Steffen: It’s hard for me to say this, but I think Packer nation just has to accept it — the Chicago Bears are better than they were last year. They are a different, more confident team.
They are playing faster on a defense that features a refurbished Brian Urlacher and the freakish abilities of Julius Peppers. On offense, quarterback Jay Cutler (so far) has been making far fewer mistakes than last season and offensive coordinator Mike Martz is crafting Matt Forte into a poor man’s Marshall Faulk.
I remain confident about the Packers’ chances this season, but they have yet to prove to me they are an elite team. I see too many cracks in the armor. Aaron Rodgers has been solid in the first two weeks, but not as amazing as predicted.
Poor depth and injuries at running back and in the defensive backfield may come back to bite the Packers this week. Add to that the struggles of Chad Clifton and an injury to Daryn Colledge on the offensive line and this could easily become a disasterous game.
It will be interesting to see what kind of game plan Mike McCarthy rolls out. If he thinks Rodgers will be able to do a lot of five- and seven-step drops, the Packers may be in for a long game. On the other side, I expect the Bears to to employ a lot of three-step drops to counter the Packers fearsome pass rush.
I see both offenses moving the ball with turnovers keeping the game close. I give the Bears a home field edge in this one.
Bears 27, Packers 23
Brady: The NFL’s most storied rivalry continues as the Green Bay Packers take on the Chicago Bears in what I expect to be a slugfest.
On paper, this game looks like one the Packers should walk away with, but the Bears have made a tradition of playing the Packers like it’s their Super Bowl since Lovie Smith took over and claimed his first job was to “beat the Packers.”
For some reason, it seems like the Bears defense just knows how to play the Packers. The Packers scored 21 points in both games against Chicago last year, which tied for the team’s second-lowest point total on the season, behind the 17 scored against Dallas.
Jay Cutler was able to put together a solid game last week against the Cowboys, but the Packers get him in prime time, where he always finds a way to shine… for the opposing team. To make matters worse for “Cutty,” his starting left tackle, Chris Williams, will miss the game with injury, leaving Frank Omiyale to help try to stop Clay Matthews and the Packers pass rush. Good luck.
If offensive coordinator Mike Martz goes with a lot of deep passes, Cutler will take a beating. Monday night will also be a good indicator of how far rookie cornerback Sam Shields has come, since the Bears usually have at least three wide receivers on the field.
In watching the Bears’ games so far, tight ends have been able to abuse their defense, so the Packers should expect a big night from Jermichael Finley. The Bears rush defense is tops in the league while the Packers rushing offense looks anemic at best, but when you have Aaron Rodgers and the Packers wide receivers, who cares?
Two of the hottest quarterbacks in the league face off, so everyone expects a shootout, but Packers/Bears games typically resemble a back-alley knife fight. Touchdowns are a luxury in this game.
Packers 20, Bears 16
Sarah: Both teams are facing some questions along the offensive line, and the home-field advantage coupled with Julius Peppers should give the Bears an edge, but Jay Cutler and his targets aren’t prepared to outduel Aaron Rodgers and his.
Clay Matthews should have another huge day on defense, and look for Bryan Bulaga to make a difference if he plays on the offensive line.
Expect the Packers to show the difference between a Super Bowl-caliber team and wild-card contender.
Packers 24, Bears 19
This is a classice example of the war being won or lost in the trenches. To me, the team that protects their quarterback the best, wins.
the primary difference is that the Packers have better weapons. Greg Olsen is good, but not Finley good. Their WR corps is deep, but most of the guys are raw. I’ll take Jennings, Driver, Jones, Nelson over them. Their WRs also seem to be “interchangeable” whereas ours all bring something a little different – which makes changes in personnel groupings that much more effective.
The Bears have been good at stopping the run and we’ve not run the ball well. So what? we’ll throw the ball all day long. Swing passes and screens to slow down the rush, substitute for a running game and sets up the long ball that Rodgers throws so well.
Although I agree the Bears are improved, they almost lost to the Lions, and the Cowboys looked completely lost when the Bears took it to them.
They do have the luxury of playing at home, but Soldier Field has practically been a home away from home for Green Bay where they are 14-4 since 1992.
This is not the same Bears team, but it’s not the same Packers team either. Although the offense hasn’t quite been running like a Swiss timepiece, our expectations, especially for this season, are incredibly high. Note to everyone: Our offense has dominated other teams….AND we’re not going to score a TD on every possession.
But the change is evident for the Packers. Where are all of our stupid penalties? Especially at Philly, I constantly was waiting for our typical false start and holding penalties to hold us up, but we are a much improved team in this area. It pains me to say it, but McCarthy deserves some credit. The Packers have a swagger and this is a game they need to win if they are legit.
I look for Dimitri Nance to get some heavy reps tonight and be effective doing it.
Packers 35 Bears 24
Packer 34 Bears 20
Packers 24 Bears 21
Packers suck cack and bolls.
Bears are going to kill the packers.packer fans are going to cry. The score is going to be 31 to 15 Aaron rogers is going to cry when he loses. Bears MELT THE CHEESE jay cutler is going to throw all over them so be ready and Hester is going to run it all the way back be ready packers fans be ready