By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Ask any Chicago Bears fan what was their favorite game against the Green Bay Packers, and they will say the Thanksgiving game. On November 25th, 2015, then quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 200 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers on a rainy night. The Bears defense was clutch on a final goal line drive as former Bears defensive back Tracy Porter intercepted quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Bears won 17-13.
Ever since Rodgers replaced Brett Favre, he has been the thorn in the side of the Chicago Bears. It has been a running joke for the Packers with how easy it is to defeat their rivals. Well, the last time the Bears and Packers collided was in Week 4, in a horrible shellacking by Rodgers and company.
The Packers converted 66.7 percent of their red-zone trips into touchdowns in a 35-14 loss. Despite quarterback Mike Glennon passing for 218 yards, which was more than Rodgers who passed for 179 yards, he managed one touchdown and two interceptions. Rodgers threw for 4 touchdowns that day.
Now the Packers are without Rodgers and the Bears have a rookie quarterback under center. Many analysts are predicting a win by the Bears this Sunday over a Rodger-less Packers team. But head coach Mike McCarthy is still the head coach at Green Bay and he lives for defeating the Bears.
It will take a dominating defense to control the game and give Mitchell Trubisky a chance to get passes to receivers. After watching the Packers lose to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night, here is what the Bears need to do.
- Pressure the pocket when Hundley is in it. The Lions allowed Hundley to escape the pocket and use his legs. They will need to get the pass rush early collapsing the pocket from the right. Left guard Lane Taylor left the game with a leg injury and Lucas Patrick stepped in. He was overpowered every time.
- Contain wide receivers, Jordy Nelson and Devante Adams and stuff the run. Both Nelson and Adams were the nails in the Bears’ coffin that day as they were able to separate themselves from the Bears corners and safeties. But a Bears defensive unit, who were able to contain both the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers offenses, it may not be as easy as it seemed before.
- Get back to a balanced offense. The Packers were able to contain the Lions running game to just 59 yards, but then they don’t have Thunder and Lightning leading the pack. If the Bears allow Howard to run from the line of scrimmage, they can pound the rock and allow Trubisky to take some chances down the field.
The Packers allowed wide receivers Golden Tate and Marlon Jones, to torch them for over 100 yards each! This would be the perfect game for Trubisky to show what he could do in the passing game.
Now that the Bears have an experienced wide receiver in Dontrelle Inman, Trubisky can pass to someone who knows how to separate from press coverage. If the Packers concentrate on him, which they will, Tre McBride, Kendall Wright and tight end Daniel Brown will follow suit. Running back Tarik Cohen will still be used as a slot receiver because that is actually how head coach John Fox sees him. His ability to catch the short passes has been a pleasant surprise on first downs.
- Kick the ball between the posts. Kickers have one main job to do, and that is to get the ball between the uprights. Connor Barth has struggled with field goals as he is kicking at 63.6 percent. He has made only 7 of the 11 field goals attempted, however, he is 100 percent on extra points made. Barth has managed to miss a field goal at every home game this season.
If the Bears can pull it off with Trubisky under center after a much-needed break, the Bears can send the Packers packing and make a run for it.
Chat Bears football with Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
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