Early Bird Breakdown Week 15 – Packers @ Bears
Hello and welcome back to Early Bird Breakdown. It’s week fifteen of the regular season for the Packers. Before diving into the game, let’s look at the recap from last week.
Last week Green Bay’s defense took what was given and beat down the Seahawks. Seattle’s very poor offensive line was manhandled by the Packers front and inaccurate throws from Russell Wilson combined with multiple receivers bouncing the ball of their hands and face led to five interceptions. On the otherside, Green Bay’s offense was efficient and found openings to score, but when you dominate the turnover battle it is almost impossible to lose as Green Bay won it 38-10.
Packers’ Offense vs Bears’ Defense:
Last time these two teams faced the Packers were able to move the ball down the field and score pretty easily through the air. Despite Chicago’s defense playing much better now than before, the Packers still have the edge because the Bears while schemed well are still missing enough talent to contain Green Bay’s offense. Chicago’s first round pick, Leonard Floyd, who got his first career sack against Rodgers back on week five has been on a hot streak and will be the player that coach Mike McCarthy has to be prepared for. While the offensive line has played good as of late, Aaron Rodgers calf injury will vastly limit his maneuverability and Green Bay will need to use quick routes to prevent a good Chicago pass rush from getting sacks.
Packers’ Defense vs Bears’ Offense:
For the brief period of time Chicago gave Green Bay issues in week five they had a completely different quarterback. Flash back to then, and they had Brian Hoyer playing really efficient ball then he went down and the Packers feasted on Matt Barkley. Recently however things have been on an upswing for Barkley. Since week eleven, Matt Barkley has been promoted to the full starting quarterback above Hoyer and Cutler, and outside of his first game has looked pretty good. However, until he proves it consistently this is a player Green Bay should be able to take advantage of once again. He does not have a particularly strong arm and thus is more of a timing passer. The issues with the Packers’ secondary is losing to big plays over the top, and with Chicago’s wide receiver injuries and their quarterback’s lack of arm strength, the Bears are not in a good position to capitalize on the Packers’ weaknesses.
Also, aside from Nick Perry being ruled out this is about as healthy as the defense has been in weeks. While wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is still a question for the defense that they do not have a true answer to, Barkley is unlikely to get him the ball enough to make it matter.
While it will be a touch warmer down in Chicago than Green Bay, temperatures are expected to be around 5 degrees at kickoff.
No disrespect for the Bears who’s defense has climbed up to sixth best in the NFL in total defense, but this one should be a pretty easy win for the Packers. Matt Barkley is not a good enough quarterback to beat the Packers defensively and will most likely throw costly mistakes that Aaron Rodgers will capitalize on. It is worth noting that Rodgers’ hamstring combined with the Bears’ strong pass rush will most likely keep the game close. But in a close game Rodgers will outshine Barkley, and the Packers will win this one 27-14.As always, go Pack go! Stu Weis -Journalism graduate 2012, Carroll University