Time to make this rivalry competitive again:
Every Bears fan knows the recent run versus the Packers and if they didn’t you can be assured our trolling neighbors to the north would be all too happy to remind you of it. It is time to take control of this rivalry and at the very least make it competitive and make it interesting again. It does appear the Bears are starting to close the gap between the two teams, however. It seems as though this regime is starting to crack the code. having Vic Fangio as your defensive coordinator should help as he’s been known as a little bit of a Packer slayer. Particularly in shutting Aaron Rodgers down. Well, as down as any one team can anyway.
While their record against the Packers since Bears General Manager and Head Coach John Fox took over is 1-3 versus their main division rival there are signs that might change a little. For one the Bears have been competitive with the Packers in all 4 games during this regimes tenure thus far. Even the 16 point loss against them last season in game one was more competitive than the score would indicate.
In the Bears first game against them during this regime a 31-23 loss, the Bears actually got more first downs in that game 25-21. They outgained them 402-322. They also converted 11 out of 17 third downs to the Packers 6 out of 10. They were even 2-3 on fourth down. They also out possessioned them 31:52-28:08.
We know about the Bears 17-13 win on Thanksgiving of 2015. That was a Fangio special where he contained the Packers offense and Rodgers by taking away his best routes flooding zones where he anticipated them to throw into.
The stats were overwhelming in favor of the Packers in their third meeting and first of 2016 where the possession battle was a whopping 39:36-20:24. Brian Hoyer who took over for an injured Jay Cutler was ineffective and got injured and on came the Matt Barkley era where he stunk up the joint with an 18.3 QBR. I’m not a QBR guy, but that number kind of gets your attention. In spite of that, the Bears went into that game’s fourth quarter down only 3 points 13-10 and had a shot at winning it, but the Packers put it away in the fourth with 13 unanswered points with 2 touchdowns and an extra point missed by Mason Crosby. Packers also had a game killing drive that took them to the 5:39 mark of the game after the Packers got the ball with 14:08 left in the 4th quarter. That drive was a big reason for the tilt in time of possession favoring the Packers. Barkley got intercepted on the Bears next drive and a victory formation later Packers won.
In the very latest game between these two, the Bears had tied the score 27-27 with only 0:31 left in the game and the Packers facing a 3rd and 11 from their own 26-yard line. Then, the inexplicable happened. Fangio for some unthinkable reason decided to play Quarters coverage instead of going to a two-man shell coverage with two rookie defensive backs in the form of Cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and Safety Deon Bush where they had a miscommunication on the play and allowed a 60-yard completion that ended up at the Bears 14 yard line. One spike to clock it and field goal later the Packers walk off with the win at Soldier Field.
Bears have figured out how to be in games against the Packers now they have to learn how to close the deal. This will go a long way towards this team controlling the division and stacking some postseason appearances together thus improving their chances of getting the Lombardi trophy or dare I say multiple titles.
Bears Front 7 licking their chops:
The Packers offensive line is devastated with injuries and is likely going to have both of their starting Offensive Tackles out for this game tonight. After manhandling the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line this appears to be a drubbing coming to the Packers tonight. I see no way the Packers contain the Bears pass rush tonight nor see them running with any significance. Offense will be hard to come by for the Packers one would think, However, they do have Aaron Rodgers and a great offensive mind in Mike McCarthy and a great set of weapons at their disposal so you would think the Packers will script something that will make them at the very least competitive against the Bears defense. The Bears will have the decided advantage with this matchup and we’ll see if they can take advantage. This should be Leonard Floyd’s coming out party.
Glennon’s Last Stand?
The only shot I see (and it’s actually a pretty good one) is their defense getting many turnovers versus the Bears defense and Mike Glennon. Thus far fumbles and interceptions have been easy to come by playing the Bears early in the 2017season. As we all know by now Dom Capers can dial up some very exotic blitz packages that have been extremely successful against the Bears since his hire as Packers Defensive Coordinator. So there is a very good chance this may be Glennon’s last appearance as Bears starting Quarterback. Especially if he has a dreadful performance and how can anyone think otherwise after watching his play the first three weeks of this season. If the Bears can somehow repeat their performance against the Steelers in the running game they may take the game out of Glennon’s hands and thus out of harm’s way at the same time. Just don’t fumble. Jordan Howard’s shoulder may be a factor. You know the Packers will be attacking his injured shoulder tonight to try and generate a fumble and maybe knock him out of the game.
Can The Bears Take Advantage Of Packers Injury Woes?
The Packers currently have starting Offensive Tackles David Bakhitiari and Brian Bulaga listed as Doubtful and Defensive back Davon House is Out for the game. Also, Linebacker Nick Perry and Defensive Tackle Mike Daniels are questionable. 5 pretty important pieces to their success. The Bears have a prime opportunity to win this game at Lambeau Field where they have had a horrendous time in the past 20 years. Can they take advantage? Good teams do and if they indeed win the Bears can actually be called a good team without fear of ridicule after the first 4 weeks are in the books. 4 games most experts and fans alike had the Bears going 0-4 in.
Prediction: Bears 23 Packers 13
I see no way the Bears try and get into a shootout with Glennon versus Rodgers. I also see them dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball both stopping and producing offensively in the run game. I also see Rodgers being harassed by the Bears without blitzing thus leaving Fangio with many options to play multiple coverages and flooding the intermediate zones thus frustrating Rodgers having to take his check downs and away from most of his primary reads. If the Bears secondary can play like it has the first three games I see that leading to a few hits, hurries and sacks on Rodgers. The Bears take advantage of the Packers injuries and win this one 1960’s style with suffocating defense, a power run game, and sound special teams for the 10 point upset.