Five Questions: Packers set to meet the Bears

Dec 18, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes the ball against Chicago Bears free safety Adrian Amos (38) during the second half at Soldier Field. Green Bay defeats Chicago 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

As the Packers prepare to take on their bitter arch rivals, many questions abound for this preseason Super Bowl favorite. These matchups never go as planned, but it can be guaranteed that neither team is looking past this game. The winner picks up a crucial win in the NFC North, a division that may be tougher than expected.

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  1. Can the Bears take advantage of the thin Packers’ offensive line? With the starting tackles, Bulaga and Bakhtiari, both battling injuries, and their backups, Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy both injured, the depth of the O-line will be tested. New signee Ulrick John may see action if the Bears get to Rodgers as frequently as the Bengals did.
  2. Will McCarthy have a revised plan for the running game? While Ty Montgomery has performed fearlessly so far, the Packers need the running game to provide an element of surprise. Jamaal Williams may be ready to provide that home-run threat that has been missing from the run game. The last time Montgomery ran for 100 yards was his 162 against the Bears in Week 15 of 2016, so the Packers will hope history repeats.
  3. How much will punter Justin Vogel and kicker Mason Crosby miss long snapper Brett Goode? Goode was brought back by the Packers during training camp when it became obvious he was superior to any others available. Taybor Pepper, cut after minicamp by the Packers, hopes to make the leap from stocking shelves to NFL starter, much like Kurt Warner did.
  4. Was Josh Jones a pleasant surprise against the Bengals, or is he the next Nick Collins? Jones compiled a stat line that makes fantasy players drool, but repeating that kind of success is never easy in the NFL. Double-digit tackles and multiple-turnover and -sack games are the goal of every defender. Jones made the “Nitro” package explosive.
  5. Will Jordan Howard feast on the Packers’ defense? The presence or absence of Mike Daniels will be the main answer to this question. With a healthy Daniels and Kenny Clark shoring up the middle, the tackling of Blake Martinez and Morgan Burnett should keep the rushing game under control, forcing the Bears to pass.
Fantasy picks for this game:

Start: Jordan Howard (Bears) and Ty Montgomery (Packers).

Sit: Martellus Bennett (Packers) and Kendall Wright (Bears)

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