No team has beaten the Chicago Bears more in the regular season than the Green Bay Packers, and no team has more wins against the Packers than do the Bears. This is one of the longest and more storied rivalries in all of professional sports, and while it’s no where near as bloodthirsty as it has been in the past — nor as competitive — these two teams still get fired up to face each other.
Our fans, and those that don the headwear made of cheese, make a huge deal out of the rivalry, and the players and coaches all feel that passion.
These two teams meet again for the 201st time in the regular season on Sunday in Chicago, and here are WCG’s keys for the Bears to notch their 95th victory.
Ken Mitchell: The Packers, simply put, are not a very good defensive football team. Forget the “experts rankings” they’ve been pushed around, hard, by some iffy offenses. They are 19th in points allowed, and allowing 24+ PPG, a full point higher than last year’s not-very-good defense. The Bears should be able to run on them, and keeping the ball out of Aaron Rodgers hands is key.
On defense the key is pressure. Not just rushing the quarterback, but also in coverage. Jaylon Johnson has to keep Devante Adams from racking up massive yardage.
ECD: On offense keep it balanced, yet don’t be afraid to let Justin Fields cut it loose. The Packers defense isn’t particularly great and they’re missing their best players. They’re especially bad against the run, which plays to the Bears’ strengths.
Defensively, same as before. Light Aaron Rodgers up. He can’t lob bombs to Davante Adam’s if he’s on his back. The Bears front seven should overwhelm the Packers O-line. Beat them like a piñata.
In the third phase, do your jobs. Make the kicks. Punt deep and pin their returners against their goalline. Force them to take risks and possibly cough up the ball.
Jack Salo: It’s incumbent on Justin Fields to connect on his deep shots in this game, because the Bears could fall behind early. If they waste the golden opportunities, they’re surrendering to a defense which doesn’t have enough healthy talent to be scary on paper. The Packers will focus on keeping Mooney and Robinson covered over the middle, so Kmet will need to be involved on sideline throws, and Damien Williams will need to make defenders miss after catching balls out of the backfield.
The Bears’ defense needs to have a very short memory, because there will be plays where Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, and Aaron Jones get their numbers. The secondary can’t let a long catch turn into a touchdown just because they’re consumed by the fact the guy was open. Hold the Packers to field goals, play all four quarters, and trust the offense can do enough at the end to pull off the upset.
Patti Curl: On offense give me Mooney, Goodwin, Perriman, and Jakeem Grant 4 verts every play. On Defense just get one stop.
T.J. Starman: I’ll let you in on a little-known secret; the Packers go as Aaron Rodgers goes. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Rodgers will be looking to pick apart the Bears secondary all day and we’ve seen what he’s done to Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Buster Skrine, and others in recent years… what do you think he’s capable of doing to Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley? The Bears front seven will have to keep up their impressive start and get Rodgers under pressure from the beginning and refuse to let him settle into MVP form.
The bend-but-don’t-break Desai style of defense has to keep the cheeseheads out of the end zone in this one. If they can do that, they’ll keep the door open for Fields and the offense to grit and grind out another victory under Bill Lazor’s direction. It very well may be Fields’ natural arm talent that is the difference in this matchup compared to the Trubisky years. For my own sanity, let’s hope it is.
Sam Householder: The Packers, for all the fear they instill in myself and others, aren’t actually that fearsome right now. Outside of Devante Adams and Aaron Jones there aren’t a lot of weapons for Aaron Rodgers. So shut those guys down and pressure Rodgers and the Green Bay offense will have big issues. The defense is very banged up and also pretty average, so utilizing the running game that the Bears have found will be key to setting up play action and letting Justin Fields take downfield shots.
Josh Sunderbruch: The Bears must make themselves aware of their own weaknesses, as well as those of their opponents. The good teams try to cover theirs up. The great ones use theirs. They must use their weakness.
Robert Zeglinski: My urging to Matt Nagy and the fellas is simple.
Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have on Sunday afternoon, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here.
One game; if you played the Packers ten times, they might win nine. But not this game, not on Sunday. On Sunday, you cover them and don’t lose ground. On Sunday, you block and tackle them, and lock them down because you can. On Sunday, you are the greatest football team in the world.
You were born to be football players—every one of you, and you were meant to be there, on Sunday anyway. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great team the Milwaukeeans have. Screw ‘em.
This is your time. Now go out there and take it!
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: The Bears don’t have a chance if Aaron Rodgers is on the field doing what he always does, so this has to be a third week in a row with a heavy does of the run while chewing up the clock. Keep Rodgers and Adams and Jones on the sideline, while letting Herbert and Williams pound away at Green Bay’s defense. Test Green Bay’s edges with some read/options from Fields, mix in plenty of play action, and don’t be afraid to dial up a few deep shots. The Packers secondary is giving up a lot of yards, so if they catch them in off coverage, Fields has to be able to change the play to a quick hitting pass.
The Bears need to continue getting after quarterbacks, and they’ll need to do it with their front four winning their one on one battles. They can’t take a chance and blitz Rodgers, because he’s just too good, but I would like to see Desai scheme up some pressure looks while still dropping seven into coverage.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think the Bears need to do to pick up the win on Sunday?