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Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers Game Preview

| October 30th, 2013

bearspack

The Bears opened as eleven-point underdogs against the Green Bay Packers Monday night at Lambeau Field. They are as beaten up a defense as there is in the NFL. They are starting their backup quarterback. As Michael Kehoe wrote to me on Twitter, “Bears don’t stand a chance in GB. I’m emotionally all in. But a win would be one of the biggest surprises in decades.” He then followed up on his own Twitter page, “Historical trends, road game, MNF + no pass rush, 2 rookie LBs= give the pts all day. Hate it. Hoping to be wrong. Bears!”

So why in God’s name do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

BUT WHAT FOOTBALL REASONS, JEFF?

  • I went back and watched all of Josh McCown’s snaps against the Redskins and there were two things I liked. (2) He made remarkably quick decisions – whether to throw the ball quickly to an outlet receiver or tuck it and run for what he could. The less time he spends in the pocket Monday night, the better. (3) He used Earl Bennett. With Brandon and Alshon on the field, Bennett is going to consistently see second and third-rate defensive backs in coverage. The Bears need to get the ball into his hands and let him make a few plays.
  • Mike McCarthy won’t want the ball anywhere near Devin Hester and it should give the Bears short fields most of the evening.
  • We’ve never seen Marc Trestman coach off a bye week but he’s been pretty damn impressive without one thus far. Should we expect something great Monday night? He may need it.
  • I expect Mel Tucker and the Bears defensive coaches to let the corners play. Peanut, barring health, and Tim Jennings are now the two best players on the defensive side of the ball and sitting them in the zone minimizes their ability to impact the action. Let these guys get up on the line of scrimmage, put their hands on receivers and attempt to control the game physically.
  • I’m going to say something crazy. I think the Bears get a performance out of their defensive ends Monday night. Julius Peppers has been written off as finished and Shea McClellin has been written off as never to get started. If hearing those cries for two weeks doesn’t light a fire and pull something out of an athlete, what will?
  • This is the least intimidating collection of skill players for the Packers in modern memory.

packtalentDA BEAR CONCERNS

  • Concern #1: For the first time in the Aaron Rodgers era, the Bears enter a Packers game with their running game as the biggest concern. The absence of weapons on the outside and the lack of a dominant tight end means the Bears should be able to keep the game manageable. But they MUST contain the run. Not stop it – they are not going to stop it. Contain it. If Rodgers is facing consistent third-and-shorts the Bears may need 45 to come up with a win.
  • Concern #2: The stage may simply be too large for Josh McCown. The backup quarterback thrived in the second half against the Washington Redskins but the Washington Redskins don’t know how to tackle humans. McCown must not try and do too much, must stay within the system and must understand that despite an early deficit punting the football is not necessarily a bad thing. If he refrains from turning the ball over he can give the Bears a shot.
  • Concern #3: Charles Tillman doesn’t play/finish another game. I don’t care who Rodgers’ weapons are if they’re being covered by Jennings/Bowman/Frey. Tillman is not only the best active player on the defense (with Briggs down) he is their best third-level tackler. He keeps a six-yard slant from becoming a sixty-yard touchdown. Without him the Bears will be relying on proper angles and tackling from a pair of struggling safeties.

MATCH-UP OF REMARKABLE IMPORTANCE

  • Bears head coach Marc Trestman v. Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Since Capers arrived in 2009 he has done a masterful job of confusing the Bears offensive coaching staff and putting on a coaching clinic. Trestman was hired by Phil Emery to put an end to that. Now the new Bears HC must take on the organization’s nemesis short-handed at the most important position in professional sports. (And in fairness, Capers is without his favorite toys, Clay Matthews and Bears killer Charles Woodson.) How Trestman handles this assignment will tell Bears fans a great deal about this rivalry moving forward.

