Both teams have new starting QBs of course, but the tale of their seasons have really diverged.
The Packers left that Thursday night game 3-1 and looked like they were poised to run away with the division again, but an injury to an all-world QB will do that to a team.
The Bears have become much friskier. After slogging through four games of the Mike Glennon experience, the team turned to the rookie, Mitch Trubisky.
Since that game, the Bears have gone 2-2 while the Packers have gone 1-3.
Let’s see what exactly the Bears are up against here.
Green Bay Packers
SB Nation Site: Acme Packing Company
Record: 4-4 (Second, NFC North)
Last Week: 30-17 loss to Detroit
Bears All-Time Record Against: 96-95-6
Historical Match-Ups: The last time the Bears played the Packers and a quarterback other than Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers started (emphasis on STARTED, yes we all know about when Seneca Wallace played the vast majority of a game started by Rodgers) was Dec. 8, 1991 in Week 10.
Former Bears QB Mike Tomczak started the game for Green Bay and threw one touchdown and one interception. Jim Harbaugh threw two touchdowns to Wendall Davis and Brad Muster added two rushing touchdowns as the Bears won 27-13.
Last Meeting: 35-14 loss in Week 4. The last game of the Mike Glennon experience.
Injury Report: The Packers listed eight players on their Wednesday injury report:
- T Bryan Bulaga did not participate and is reportedly out for the season with his knee injury
- S Morgan Burnett did not participate with a groin injury
- LB Ahmad Brooks was limited by a back injury
- DT Quinton Dial did not participate due to a chest injury
- G Justin McCray was limited by an ankle injury
- LB John Perry was limited by a foot injury
- G Lane Taylor fully participated with an ankle injury
- LB Joe Thomas was limited with an ankle injury
Offense: The Packers come into this game ranking 23rd in offensive yards per game but 11th in points scored.
The Packers average 22.6 PPG.
The Green Bay passing game ranks 21st in yards per game, down from ranking second in the first meeting between these teams. In Week 4 they had the most passing attempts and second-fewest rushing attempts. Now they have the ninth most passing attempts and still rank 31st in rush attempts.
Speaking of rushing offense, their run game ranks 21st in rush yards, although they do have the fourth most rushing TDs.
The offensive weapons are all familiar, the leading receivers are Davante Adams (37 rec./404 yds./5 TDs), Randall Cobb (33/319/1) and Jordy Nelson (30/338/6).
As for the RBs, Aaron Jones (67 att./358 yds./3 TDs) has actually passed Ty Montgomery (65/219/2) in stats. Montgomery is still holding steady to the third down back job seeing as he has 21 catches for 159 yards and one touchdown.
Brett Hundley, filling in for Aaron Rodgers, has a 58.8 percent completion rate, throwing for 489 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. He has 69 rush yards and two rushing TDs on the ground.
Defense: The defense ranks 25th in yards allowed and 22nd in points allowed.
The passing defense ranks 20th in yards and 14th in passing touchdowns and 18th in interceptions with six. Opposing QBs have a 95.7 rating against them.
On the ground the Packers rank 23rd against the run and have allowed eight rushing touchdowns, which ranks 25th.
The Packers pass rush has been especially anemic this year. They are tied for second to last in sacks with just 13. The teams they are tied with are the Titans, Giants and Raiders. The Titans are the only team of those with a winning record.
Damarious Randall leads the team in interceptions with three, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Kentrell Brice and Davon House each have one.
Key Match Ups: Coming off the bye, ideally the offensive line will be healthier. If the Bears can start their preferred offensive line they should be able to give Turbisky time to throw, judging by the lack of rush generated by Green Bay.
However, Dom Capers will likely bring blitzes against the rookie early and often so Trubisky will be tested and perhaps can get a chance to go downfield and show what he has picked up on through the bye.
However, will any of the receivers be able to get open?
For the defense, Hundley is athletic and has scrambling ability but is vulnerable to the pass rush. He’s been sacked eight times in his two starts while Rodgers was sacked 19 times in six games.
What to Watch for: It’s a rivalry game! And the Bears are favored! Even if the Bears aren’t great and the Packers are without their best player, it’s always more fun when the Bears beat them and they have a legitimate chance to do so Sunday.
Will Trubisky start the second half of the season hot? Will the coaches open up the offense a little bit?
This is, statistically the worst defense that Trubisky has started against so there is the potential that he and the offense can really move the ball.
Key Stats: Since Aaron Rodgers left the Vikings game, the Packers have 49 first downs. They had 64 in the three games prior to Rodgers’ injury.
The Packers have allowed over 100 yards rushing to opponents in all but two games this year: against Detroit last week and against Seattle in week one. The Lions are 29th in rushing offense and the Seahawks are 19th. The Bears rank sixth.
Hundley has 17 more pass attempts than Trubisky despite starting two fewer games.
Do you like the Bears chances Sunday? What must the Bears do to win?