed some signs of coming to life last week against the Jets after being held silent by D'Brickashaw Ferguson for much of the game; getting him on the sack board would be huge.

5) Eddie Lacy

We've talked about Matt Forte and the Bears' run game, but Eddie Lacy hasn't exactly performed well - whether it's a lack of good holes from the offensive line or it's Lacy becoming increasingly tentative, he's not come close to his burst onto the scene from last year. The Packers are hoping to get him going against a run defense that struggled (to be kind) last year and has been susceptible this year, but the Bears' linebackers and run defense played much better than their results may have indicated the last three weeks against three heavy run-tendency teams. Lamarr Houston and the linebackers (including Jon Bostic) have been a huge part of that, and they'll need to step it up yet again to hold down Lacy - though this is still Aaron Rodgers' team.

6) Full of Fuller

Through two games in prime action, Kyle Fuller has been on point, especially in takeaways, forcing two fumbles last week in addition to his end-zone pick of Geno Smith (although I still could have done without his ill-advised taking the ball out of the end zone). Colin Kaepernick and Smith aren't exactly the passing threats that Aaron Rodgers is, both in accuracy and in quantity of offense. Fuller will get to deal with Jordy Nelson for a fair part of the day; we'll see how he responds.