By Bill Tewes, Mark Prott, & Jim Boyce
The Packers looked atrocious at home against Dallas, failing to make many impact plays on defense while the offense sputtered and put the ball on the ground. The team has only four days to try and get better before the division rival Bears come to town.
PACKERS 20 BEARS 16
It’s hard to pick the Packers with any confidence after what we witnessed Sunday. Aaron Rodgers looks lost, as if he is not processing things on a football field as quickly as he used to. The Packers had to trade for Knile Davis out of desperation at RB, and are likely to use WR’s in the backfield often. It’s high time we stop predicting games under the assumption that the Packers offense can return to the form of several seasons ago, and start predicting them based on what we have seen consistently for the last calendar year. Thus I think it will be a struggle for the Packers to put points on the board.
The Bears offense does not really scare anyone, but the Packers are without their top three cornerbacks. Alshon Jeffrey is still a pretty good WR last I checked and might be able to get open at will. At least the run defense should get back to being productive after being run over by Dallas.
I’m predicting Green Bay to win this game, but that is more of a reflection on how poorly the Bears have played than it is on any confidence I have in Green Bay putting together a complete performance.
PACKERS 24 BEARS 10
The Packers will be without their top two running backs and have Knile Davis and freshly activated practice squad running back Don Jackson on the active roster. I touched on the fact that the Packers should have activated Jackson for the Dallas game to compliment an already injured Eddie Lacy. The run game has definitely taken a major step back, but McCarthy and company will look to use a large committee approach, mixing in Davis, Jackson, Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb.
Montgomery is the catalyst if Green Bay plans on scoring. The short pass game worked really well with Montgomery coming out of the backfield, and his body is better suited for running back anyway. Both Montgomery and Jackson took first team reps today and we well know that McCarthy will try to strike a solid balance in order to take pressure off a struggling Aaron Rodgers.
Both teams are incredibly banged up with the Packers suffering the worst on the injury front (out seven, including top three corners). Chicago is expected to be without former Packers guard Josh Sitton and their line is absolutely terrible to begin with. Green Bay’s defensive line should have plenty of opportunities to feast on a very average Brian Hoyer Thursday night. The D-Line will need to step up and cover for what is expected to be a sub par secondary. If Mike Daniels and company can get to Hoyer on a consistent basis and contain the run game, it is going to be a nightmare game for Chicago. If they do not get pressure on Hoyer, Alshon Jeffrey could go off and take advantage of Green Bay’s depleted secondary.
I have Green Bay winning this game convincingly, as I cannot fathom Aaron Rodgers having another bad game, especially against the Bears and a game which is a must win for this squad. I’m already having flashbacks to last year’s Bears game, but I think we bring a better game plan and cover for our inadequacies. I’m predicting a defensive score and Ty Montgomery being the difference maker.
PACKERS 27 BEARS 21
The Packers are proving to be a difficult forecast every week. Normally in recent years past a home game against a lousy division opponent would have me picking a blowout. Not saying that can’t happen against the Bears but when the offense and especially Aaron Rodgers continue to struggle like they have it’s difficult to win big. Decimated at running back, it will be fascinating to see how the Packers utilize personnel in the backfield.
The defense again will be counted on to carry the heavy load again tonight. After a lackluster performance against Dallas, I expect a bounce back performance by the front seven. The big question will be how will the secondary hold up minus their top three cornerbacks?