It’s time to speak to the enemy once more, and these time we had to delve into the moldiest and stinkiest of enemy dens to discuss our Beloved’s upcoming bout with the Green Bay Packers. We spoke with Jon Meerdink, who seems suspiciously level-headed for a Packers fan. Perhaps he’s writing about them under duress and decided to do the 5 questions as a way to reach out to other fan bases in a cry for help.
1) The Packers are known for their offense, but I actually think their defense is a pretty solid unit. Specifically, while they have a mediocre overall roster, their play is elevated by two legitimate studs in Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith. What should the Chicago Bears expect from the Packers defense this Sunday and what do you think is the best way to attack it?
Well, they shouldn’t expect either Jaire Alexander or Za’Darius Smith, since both are on IR. But generally, I’d expect a lot of coverage-heavy looks with light fronts, since that seems to be what Joe Barry has carried over from Brandon Staley’s defenses with the Rams. The Packers rely on linebacker De’Vondre Campbell to soak up a lot of coverage responsibilities in the middle, and it’s worked pretty well so far. But if you were going to attack the Packers defense, your best bet would be to pass, pass, and pass some more. With Alexander out, the Packers had to lean a lot more heavily on Kevin King (a questionable idea for a lot of reasons), but now he’s hurt too, so they’ve basically got a collection of no-names at corner outside of first round pick Eric Stokes. I’d test them as much as I could.
2) What happened to Week One Aaron Rodgers, and how do we get him back? I loved that guy.
I think he went back to vacation in Hawaii with Shailene Woodley or something. I’m not sure. Whoever that was on the field in Week 1 put together a passable impression of Aaron Rodgers from a looks perspective, but his play left a lot to be desired. Seriously, though, I don’t know what happened in Week 1. Rodgers has been pretty good since then, so I guess you just have to shrug and move on.
3) Speaking of Rodgers, how is Packerland processing the possibility of him moving on to another team? Is anyone eager for the Jordan Love era to start?
I think it’s out of people’s minds for the most part right now. John Madden always said winning is great deodorant, and the Packers have a lot of that to go around with a 4-1 start. Nobody’s really clamoring to see Jordan Love, but I think when the end finally comes, a lot of people will be ready to move on. The offseason was exhausting.
4) The Bears pass rush has started strong with an actually healthy Robert Quinn opening things up for Khalil Mack. How is the Packers offensive line holding up without Bakhtiari? Is Elgton Jenkins expected to be back at full health?
There have been some hiccups, but generally the line has held up pretty well. Yosh Nijman, a giant prospect who had virtually no game reps coming into this season, has filled in admirably at left tackle, even with Jenkins out. With Jenkins headed back toward something resembling health, Nijman will probably be back on the bench, which is probably a net positive. But as well as the line has played, it’s still going to be a question mark until everyone is back and healthy, and that’s not going to happen for a while yet.
5) I often finish with a question about mascots, and was planning to do so here so I could mention that Staley Da Bear has been nominated for the mascot hall of fame. I always thought the Packers mascot was a moldy cheese blob named Curdles, but my most recent google search tells me the Packers don’t have a mascot. Is that true? Why not, and why isn’t it Curdles?
The Packers don’t have a lot of luck with mascots, which is probably why they don’t have one currently. Curdles might be an upgrade over what they tried in the 1980s, when the NFL was pushing every team to have a mascot of some sort. Enter, I kid you not, Packy the Packer, a butcher-looking guy who hearkened back to the team’s connections to the meat packing industry in the early 20th century. They really tried to make the butcher thing happen, too. There were giveaways and everything. But it just never stuck, and I think we’re all lucky that it worked out that way. I’d root for an anthropomorphized cheese curd, though.
I’m hopeful that Jon will run my Curdles idea up the Packers chain of command and Staley will finally have a Packers mascot that he can appropriately consume and get diarrhea from.