GREAT QUOTE

Jermichael Finley describes his sustaining a certainly year-ending injury in a remarkable piece for Peter King’s TheMMQB:

It all happened very quickly. I remember seeing the defender out of the corner of my eye, and I intentionally lowered my head and shoulders to protect my knees. After I got hit, in the fourth quarter of our win against the Browns last week, my eyes were wide open. I was very conscious, but I could not move. I looked my teammate Andrew Quarless directly in the eye and whispered, “Help me, Q. I can’t move; I can’t breathe.” The scariest moment was seeing the fear in Q’s eyes. I knew something was wrong, but his reaction verified it. That really shook me up.

I think the absence of Finley Monday night is the most significant injury outside Cutler. The Bears would have had no chance to defend him. But it feels so irrelevant after reading his piece.

THE MOST INTERESTING PLAYER ON THE FIELD

  • Bears RB Matt Forte. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Forte deliver a season-defining performance? Wouldn’t it be nice to see Forte create runs where there seem to be none and dominate in the passing attack? Wouldn’t it be nice to see Forte understand the circumstances, understand the situation at quarterback, and put the offense on his back? Wouldn’t it be nice to see Forte continually move the chains and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field? Forte is capable of being a great player. The Bears need it Monday night.

THIS VIDEO HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL

I once gave up my seat at the premier of Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls to Lou Reed. He wrote my friend a Thank You note on the back of a receipt. This is my favorite live performance from Reed, with Elvis Costello.

Thank you, Lou.

BEST TRADE COMMENT

Goes to our pal Trac. For a trade proposal that showed uniquely inspired realism:

I think that a low level trade is probably the only kind of movement we’ll see, if any. For instance, a DT like Colin Cole of the Panthers who’s long in the tooth but good enough for the Panthers to keep him around for a player like Sherrick McManis that is 3rd on our CB depth chart. Maybe there’s a team out there that wants to save some cap space for next year but I just don’t see many viable possibilities.

A SINGLE STAT PREDICTION (3-4)

  • Aaron Rodgers completes 75% of his passes. I can just see one of those games where Rodgers takes everything underneath and forces the Bears to make a series of open field tackles – something they’ve struggled to do thus far.

WRAPPING IT UP IN A FEW SENTENCES

Bears should be able to move the ball and score but they’ll struggle all night stopping Aaron Rodgers and the suddenly potent Green Bay rushing attack. Bears create a turnover at the right moment and make a few big plays on specials to shock the Lambeau faithful. (I’m trying.)

FINAL SCORE

Chicago Bears 30 1/2, Green Bay Packers 30

Note: This is the smallest margin of victory ever predicted on DBB. 

Tagged: , ,

  • MikeBrownhadaPosse

    Do we get a 1/2 point just for dressing the minimum number of players? Or is that a “Jordan Palmer” bonus?

  • gpldan

    I thought Pringles for the Brigette Neilsen Playboy was actually the most realistic trade offer.

    • Jeff still hasn’t forgiven her for her role in Drago’s savage killing of Apollo.

      • gpldan

        I still bear the emotional scars of watching Action Jackson die.

  • Big Mike

    Thanks for the shout out. In many ways we all know that beating GB is the hump the Bears need to get over. If not this year, next. Detroit is also real. They have studs on both sides of the ball. If it weren’t for Gym Shorts, they’d be my pick to unseat the Packers this year.

    We’ll see how the rookie LBs do. Worse case it’s a great learning experience. My hope at the beginning of the year was to get into the playoffs, to build experience. Cutler going down is bad, but Melton and Collins going down really, really hurt. Briggs going down poured gas on the fire. If Peppers and McClellin don’t step up and Peanut can’t stay healthy, the Bears will need to score 40 per game to make the playoffs.

    • +1 on the LBs. Remember – Briggs and Urlacher were both rookies too, once.

      Unfortunately, so was Leon Joe.

      • gpldan

        Hey Joe, where you goin wit that flag in your hand?

        I’m goin to shoot the side judge down, shoot ’em down to the ground

  • MB30SD

    I vote for tom brady this week: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/extra-mustard/photos/1210/athletes-in-costume/43/

    Just hoping for a miracle and some long-absent luck on game day. fucking packers… smhs.

