3 Things for the Packers to Win
1. Execute offensively. Despite the substantial loss of Jordy Nelson to injury the Green Bay Packers are expected to be a potent offense led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers owns the Bears and as long as the Packers’ offense doesn’t turn the ball over and let Chicago hang around, Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and of course Rodgers should all have big games as they light up the scoreboard at Soldier Field.
2. Score touchdowns, avoid settling for field goal attempts. Considering how poor the Bears’ defense was a season ago holding the Packers to field goal attempts can be likened to forcing a punt to a certain extent. Six beats three and the sooner the Packers can make Chicago one dimensional the more likely the Packers get out of town with a “W.”
3. Speaking of one dimensional, dare Jay Cutler to beat you. Cutler is “Jekyll and Hyde” incarnate and Alshon Jeffery won’t be 100%. Crowd the line of scrimmage, load up the box and make Matt Forte an after thought.
3 Things for the Bears to Win
1. Jay Cutler must be spectacular. Cutler needs to have one of the two or three best games of his career and that looks like ZERO turnovers and 3-4 touchdowns with a completion percentage north of 70%. Cutler is 1-11 in his career versus Green Bay so the odds are certainly against him. But the only thing he has to lose is another game to the Packers.
2. The new look Chicago Bears defense must slow down the Packers’ offense. Switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 base typically takes a couple of seasons to implement in terms of personnel and familiarity but the Bears don’t have that luxury. If they bend but don’t break, force some field goals instead of allowing touchdowns and create a turnover or two they will give themselves a shot.
3. Pressure Aaron Rodgers. It’s certainly easier said then done but that is and will always be the great equalizer when facing an elite quarterback. We saw what standing up in a 3-4 did for Julius Peppers in Green Bay. Perhaps Jared Allen takes to the position change as well. He and free agent acquisition Pernell McPhee formerly of the Baltimore Ravens will have to live in the Packers’ backfield to disrupt the Packers’ offensive onslaught.
What to watch for…
Time of possession. A lot has to go right for the Bears to win but possessing the football is paramount. The Bears defense must play inspired but the best way to defend Rodgers and company is to keep them off the field.
Front office says…
The Green Bay Packers win.