NFL Week 9: Bears Look to Turn Season Around Against Hated Rival
The Bears have been in this situation before. Things started out good with a 3-0 record, but in the last four games the Bears have gone 1-3. The most devastating of the loss’ wasnt a game but the loss of their quarterback Jay Cutler and defensive leader Lance Briggs.
Things look very bleak for the Bears as the injuries seem to keep mounting on defensive side of the ball and a back up quarterback by the name of Josh McCown leading the offense.
WHEN THE BEARS HAVE THE BALL
With Jay Cutler more than likely sidelined with a groin injury the Bears will turn to Josh McCown to lead their offense against a suspect Packers defense. McCown showed he can move the ball in the game against the Redskins whether it be escaping the pocket and running or throwing accurately. The Packers pass defense is below average ranked 20th in the league and giving up 247 yards per game.
However, their run defense is very stout ranking 4th in the league giving up 84 yards per game. It is going to be imperative that the Bears get Matt Forte going early so they can keep the Packers honest. If the Bears want to be succesful on offense they need to balanced in their play calling. The big difference in the Bears offense this year has been the addition of tight end Martellus Bennett. He could play a huge roll in this game causing mismatches and drawing coverage away from Jeffery and Marshall.
The Bears need to get Bennett some easy passes early in the game so the Packers know they have to respect him which will then allow Marshall and Jeffery stretch the field. Knowing how explosive the Packers offense is , the Bears can’t afford to ease McCown into the offense they need to attack the Packers from the beginning.
WHEN THE PACKERS HAVE THE BALL
The Bears defense is banged up and limping into this game against arguably the best offense on the league. Without their leader Lance Briggs and with pass rush to be found this spells trouble for the Bears defense.
The Packers rank 5th in the league in passing offense and the Bears rank 27th in passing defense. The Packers rank 3rd in rush offense and the bears rank 25th in rush defense. As you can see the stats are not at all in the Bears favor. After getting torched in D.C. the Bears defense needs to come out and play inspired tough nose football and who better to do that against then your hated rival. The one thing that has been a knock on the Packers for the past few years has been the lack of a running game, well they found one this year with bruising back Eddie Lacy. Even with the Packers missing arguably their top receiver Randall Cobb and maybe without another receiver James Jones, Aaron Rodgers still slings it around with great efficiency.
In order to avoid Rodgers from ripping them apart the Bears need to get pressure on him with their front four. If they can’t get pressure then Rodgers will sit back their all night and Discount Double Check his receivers until he finds the open man. Even though the Bears have given up a ton of yards through the air they have still done a great job of disguising coverages and getting interceptions. If the Bears can stop the Packers run game they can make them one dimensional and force some bad decisions by Rodgers.
The x-factor for this game will be the Bears special teams. If the Bears can win the field position battle it could huge in giving their offense a short field to work with as well as pinning the Packers deep in their own territory, and it wouldn’t hurt if Hester takes one back .
Packers 38 , Bears 28
The Bears will come out and play inspired football but the Packers offense will prove to much to handle for this depleted defense.