  • Shady

    I’m also hoping Trestman has a plan for Capers’ D because it was clear Lovie didn’t know what the hell to do.

    I agree Matt Forte needs to have himself a game in order to take the pressure off of McCown. Counters, misdirections, screens, swing passes – do whatever it takes to get him involved early and often.

    • i’ll take a screen that works, thank you very much. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jpd3aNRMZI

    • Trac

      Actually Shady, Tice, Martz and Turner didn’t know what to do. It’s too bad we had those bozo’s. Oh the shame of them all!

      • Gary Crowton. Now there was an OC who pushed the envelope!

      • DaBearsBlog

        Sure sounds like Trest is going to keep the game plan. I actually think Trest will enjoy calling a game for McCown.

        • MB30SD

          I’m not at all looking forward to this game one bit. I fear it’s going to turn into what we all think it might… even if no one wants to say it.

          Yeah, it could be one of those shocking holy cow, how did that happen games, but we’re just so thin and green everywhere on D, I can’t see it even if McCown has an amazing game. It’s never fun getting beaten by the packers… especially if it’s a trouncing.

  • gpldan

    I agree with Jeff…. that 60 points will be scored.

    We disagree on the distribution somewhat.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    With the way McDrago runs, maybe we should suit up a 3rd QB. Unless of course, we don’t mind Earl the Pearl behind center.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    Jeff hoping our DEs suddenly become competent (not even good, just competent), well…

    “Julius Peppers has just one sack all season.

    Peppers accepted a restructured salary ahead of this
    season, but is still making $9.9 million in base pay. He’s graded out as
    ProFootballFocus’ No. 32 4-3 defensive end among 46 qualifiers so far.
    Owed $13.9 million with a $18.1 million cap hit in 2014, Peppers is
    likely in his last season with the Bears. He’ll turn 34 years old in
    January.”

    -Rotoworld

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    While on Rotoworld. Did the Ravens just do us a solid?

    “Ravens waived FS Michael Huff and DT Marcus Spears.

    Billed as high-quality additions to the Ravens defense,
    both veterans fizzled out badly. Huff hasn’t played a defensive snap
    since Week 4 and was a liability on special teams. Spears was getting
    outplayed by third-round rookie Brandon Williams. Signed to a
    three-year, $6 million deal with a $1.5 million signing bonus, Huff
    finishes his time in Baltimore with six tackles. Even brilliant GM Ozzie
    Newsome gets egg on his face sometimes.”

    • AlbertInTucson

      Two word caveat:

      Adam Archuleta.

  • Waffle
    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      Now we know how Jay really injured his groin.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Well, if you HAVE to injure your groin….

  • MB30SD
  • MB30SD

    this is awesome, and funny and sad and infuriating… but awesome.

    What would you do if you got this note in your kids candy bucket: http://www.today.com/moms/swapping-letters-candy-trick-or-treat-8C11493000

  • TheBigCheesy

    Is that story about Lou Reed true? That’s pretty legendary.

    One problem: The Packers don’t really have any 2nd or 3rd rate defensive backs besides safety Jerron McMillian. CB is there deepest position and they have at least 4 starting-caliber corners (5 if you count rookie Micah Hyde). Also, Sam Shields has already shut down Josh Gordon (21 yards), AJ Green (46 yards), Torrey Smith (12 yards), and greg jennings (9 yards), by himself. The only WR1 who torched Green Bay was Anquan Boldin, but that was because they were playing zone against Kaepernick. So they might not need as much double coverage as you think.

    Everything else sounds about right though.

    Say a word for Jimmy Brown…

    Oh yeah, and The Bears Still Suck!

    • TheBigCheesy

      Definitely agree with you about kicking away from Hester…. Green Bay’s coverage unites (and returns) have been absolute shit recently.

    • MB30SD

      I just flagged this post.

      In the ‘why’ section, I chose the option, “poster is being a douchebag… as usual”

      Disqus is awesome.

