By Jake Perper
Bearsbacker.com (Special to ChiCitySports.com)
The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will meet for the 185th time ever on Thursday night.
The Packers lead the all-time series 92-86-6.
This is arguably the most historic rivalry in pro sports. It compares to MLB with the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox and NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics.
The Packers won both games in 2011, 27-17 in Week Three and 35-21 in Week 16.
The Bears haven’t won a game at Lambeau Field since 2007. Brett Favre was under center for Green Bay and Brian Griese was under center for Chicago the last time the Bears came away with victory in Green Bay.
Jay Cutler is coming off a 41 point performance in Week One against Indy, while the Packers and Aaron Rodgers lost to San Francisco after only scoring 22 points.
Cutler is 1-5 all time against the Packers in his career, throwing 11 interceptions in that time. Those 11 interceptions are the most Cutler has thrown against any NFL team.
Cutler will find ways to exploit the Packers defense, who has seven players in different positions this season.
The key matchup will come on defense with the Bears secondary controlling Aaron Rodgers and not allowing any deep throws over the top. If the Bears can contain the deep throws they could avoid a possible shootout and come away with a big second victory against their hated rival.
Players Who Must Step Up:
1. Earl Bennett- He was Jay Cutler’s second favorite target besides Brandon Marshall this past Sunday. He will be looked upon to pick him big third downs as usual and come up with catches. The Packers defense will give him some looks while trying to limit Marshall’s production. Look out for a solid game from Earl.
Projections: Six catches, 63 yards.
2. D.J. Moore- The nickelback had a solid first game, but wasn’t around the ball enough. He will step his game up in this one and force a turnover. Moore wants to prove everyone he belongs on this defense on Thursday Night Football.
Projections: Five tackles, one INT.
3. Shea McClellin- He made a couple nice plays in his NFL debut, but the Bears want to see more from the rookie pass rush specialist. Going up against a mediocre defensive line in GB could help McClellin get that much closer to his first NFL sack. I see it coming here on Thursday night in Green Bay.
Projections: Three tackles, 1.0 sack.
Final score predictions.
Jake Perper: Bears 30, Packers 27.
Matt Eurich: Packers 34, Bears 30.
Weather.com weather forecast:
Isolated sprinkles in the evening at Lambeau Field…Then becoming partly cloudy. Lows 41 to 46. Light and variable wind.
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