Sunday Night PrimeTime; NFC North Match Made in Heaven

I hope dude steps on a Lego so he can feel the pain I felt last week.

Dramatic? Me? NeVeR.

You know what is dramatic though?

This. I can almost picture the exact type of people who would send a PROFESSIONAL football player death threats after a bad game.

You know what? Iโ€™m not sure why Iโ€™m telling yโ€™all this like anyone who is wise enough to read MY articles would do something as absurd as this. With that, I digress.

A Series of (Potentially) Fortunate Circumstances

The Packers (7-3) are clearly coming off of a tough overtime loss last week, adding more fuel to the fire for this week’s game against the Bears (5-5), who prior to the bye last week, lost four games in a row. Mitch Trubisky will also be starting for Chicago after Nick Foles suffered an injury during week 10.

ALSO,

ALSO (x2) –

Add to the fact that this is a NFC North matchup game. PRIMETIME NFC North matchup. This is what I live for.

This will be the 201st Packers/Bears matchup; and out of the last 12 games held at Lambeau Field, Chicago has lost 10 of those.

Aaron Rodgers has gone 18-5 against the Bears. Heโ€™s thrown 47 touchdowns and racked up 5,562 yards through the air.

Saw a headline today that I felt was relevant and explains a lot without having to say much.

The Green Bay Packers offense (via Pro Football Focus), is one of the highest-graded offenses in the NFL, with only the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and Kansas City Chiefs ahead of them. Not a bad group to be in close company with.

Outside of the Falcons game, the Bears offense hasnโ€™t been significantly better with Foles at the helm. The Bears have scored 20 or more points just three times in seven games, and the offense has scored four total touchdowns during a four-game losing streak.

No team has succeeded LESS than the Bears have in the red zone, and only ONE team has been worse at converting third downs.

The Chicago O-Line has played a huge part in the fact that Nick Foles stats have not been very glamourous. They’ve allowed 14 sacks in the last 4 games. No wonder Foles is getting so banged up.

This could turn into a beautiful thing for the Packers defensive line if they decide to make an appearance. This year, they’re about average when it comes to sacks. If the stars align for this primetime Sunday Night Football game, and hopefully, we can anticipate a big game defensively from both Za’Darius and Preston Smith.

Speaking of our defense, I’m not going to say much, but I will share this. I heard a commentator say once, “I’d like to tell ya I know what Green Bay’s doing on defense, but I just don’t.”

Me.

If we were to flip the switch, the Bears defense is the HIGHEST-ranked when it comes to red zone TD rate, along with being No.1 on 3rd down defense. Chicago has been able to hold teams to an 85.7 rating, and 6.8 YPA.

Right tackle Billy Turner is going to see plenty of Khalil Mack, and although Corey Linsley (back) might play, Akiem Hicks is going to be a big challenge inside. This might be the best front the Packers play all year.

The old me would admit that I was worried after seeing that 3rd down defense stat, but contrary to the first few weeks, Green Bay now has the 4th best 3rd down conversion rate. Packers offense also has a 73.7% red zone TD rate.

Khalil Mack does scare me though. I feel like he’s just one of those dudes that lurks in the back of your nightmares and stuff. Idk.

Battles will be had. There’s no doubt.

I’m not concerned about losing a battle or two whether that be defensive mistakes, a few sloppy plays here and there, or GOD FORBID, maybe a fumble. You can still win the war without winning every battle.

Injury Reserve

Of the 21 players listed by the Green Bay Packers on their Week 12 injury report, only six were given official injury designations on the final injury report released Friday.

The Packers have listed receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Achilles), cornerback Kevin King (Achilles) and center Corey Linsley as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. Valdes-Scantling and King both were added to the injury report following Thursday’s padded practice.

Cornerback Josh Jackson (concussion), running back Tyler Ervin (wrist/ribs) and Equanimeous St. Brown (knee) also are questionable.

MVS was the only non-participant during practice on Friday, but everyone is hopeful that he will play Sunday night.

Prediction

New week, new prediction, same winning mentality.

27-17.

Let me reiterate. Packers vs. Bears, NFC North rivalry, Sunday Night PRIMETIME? I mean come on. Let’s have ourselves a night. That’s something to toast too.

Cheers.

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Samantha is a Saint Leo University graduate from Appleton, WI (the 920!). You can follow her on twitter at @Sam_Milliren.

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