Shawn (5-3) — The Chicago Bears come into town for a game on Sunday night and there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about this matchup.
Yeah, I picked the Bears to win at home, and I was wrong… by A LOT. There is no chance in hell that I am going to repeat that mistake. However, the ass-whooping at Soldier Field does not erase the obvious concerns here.
For one, the Bears MUST win this game. If they fall to 3-6, their season is over. The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, are in no such dire straights. With matchups against the Mark Sanchez-led Philadelphia Eagles and the lowly Vikings on the horizon, the Packers should be able to get to 7-4 even with a loss to the Bears.
The Bears still have the offensive weapons to give the Packers fits, especially Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett. Both went OFF against the Packers in the first matchup. The Bears were especially inventive with their running game and used deception at the edges to free up quick hitters up the middle. The Packers haven’t gotten especially better at the edges since, which means I expect the Bears to repeat at least a little of that same strategy.
The Bears’ success on offense didn’t avail them in week 4 because the Packers’ offense controlled the game. The Bears are back to being mostly healthy on defense, but they were healthy the first time around and that didn’t help them. I don’t expect the Packers to go the entire game again without punting, but the Bears would have to play their best defensive game of the year to keep the Packers far under 30 points.
The Packers may be without either of their offensive guards. Personally, I find it incomprehensible that Josh Sitton would miss a game due to an injured big toe. I mean, seriously? Regardless, the Bears don’t have pass rushers in the middle of their defensive line. Therefore, losing both guards would certainly hurt the running game, but I don’t think it would have a big affect on the pass rush. The Packers didn’t run the ball especially well in Chicago either. So, while getting the run game going would certainly help the cause, I don’t think the Packers HAVE to run the ball well to score points against the Bears.
I believe the Bears will come to play on Sunday. Their backs are against the wall, and they have the weapons and the familiarity to win this game. They have a recent history of playing well in Lambeau Field, somewhat minimizing the Packers’ homefield advantage.
Regardless, for me, my pick isn’t based off anything the Bears will do. My pick is based off how well the Packers have played at home so far this season. Other than three drives against the Jets, the Packers have even played well on defense at Lambeau Field. So, even though I overestimated the defense and was burned against the Saints, I still think the Packers defense can make enough plays to make the difference in this game.
I expect a back-and-forth game with the Packers defense making just enough plays to get the Packers the win.
Packers 31, Bears 24
Andrew (6-2) — I’m at a bit of a loss these days. We’re halfway through the season and I still have absolutely no clue who this Green Bay Packers football team is or what level of greatness they’re capable of achieving… if any. After predicting a big Packers win and then seeing the performance in New Orleans, my confidence is at an all-time low. Oh sure, the Packers will probably bounce back and beat up on the useless Bears and for all intents and purposes put an end to Chicago’s season, but what will they do next week or the week after that when they play a real team?
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take it one day at a time. This week the Bears are in town and they will be desperate just like the Saints were two weeks ago when the Packers were decidedly the opposite of desperate. Both teams are coming off the bye week which in and of itself is a bit of a rarity. Only nine times since 2007 have both teams come from off the bye week and in those games the favorite is 8-1 straight up and 7-2 against the spread. Those of you out there who are fans of trend plays might really like the generous-looking seven-point spread. Shouldn’t the Packers really be favored by 9 or 10? Only the rivalry that exists between the two teams is keeping that spread where it is. Oops… if you waited until now in some places the Packers are now favored by 7.5.
The over/under is 53.5 and either team could score that many by itself. I would find this over to be very attractive as the Packers will look to score and be scored upon heavily for the sixth straight week. The Packers haven’t been a part of an under since the Detroit debacle where they put up only seven points. Last time the Packers beat the Bears 38-17, proving that even with a fine defensive performance the Packers are built for going over the number.
Disclaimer: Total Packers does not condone illegal gambling and wagering and this information is given for entertainment purposes only. You know what I’m saying. Hammer it!
Desperate or not, I don’t think the Bears stand much of a shot if the Packers play their game. As demonstrated by this entertaining video, Jay Cutler is downright awful against the Packers. If you’re a quarterback looking for a video of what not to do, then look no further. Pick after glorious pick Cutler keeps heaving them like Ebby Calvin LaLoosh not knowing where they’re going to land. Throw the next one at the mascot, Jay.
I used to wait in dreaded anticipation for the time when Jay would stop being Jay for just one game versus the Packers. I used to get concerned that eventually Cutler would HAVE to play well and not turn the ball over. Not anymore. Until proven otherwise, which seriously might never happen, Cutler giving the ball away is a foregone conclusion. It is about as automatic as it gets. Despite an unreal wealth of talent on the offensive side of the ball… Jay gonna be Jay.
The Packers will win the turnover battle and thus, the game.
Packers 38, Bears 27
Monty (4-4) — Much like Chitko, I feel like I know nothing about this Green Bay Packers team. My 4-4 record is evidence of that.
I drank the Kool-Aid and predicted the Packers would handle New Orleans the last time out. You know how that turned out. What I didn’t anticipate is how bad the pass defense would be without Morgan Burnett in the lineup. The good news is Burnett will be back this week. So will cornerback Sam Shields.
The Bears will still gain yards. Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking this Packers defense is any good. They won’t be as bad as they were against the Saints though.
Then, of course, there’s always the great equalizer.
I don’t care if AIDs Patient, Lovie Dovie or Ditka! himself is coach of the Chicago Bears. As long as our main man Cutty! is flinging the rock, the Bears are fucked.
The Bears are fucked and fuck the Bears!
Packers 35, Bears 24