It was not long after the loss to the Lions that I had to record “From the Benches” with my co-hosts Jacob Westendorf and Ryan Hillesland. I was not in a great mood. I was sick. The team played terrible. Everything that I had predicted in last week’s Football Friday had basically gone awry. It appeared as if the empire was crumbling. It appeared as if maybe the Packers’ stranglehold on the NFC North had passed us by.
So I picked the Bears. It wasn’t really fair. I mean we record every Sunday night so that we can give the people what they want right away on Monday morning. I’ve always considered myself a very even-keeled and optimistic fan. The stink of the loss to the Lions, and moreover the stink of the way that the team played made me pick the BEARS. Over the PACKERS.
We’re going to find out a lot on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers owns the Bears. He owns the Bears like honestly he has owned every other team in this division. He almost never loses in Soldier field. We’ve won in Soldier field in each of the last 3 seasons. The Packers have also been a very good road team since the 2009 season. I’ll continue to believe a lot of the things that I write here if the Packers are able to beat a team that quite frankly isn’t as good as they are on Sunday. If they lose, and if they lose because of the offense and fall to 1-3, I’m really going to be concerned.
Why the Packers Will Win- they are still better than the Chicago Bears. Offensively the teams might be a wash. Neither team has a great offensive line. Neither team has a 3rd wide receiver they can count on. Both teams have a stud running back that isn’t getting it done yet this season. The difference in this game and the difference in the Bears/Packers Series since about 1992 is that the Packers have a better quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is better than Jay Cutler. Always has been always will be.
Where the Packers really have a chance to win this game is defensively. The Bears superstar wide receivers are absolutely not at 100%. The Bears can’t really run a lot of the misdirection or option stuff that gives Green Bay trouble. The Bears defense is a different story. They struggle against the run, but they struggle against teams that run the ball conventionally, much like the Green Bay Packers run the ball. They don’t really have the horses to stop the Packers passing attack either. If the offense can get going even to an average output (for them) of 27 or 28 points, I expect the defense to win the game for the Packers (you heard me).
Why the Bears Will Win- the Green Bay Packers are playing like shit. There is no question about it. They haven’t come close to putting a defense-offense-special teams game together, regardless of opponent. The defense has been good, but not good enough to win football games. That was never the design of this team, though. The defense was never supposed to win the Packers any games, they were going to try keep them from losing big contests.
There is certainly a way Chicago can win this game. The defense could falter. Jeffery and Forte could have enough success for the Bears to score more than 24 points. The Packers could struggle offensively. If Green Bay can’t run the ball effectively and the Bears stay in a two-high safety look, Green Bay will struggle to get the vertical passing game going. If Rodgers and the coaching staff don’t adjust and continue to stare at Jordy Nelson they’re not going to win.
At full strength, the Bears would be a match for the Green Bay Packers, there’s no question about it. The way that they are beat up now, the Packers are going to need to play badly and beat themselves for Chicago to win.
Fantasy Packer to Start- Eddie Lacy- not only am I suggesting that you need to start Eddie Lacy, but I would suggest that it’s time to acquire Eddie Lacy. The Packers have gone through a stretch where they have faced, in my opinion, 3 of the best 5 or 6 run defenses in the entire NFL. I have some reservations right now about the Packers ability to run block, but I certainly still believe in Eddie Lacy as a special player. I think he breaks out of his funk against the Bears awful run defense.
Fantasy Packer to Sit– all receivers besides Jordy and Randall. I don’t think there’s any way to trust any of the Packers’ other receivers.
Bottom Line- I have fully reversed course. I think that the Packers are going to win the game. Looking at the matchup it’s just hard to see Chicago getting a win. As I wrote last season before the NFC North Championship game in Chicago, Green Bay just has a better team. I can’t remember the last time that Aaron Rodgers lost two games in a row, and I don’t believe it’s going to be on Sunday. Packers 28 Bears 24