What we know:
The Packers are considered a 3-4 defense, but they are in the 3-4 about 32.4 percent of the time, according to pro-football reference. stats based off of last year In fact, 68.6% of the time last year, they ran a modified 2-5, with 5 DBs on the field. A lot of that was due to all the injuries they had, but also because most teams felt like they could get away with passing on the Packers in the 09 season.
I feel that with their injuries, FS Collins being out for the year, and how many yards passing they’ve given up so far this year that it is absolutely imperative that the Bears have a good mix of running the ball and passing the ball.
Martz sees a defense giving up over 400 yards passing two weeks in a row and is probably salivating so hard he needs IV bags. However, I believe that the Packers will do their damnedest to shore up the leaky passing defense. Capers is damned good at what he does. It is imperative that the Bears not be “obviously” passing each down, as this will somewhat neutralize Clay fucking Matthews, Raji, and the rest of the mildly underrated Packers defense.
The loss of Collins is huge for them, but even though a lot of Packers fans seemingly don’t like him much, Charlie Peprah is quite a capable defender. I don’t expect to see him get burned like Wright and Conte did last week. And of course, they still have Chaz Woodson, who is still somehow playing a ridiculously high level despite having been in the league since Jesus was second string on his high school’s JV team.
Normally I’d do matchup stuff, blah blah, but this time, no.
The game plan is simple, just like it always is with the Packers.
Step 1: Contain as best you can Aaron Rodgers. Knock him down, make him think twice about holding onto the ball. We ABSOLUTELY must have a fantastic game from Peppers, Idonije, Melton, and Big Toe. (is Wootton back from injury yet, anyone know?)
Step 2: Contain the run. That means no big plays at all, Urlacher and Briggs. Meaning, don’t bite on the play fake, and don’t leave your damned gap assignments…right guys? (insert look of disapproval here for Urlacher being out of position on that big run by Turner in the ATL game and one for Briggs playing too shallow and giving up that super easy TD in the Saints game)
Step 3: Try to keep Jay upright and give him at least 3 seconds to get rid of the ball.
Step 4: This is the most important thing, IMO. Run the ball. Run it on first down. Run it on second down. Run it on 3rd and 5. But mix in the run. Ideally, a 55-45% pass to run ratio would occur. Seriously, the Packers are going to expect the Bears to try to pass the ball as much as they can, the key to this win, I’m firmly convinced, lies in running the ball often enough and effectively enough to keep the Packers in their base D rather than the 2-5 “exotic” look with the 5DBs.
I believe that this year the Packers have just as many flaws on their defense as the Bears offense does. They’ve gotten lucky thus far, having kept Carolina from scoring TDs in the redzone on 4 of 6 (yes, 6 times Carolina was inside the Packer’s 20) attempts.
The Bears absolutely have to convert these chances inside the redzone. As warbrain from R/CHIBEARS has often said: ‘Fucking FG”.
We can’t have that happen.
The more I delve into this game, the more I feel it’s a trap game for the Packers. They’re riding high on their SB win last year and their 2-0 start, but they are not actually playing well at all on defense thus far this year.
Expect Forte to have a big game. Expect Cutler to have a clean (no INTs) game.
If they do that, mix in a healthy dose of the run, rattle Rodgers some, the Bears can win this game, and win convincingly. Of course, it’s the Packers, so we’ll see. You never know how these two teams are gonna play.
My prediction: Bears 24, Packers 21.
BEAR DOWN CHICAGO BEARS