C.D. Angeli (@TundraVision): The Green Bay Packers, 1-2 and 0-1 in the division, have another early must-win early in the season against their border rival. The Bears looked sharp on Monday night, but will take a short week against the team that seems to know which buttons to push. The Packers haven’t been able to put it together, particularly on offense, but when Aaron Rodgers goes public with criticism of criticism, it usually means he’s gotten his head on straight. And not a moment too soon. R-E-L-A-X.
Packers 27 Bears 21
Jacob Westendorf (@JacobWestendorf): At some point the Packers offense has to get clicking, this game should be a step toward that. Chicago is very banged up in the secondary. Defensively Green Bay has improved dramatically since the first half of the Jets game, and they are facing another conventional offense. Look for Julius Peppers to have a big game and force Jay Cutler into a few mistakes so we can all say our favorite Charles Woodson phrase “Same Old Jay.”
Packers 21 Bears 17
John Rehor (@jrehor): If this game was being held at Lambeau Field, I would pick the Packers to win in a blowout. They need to get back on track, and there would be no better way to do it than against their old rivals. But the game isn’t at Lambeau Field-it’s at Soldier Field, and the Packers are coming in facing a Bears team which is playing very well right now. Sure, they still can’t stop the run. But the Packers suddenly can’t run the ball. I bet that is a major reason why the Packers head back to Green Bay 1-3, desperate for answers.
Bears 27 Packers 21
Kelly Hodgson-Kline (@ceallaigh_k): It will be a close matchup. There’s only a one game difference between the Bears at the top of the NFC North and the Packers that are holding up the basement. I expect a stronger showing by the Pack, even if they are heading into hostile Soldier Field. Matthews has already said he is playing, and I’m not sure that the the Bears line can hold back the new and improved Packers defense. Aaron Rodgers had a horrible game this past week, and hell hath no fury like an embarassed quarterback. Expect him to spread it around more now that everyone is well aware that he favors Jordy Nelson. And in closing, since it is Bears Week after all: Roses are red, violets are blue. Poems are hard. The Bears still suck!
Packers 35 Bears 27
Matt Bove (@RayRobert9): Aaron Rodgers has been almost automatic coming off losses. The Packers are desperate for this win and the Bears are coming off a short week. Despite winning two in a row the Bears are an overrated team. The Jets out gained them by 154 yards and it took an absolute melt down by Colin Kaepernick for the Bears to win that one. They cannot rely on turnovers against Rodgers, who may take too many sacks but does not throw picks. The Bears have injuries on the interior of their line, which will hurt against Datone Jones and Mike Daniels, both of whom are playing very well. Until Cutler beats the Packers in a big spot I will have to see it to believe it.
Packers 30, Bears 20
Richard Chang (@RichardMChang): This week was a scream. We got a little taste of what it’s like to be the “other 31” with a mortal quarterback. I don’t take the criticism of Rodgers personally, but I am offended by the way pundits tippy toe around what they think is causing his struggles in 2014. He’s been above criticism for ten years, nobody has a go-to soundbite for Rodgers struggling. I disagree with the people and pundits that want to point at Eddie Lacy, and Rodgers collarbone, and Olivia Munn, though. The two reasons why the Packers offense is struggling: 1. Rodgers is old 2. McCarthy draws up plays in crayon. I don’t blame Rodgers age as if he’s incapable of playing at a high level. I have no doubt that he will be an elite quarterback ’til the day he chooses to retire. But as seasoned as he is now, Rodgers has seen a lot of sh*t go down. He lost Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley to gruesome injuries sustained while attempting to catch passes he threw into coverage. Fellow Super Bowl winner, and fan favorite, Nick Collins was forced to choose retirement over spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Same for fellow Pac-12er, Johnathan Franklin; still at Lambeau, a walking, talking, laughing reminder of how close all these guys are to the end. How it can all be over in one snap.
So, no, I don’t think the collarbone is affecting him, but I do think health is at the forefront of his mind. How can it not be? Playing distracted sacrifices accuracy. When McCarthy can’t call a single play to get a receiver into space, it requires the same pinpoint accuracy
that Packers fans expect from twelve. Pinpoint. Like, on a dime. Those days are done. Not that he isn’t capable, but the other side gets paid
too. They watch tape. If Rodgers only deep threat is Jordy on a back-shoulder down the sideline, teams will just take that away. If the Packers revolving door of humpty-dumpties continue to fall, he won’t even have enough time in the pocket to test his accuracy with deep throws. He’ll get hit, sacked, knocked around – he’ll get in his head.
This week will be telling (like last week was telling) – a barometer of the Packers in their division. The Packers defense will take what Jay Cutler gives them (like they did against Matt Stafford) and the offense will convert the turnovers into points. As stubborn as he is, McCarthy isn’t going to drag his team down to 1-3 to prove a point. He’ll change things up enough to take Chicago by surprise and the Packers will win by at least thirty points.
Packers 37 Bears 3
Ross Uglem (@RossUglem):
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.