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Week 13 Game preview: Bears-Packers

He’s baaaaack

Dallas Cowboys v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Packers are coming to town and Aaron Rodgers has already declared that he will play.

As if it could be any other way, right?

Rodgers returns to Soldier Field, the first time since last year’s game when he infamously declared ownership over them.

Unfortunately, the player who is Chicago’s best chance at shutting Rodgers the hell up is still hurt and might not play.

And even if he does play, the Bears have so many injuries now that there isn’t much help for Justin Fields.

This is just how it feels like it's been in the Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers rivalry. Even when the Packers are down, the Bears can’t get their best shot at unseating them.

Green Bay Packers

SB Nation site: Acme Packing Company

Record: 4-8, third in the NFC North

Last week: 40-33 loss to the Eagles on Sunday Night Football

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, noon CT, FOX

Spread: According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Packers are 4.5-point favorites. The total is set at 43.5.

Bears all-time record against: 95-104-6

Historical meetings: The Bears and Packers have met three previous times on Dec. 4.

The only one of those that the Bears won though was in 2005.

The teams were going in opposite directions that year, with the 8-3 Bears hosting the 2-9 Packers.

Despite losing to Green Bay in third down conversions (0 for 10 for the Bears and 5 of 16 for Green Bay) and in total yards (190 for the Bears, 358 for Green Bay), the Bears dominated.

This was helped by four Packers turnovers. Brett Favre threw two picks and lost two fumbles on sacks from Tommie Harris and Charles Tillman.

The Bears offense could only manage to set up four Robbie Gould field goals, but Nathan Vasher intercepted Favre and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth.

The Bears won 19-7.

Last meeting: The Bears lost to Green Bay back in week two at Lambeau. Justin Fields rushed for Chicago’s only touchdown, while David Montgomery rushed for 122 yards.

The Bears lost 27-10.

Injury report: Green Bay had six players on their injury report Wednesday that were limited or did not participate.


  • LB De’Vondre Campbell (knee)
  • RB A.J. Dillon (quadricep)
  • RB Aaron Jones (shin/glute)

Did not participate

  • T David Bakhtiari (knee)
  • T Elgton Jenkins (knee)
  • FS Darnell Savage (foot)

Offense: The Packers come into this game ranked 23rd in points and 16th in yards.

Their passing and rushing offenses each rank 14th.

Aaron Rodgers (64.8 pct. cmp./2,682 yds./21 TD/9 INT) is expected to play, despite leaving the last game.

Much has been made of Rodgers’ targets this season. By the numbers, his top target has been TE Robert Tonyan (44 rec./362 yds./1 TD). Aaron Jones (43/304/4), Allen Lazard (40/553/5), Romeo Doubs (31/314/3), and Randall Cobb (26/349/1) are the next favorite targets.

But it’s second-round pick Christian Watson (22/353/6) who is coming in hottest. Watson started the season slow and missed a couple of games with injuries, but in his last three games, he’s exploded.

He has 12 receptions for 265 and six touchdowns in those three games.

On the ground, I shouldn’t need to remind you what Aaron Jones (155 att./821 yds./2 TD) and A.J. Dillon (125/531/2) did the last time they faced the Bears. In week two they combined for 193 yards rushing. Jones had a receiving and a rushing touchdown.

Defense: The Packers defense comes into the game ranked 22nd in points allowed and 16th in yards allowed.

Their passing defense ranks fourth in yards allowed and their rushing defense ranks 31st.

Top tacklers for Green Bay include Quay Walker (93 tkls./3 PD/2 FF/4 TFL), Adrian Amos (71 tkls./2 PD/4 TFL), Rasul Douglas (59 tkls./2 INT/1 sk./7 PD).

Top corner Jaire Alexander (3 INT/41 tkls/11 PD/2 TFL) is still roaming the secondary and LB De’Vondre Campbell (64 tkls/1 INT/6 TFL) might return after missing four games.

Up front, Preston Smith (5.5 sk/1 PD/7 TFL/13 QB hits) and Kenny Clark (3 sk/4 TFL/6 QB hits) are doing most of the damage now that Rashan Gary is out for the season.

Key matchups: For the Bears offense, it’s pretty simple. Run the ball. The Packers cannot stop the run.

Should Justin Fields be able to go, Luke Getsy should be salivating watching the Packers’ last outing against the Eagles. Jalen Hurts rushed for 157 yards and Miles Sanders added 143 more.

Use the rushing attack that has been so effective this year, and even in the first meeting, but avoid the mistakes that ended up costing in that game.

On defense, the Bears need to focus on slowing down Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion. And with a banged up secondary, they can’t let Christian Watson get deep on them, either.

Watson’s speed is dangerous and the Bears possibly being without JaquoThn Brisker and Jaylon Johnson again makes that match-up very scary.

Key stats

  • The Bears and Packers are tied for the most wins in NFL history with 786 entering this game.
  • The Packers have beat the Bears in eight straight meetings. It’s the longest such streak since the Packers won 10 in a row between 1994 and 1998.
  • One unit that the Bears might have an advantage in is special teams. The Bears rank 18th in special teams DVOA according to Football Outsiders, while the Packers rank 30th.
  • Trevis Gipson recorded both of his sacks this season against the Packers in week two.
  • The Packers blitz at the second-highest rate in the league.
  • The Bears have fewer offensive turnovers than the Packers on the season (15 to 17) and more takeaways on defense (15 to 12).

Can the Bears upset the Packers without Justin Fields? What do the Bears need to do in order to pull off the upset?