Last I checked the line, the Green Bay Packers were favored by 8.5 points over the visiting Chicago Bears according to some sportsbooks. The Bears opened up as a 7.5 point underdog earlier this week per most lines, and with the way the Bears have struggled to score that number did seem a bit small.
The Bears haven’t tallied more than 2 offensive touchdowns in a single game since week three, while the Packers are third in the league in scoring at 30.8 points per game. Chicago’s defense should be able to slow Green Bay down a little bit, but does anyone really expect the Bears offense to rack up enough points to win?
The Bears will be looking to shock the world on Sunday night.
We’ve seen strange things happen this year already, so perhaps we’re in for something special.
I asked some of our our staff to give their keys for the Bears to pull off the upset at Lambeau and here’s what they had to say.
I benched myself from our “Keys to the Game” roundtable in week 10, because so far this year the Bears have done the opposite of what I’ve suggested, to varying degrees of
success failure. I figured if I say the Bears offense should do nothing, then they’ll do something just to show me what’s what.
Look at the Packers losses and tell me what stands out to you. If you ask me, it’s Ronald Jones taking 23 carries for 113 yards. It’s Dalvin Cook with 30 (THIRTY!!) carries for 163 yards and 3 TDs. It’s the Colts backfield committee gaining 140 yards on 37 rushing attempts. The formula is there. Run the ball down their dairy-lined throats.
On defense, don’t get discouraged when the Packers score on their opening possession. They do that. A lot. Just wait for the turnover opportunity and score to let some pressure off your offense.
On offense: Do something positive. And no, positively sucking is not what I’m talking about.
On defense: This might be a game where Robert Quinn decides to, you know, actually play?
On offense: While I wish I could say something like “get the ball out quick and stress their defensive backs, their back 7 is held up by their front 4”, the Bears’ offense has shown it can’t handle actual strategy over he last few weeks. With that in mind, all I can say is this: Execute the called plays. Know your assignments. Get to your spot on time. Try not to get the QB (either player) killed.
On defense: Hang on for dear life. Davante Adams is as good as they come and the Packers will be looking to “get right” this week after a tough loss to the Colts so I imagine they’ll come out swinging both in the air and on the ground. The Bears’ defense has been great at stopping the run recently, but if their pass rush can’t get home on Rodgers I expect plenty of Bears fans will go to bed early... especially since allowing 17+ points is a death knell lately.
On special teams: Nothing to whine about, just catch the punts.
I’ll keep this short: Maybe Aaron Rodgers, Za’Darius Smith, and Jaire Alexander all simultaneously pull a hamstring somehow.
Then the Bears can, maybe, keep it close.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter:
Not only can the Bears beat the Packers, they’re due for a win.
Offense: Be physical. And I mean, physical. The Packers are 3-3 in the last six games, with those three losses coming as a result of being punched in the mouth. If you so much as attempt to run the ball against their defense, they will back down, and their pass rush is negated quickly. They don’t like contact, they don’t like being hit, they don’t even like being breathed on. This whole Green Bay Packers team is soft. Just punch them (figuratively speaking) and don’t even think about trying to out-match Aaron Rodgers in an arial dogfight.
Defense: Attack Aaron Rodgers, and stop being afraid on third downs. Again, I said they’re a soft football team, I meant that. You send the dogs in on blitzes and stunts, and their O-line will crumple. Their run game is more finess than physical, sit on it and force Aaron Rodgers to accept minimal gains. This secondary can take care of their receivers, the front seven just needs to win their matchups.
Special Teams: Execute flawlessly. Make all field goal attempts, protect the ball on kick and punt returns, and ensure you pin the Packers deep in any punting situation.
These refs better be watched closely by the NFL league office this Sunday night. I’m sick and tired of B.S. calls going Green Bay’s way in this rivalry.
The biggest key is to not reveal who will be the starting QB before the game. Without knowing the QB, the Packers defense will be unable to prepare for Chicago’s O and may opt to stuff-up on leftover turkey snacks instead. This may just be the competitive advantage the Bears need to kick-start their beleaguered offense and drop a top-25-type bomb of nigh-competence on the unsuspecting Pack. Do that, and they’ll have a Grizzly’s chance in a waterfall of cleaning the poop off their face and looking like a respectable football operation again.
Will Robinson II:
Offense: Hope for a defensive touchdown or two? Alright. The O-line looked not terrible (not good, but not terrible) against the Vikings, so get David Montgomery going. Trubisky (assuming he starts), can move. So move him. Cut the field in half, simplify his reads. Short routes and play action should be the order of the day. Utilize Cole Kmet. He can catch the ball, and he’s the best blocking TE we’ve got. Keep the defense off your QB as best you can while giving him outlets. It’s going to be an uphill battle against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense regardless. Don’t make it any easier on them than you have to.
Defense: Hit Rodgers early, and often (or at least get in his face to avoid ticky tacky flags). You can disrupt this offense with pressure (I mean, that’s generally true of most teams, but especially here). The front seven has been improved against the run of late, keep that up. Don’t let Aaron Jones get going. Get. Turnovers. The offense is going to need all the help it can get, so give them short fields, and give them points if possible. Their entire receiving corps is nursing some kind of injury, so use that advantage to keep tight pressure, jump routes, and knock balls out.
Special Teams: Another TD return would be nice. I’ll take any chance to put points on the board, because god knows the offense can’t be trusted to.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.:
I’ll echo what some of my colleagues said above; to beat the Packers you need to be physical with them and run the ball. Unfortunately the Bears aren’t built like that, but on Sunday night they’ll need to figure out their most physical lineup and stick with it. The Packers love playing dime and nickel defense and they’ll stay in those until you force them to go back to their base. Chicago needs slow the game down by running the ball. They need to stay out of 3 and 4 receiver sets and play with a second tight end and/or a fullback. They also need to identify where defensive lineman Kenny Clark is and double him when applicable, because he’s quite capable of wrecking things himself.
What are some of your keys for the Bears to get the W?