Sunday will be one of the most anticipated Bears game in recent history as they have a chance to win their first division title in eight years hosting their hated rival the Green Bay Packers.
Chicago will also have the opportunity to avenge their week one loss in which Packers overcame a 20-0 deficit led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Clinching a division title in the team’s home season finale would be a special one for many involved including the fans.
Here are five keys to victory for the Bears against the Green Bay Packers:
Use all the motivation to come out and play strong
A letdown loss usually follows a big win every NFL season. The Bears will look to avoid that after their big Sunday Night victory over the NFC best Los Angeles Rams. Facing a five-win team would be a letdown for any team, but there’s too much at stake for the Bears on Sunday.
A team that has only one eight games in the last two season has a chance to win a division title at home in front of their fans. They have a chance to redeem themselves for their first loss of the season which took place in front of a national audience.
Chicago also has the chance to finally beat Aaron Rodgers and their rival at home, something that hasn’t happened since 2010. Head coach Matt Nagy has all of this to motivate his players to play energized on Sunday.
Mitchell Trubisky needs to get back on track
As great as the Bears defense has been this season, they will only go as far as their starting quarterback does. Mitchell Trubisky had the worst game of his career last week against the Rams as he was intercepted three times and failed to throw over 150 yards.
In his past four games, Trubisky has thrown just six touchdown passes and six interceptions, half of his touchdown passes came in one game against the Lions. The Bears quarterback can not afford to turn the ball and give extra scoring opportunities to Rodgers or the defense will be in trouble. Even without turnovers, the Packers will still have a good chance of putting points on the board.
Trubisky will need to play as he did before his last four starts where he threw 12 touchdown passes to just three interceptions and had three consecutive games of 300 yards passing.
When you get the lead hold it for good
In Rodgers last five starts at Soldiers Field dating back to 2012, he has been victorious even though the Bears have led in all five games at one point. In 2012 and 2014, the Bears were first to score but failed to control the game from those points on.
In 2013 and 2016, Chicago’s defense allowed the Packers offense to score the game-deciding points in the last minute of regulation leading to a Green Bay victory. Both the offense and defense will have to their job scoring points and limiting the Packers offense from scoring points as Rodgers has never faced more than a seven-point deficit when playing the Bears in Chicago.
In the week one loss, with a double-digit lead for a good portion of the second half, Nagy failed to have his offense be the aggressor. He called more horizontal passing plays than vertical which led to several three and out drives which provided no rest to the defense.
Kyle Fuller needs to get the better of DaVante Adams finally
Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller has been playing at near Pro-Bowl caliber level for the last two. He has been one of the main reasons why the Bears passing defense is ranked in the top 10 of the NFL. For as well as he has played though, Fuller has struggled to limit Packers receiver DaVante Adams the last few games.
In week 10 last season, Adams caught five passes for 90 yards including a 30-yard touchdown pass in which he beat Fuller in coverage. In week one this season, Adams had a similar game hauling in five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown catch.
He is the Packers most dangerous wide receiver as he has 92 receptions, 12 touchdown catches, and 1196 receiving yards. Rodgers and Adams have been in sync recently as the receiver has caught a touchdown pass in his last three games and has averaged six receptions in that span.
Shut down the other Aaron if Green Bay decides to use him
Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones has been one of the team’s lone bright spots this season. Since being named the starter in week six, Jones has nine total touchdowns and has been a threat in both the running game and passing game.
He has a rushing touchdown in each of his last five games and has two receptions or more in his last six games. One of the biggest issues with Packers though has been their failure to get him more involved in the offense. He has yet this season have a game of 20 rushing attempts or more as his season high in attempt has been just 17. Last week against the league’s best running back in Todd Gurley, the Bears defense held Gurley to season-low 28 rushing yards.
This week the goal will be the same which will be to limit Jones’ production for the Green Bay offense. He could be a focal point for their offense as he did not play in their week one matchup.