“It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile; winning is winning.” The Green Bay Packers are depleted due to injuries, most recently their offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga who is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Chicago Bears will need to go at them full force in order to defeat their longtime division rival in Soldier Field on Sunday and not dial it down what so ever. The Bears have also been dealing with many injuries as well. Just this week we saw Danny Trevathan and Dion Simms missing practice on Wednesday. Trevathan suffered a calf injury last game against the Saints and is still trying to get back to full health. Simms has an undisclosed illness, so hopefully, he will be ready to go on Sunday. If he is not, then we will see a healthy dose of Adam Shaheen and this could be the perfect opportunity for him to show that he is still deserving of his 2nd round tender.
Brett Hundley will be the starting quarterback this Sunday for the Packers unless any foreseen circumstances arise, and he has not been the ideal replacement for Rodgers thus far. Over the past two games, Hundley has a completion percentage of 58.8% for 489 yards, 1 TD, and 4 interceptions. Vic Fangio should focus on putting as much pressure as possible on Hundley in order to get him rattled enough to throw even more interceptions, bad throws, and incompletions. With the way this Bears defense has been playing as of late, I would not be surprised if they ended the game with at least 4 sacks and 2 interceptions; however, the most important aspect of forcing turnovers is turning them into points.
The Packers will definitely try to run their offense the same way the Bears have run theirs, through the running game. Both Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones should have ample opportunities to shine as they look to keep the ball out of Hundley’s hands as often as possible or have him focus on quick short passes. Jordy Nelson and company should not be too much of an issue to deal with this week but never underestimate your opponent.
Not so surprisingly, news broke this week that the Packers have cut former Bears tight end, Martellus Bennett. That will be one less weapon that the Bears defense will have to worry about. Bennett might not be the best off the field teammate but when he is on the field he is a game changer who needs to constantly be accounted for.
Jordan Howard has been on an absolute tear this season proving to everyone that his Pro Bowl rookie season was not a fluke. Howard even became the fastest Bears running back to rush for ten 100-yard games. It took him 23 games to accomplish this when it took the great Walter Payton 28 games. Howard has been the most impressive Bears offensive player in the last few years if not the decade. Jordan Howard is on track to at least match his rushing yardage output from last year and has almost as many TD’s as last year as well. Howard has been the ultimate bell cow running back for this struggling Bear’s offense. Howard will look to continue his greatness against this Packers defense.
Mitchell Trubisky should hopefully get an opportunity to open up the passing game a little more and throw the ball downfield. Keep in mind, everyone watching the game, including the Packers are expecting the Bears to run the ball almost every down. This might just be the way to throw off their rivals. With the addition of Dontrelle Inman, Markus Wheaton returning, and Kendall Wright’s consistent play, the Bears passing game might take some much-needed strides forward this week. If the Bears can pull off this win at home they will be in a prime position to make a playoff run, especially since the toughest part of their schedule is past them. The Bears are not only favored to win for the first time this season, but this will mark their first time being favored to win over the Packers since 2008.
Bears – 24
Packers – 13