      • bearsfantillend

        i wander if Disqus keeps track of douchebags? is there a rating system? low level dbags get 1 cheesy vagina, grand master dbags get 10 cheezy vaginas….

      • i would’ve flagged for “poster uses ‘ponder failed to connect with jennings’ as an example of defensive prowess”

        • TheBigCheesy

          Touche. And I almost didn’t include that one…. but Jennings did get 84 yards against the Bears…in Chicago.

          • not sure if you’ve noticed, but everyone gets yards against the bears this season.

  • and today’s Merriweather Mouth award goes to rolando mcclain;

    “I felt like Aaron Hernandez, like I just wanted to kill somebody,” McClain said in an interview for this week’s ESPN The Magazine.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9892094/rolando-mcclain-trying-get-life-together-tuscaloosa

    • gpldan

      Every day that passes makes Pacman Jones’ beat down of a man at Denny’s with his fists seem quaint, from a bygone era even.

      • seriously. by today’s standards, those actions should’ve gotten him an award for showing restraint and good judgement.

        • gpldan

          Jones dropped $81k on Vegas Strippers in ONE NIGHT (the night of the shooting).

          Motherfucker is holding up the illusion of trickle down SINGLEHANDEDLY.

  • MB30SD

    non-football related awesomeness of the day.

    Put it on full-screen and enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN-YTcSnE6c#t=540

    • Trac

      THAT.. was awesome.

      • MB30SD

        indeed

  • MB30SD
    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      yes please.

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

    If you guys want a light read about the NFC through the midway point, check my new piece out. It has some cool pictures.

    http://profootballnetworks.com/2013/10/30/2013-nfc-mid-season-review/

    • tobijohn

      Good write up….

      • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

        Thanks, Tobster. I have a niche following. Very…niche.

  • Waffle
    • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

      A, he went to Mount Sac? My cous went there. Irvin is MUCH more athletic than Shea though. “Quick-twitch” as the lingo goes. I’m almost certain we’re switching to a 3-4. We can make Peanut a safety in that scheme. I keep hearing that nose tackles are hard to get, but that’s only if you expect a Haloti Ngata. Fat boys are much easier to draft. A team can usually find a decent one in the 3rd and beyond. However, drafting an equivalent 3-tech will require a high first. Tommie Harris don’t grow on trees.

      We pretty much got the LBs IMO, and Jennings can play man and blitz. Frey’s still young and athletic, and Pepp can stuff the run as a 3-4 end (he can’t rush the passer anymore apparently). If not, cutsville. Melton will be let go because most likely Cutler will get extended. The Saints have shown that the transition doesn’t have to take long.

      I just hope the Jets keep losing so they fire Rex and we can hire him and dump our current DC. I’m beginning to lean towards MBs camp “He coached the Jags. The fucking Jags.”

      • MB30SD

        the. fucking. jags.

      • Waffle

        Mel is a 4-3 coach. We are not switching to a 3-4. It makes no sense. We will however run hybrid D’s more with different sub packages of LB’s like Shea in the jumbo package. Too bad Shea is a pussy and got facialed by Golden fucking Tate last year.

        • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)

          Not this year. Next year. One gap 3-4. This year we just gotta outscore the enemy. Hey, the Colts, Pats, Saints have done it for like a decade, why not?

  • 4ever85 (AKA Butch Deadlift)
  • Trac

    I sure do hate it when this kind of politics enters the sports arena. There’s just something dirty about this whole affair concerning the Redskins name and Ray Halbritter.

    http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/casino-kingpin-and-fake-indian-chief-targets-redskins/

    Which is more harmful to society, the gaming industry or a nickname? You do the math.

  • IBNO

    You know, all the prognosticating in the world is meaningless if Corey Wooton gets to Rodgers early and bends his leg the wrong way.

    Or if Jon Bostic lights up Lacy and GB is down to their 4th-string RB again.

    It’s these “gimme” games that end up changing the course of seasons. Look at 54’s last game in Minnesota in the 2011 season (that’s another disgrace we need to keep in mind when evaluating Wright’s dismal play lately, by the way).

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