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Week 7: Bears at Packers Preview

The Chicago Bears (1-5) square off against the Green Bay Packers (3-2) in a Thursday night divisional clash. The Bears won the last meeting at Lambeau last November. The Packers look for revenge to squash the Bears season and get back to form after a loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Packers Passing Offense R-E-L-A-X

Aaron Rodgers only has a 88.1 rating, 60.4 completion percentage and 6.5 YPA. He is having a down year after struggling in most of the last 10 games in 2015 as well. The Bears are the perfect remedy for Rodgers to get back to form. Ty Montgomery stepped up in Week 6 and Jordy Nelson is still giving some production (312 yards and 5 TDs just not a deep threat). Randall Cobb has some solid games and can be a good slot WR. Davante Adams will not play due to a concussion from Week 6 but Jeff Janis could rekindle his hailmary magic from 2015. Richard Rodgers will have his hands full with Trevathan and Freeman in trying to get separation.

Green Bay protects the QB very well and the Bears don’t rush the passer well despite Willie Young (6 sacks) and Akiem Hicks (2 sacks) having a few sacks. Rodgers should have plenty of time but the Bears will surely not blitz and drop plenty into coverage to try and make Rodgers outthink himself. The Packers must avoid costly fumbles (3) which cost them against the Cowboys. Rodgers having four interceptions in five games is uncharacteristic for him as well. Green Bay must avoid turnovers so they can win by double digits.

Chicago is below average (18th) allowing a 91.1 QB rating. Pernell McPhee and Kyle Fuller have missed all season which really hurt the Bears defense in pass rush and coverage. The Bears hope Tracy Porter, Brian Callahan, Diondre Hall and their young safeties can cover well against the Packers weapons. The Bears linebackers will cover the middle well but the Bears defensive backs need to finally step up for this team.

Aaron Rodgers should have a big day and return to form with 300 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. I will be shocked otherwise despite his struggles in a few games this season.

Packers Running Game

Eddie Lacy was place on IR with an ankle injury after running for 5.1 YPC in the first five games. James Starks struggled and is out too after surgery this week. New Packers running back Kniles Davis acquired in a trade this week will have the load on his shoulders. Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb should see an uptick in carries as well. Green Bay may not run well in this game. The Bears are above average allowing only 3.9 YPC. Chicago should stop Green Bay’s rushing attack tonight given Green Bay’s injuries.

Bears Passing Game

Brian Hoyer has a 100 QB rating but only 6 TDs on the season in 4.5 games. Hoyer has four 300 yard games but the Bears are settling for field goals instead of touchdowns and it is costing them wins. Alshon Jeffrey has a good 487 yards but no TDS. Kevin White is on IR and slot WR Eddie Royal will miss this game as well. Zach Miller with 265 yards and 3 TD and Cameron Meredith notching 295 yards and a TD must be Hoyer’s safety valve in this game. Meredith has lost 2 costly fumbles this season and must protect the football. Turnovers will kill the Bears if they keep fumbling. Hoyer hasn’t thrown an interception and the Packers will be missing their top 3 CBs in this game. Hoyer has a chance for another solid to good game.

The Packers are 26th in allowing a 101.6 QB rating in five games. Clinton-Dix, Burnett, Gunter, Hawkins and Hyde must step up. That patented Green Bay depth I keep hearing about needs to show up in the secondary this week against the Bears.

Bears Rushing Attack

Jordan Howard has 5.0 YPC on the season but struggled against the Jaguars. Kadeem Carey had a nice game against Jacksonville. Chicago must establish a run game. It will be tough as the Packers are the best in the league allowing only 3.0 YPC on the season. If Howard and Carey have success, Chicago has a chance to keep pace with Green Bay’s offense.

Josh Sitton will miss this game which is a big blow to the Bears rushing attack and pass protection. I’m sure Sitton wanted to stick it to his former team but will have to wait until the second matchup this season.

Prediction

Green Bay is angry after a loss in Week 6 and still at home facing a divisional foe. This is Green Bay’s 4th home game in a row and they want to finish it strong. Green Bay wins this game 28-17 with Rodgers having a rebound game. Chicago leads the all-time series 94-92-6. Green Bay should get one game closer to tying the series.