Normally by Wednesday we here at DaBearsBlog (it’s just one guy) are beginning the transition from the game before to game ahead. This week – because the NFL has somewhat ludicrously forced the game’s longest rivalry into their opening Thursday night slot – we have no such luxury. We move on to Lambeau…
WHY DO I LIKE THE CHICAGO BEARS THIS WEEK?
- I always like the Chicago Bears.
- I broke down the emotional ramifications of this contest in yesterday’s post and I stand by those. Here is the sentence that sums it up: “The Bears have an opportunity to sound the first danger alarm of the Aaron Rodgers era in Green Bay, Wisconsin.”
- There are two UNPRECEDENTED beliefs I have heading into this pivotal road contest. (1) I firmly believe the Bears will be able to score 20-30 points on the porous Packers defense. (2) I believe, unless Sunday was a clever rope-a-dope, Brian Urlacher is the Bears’ primary defensive liability. If Urlacher can’t go full steam, Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley will destroy them over the middle of the field.
- I’m going to say this every week the Bears remain healthy: I don’t know what group of corners in the NFL – outside perhaps the Jets – can cover this group of Bears receivers. (And even that perhaps is weak since Marshall has had tremendous success against Revis.)
- In the past it has always seemed the Packers could muster a cut-back/stretch run game against the Bears even when they failed to do so against the rest of the league. Well the team I watched San Francisco manhandle Sunday is not going to generate the type of consistent ground attack that made Ahman Green and Ryan Grant such pests.
- Greg Jennings terrifies me and Greg Jennings is nursing a groin injury that may keep him off the field Thursday night. (One has to believe, even if Jennings plays, he’d be slowed down by anything going wrong down there.)
- This is a benchmark contest for Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Shea McClellin, Corey Wootton…etc. If the Bears do not muster a pass rush from the perimeter they will lose to the Packers. They HAVE TO hit Rodgers.
- Last Christmas the Bears were down to their third running back, started a non-entity at quarterback (Sorry, Josh) and still ran the ball for 161 yards against the Packers. The Bears should be able to serve the Pack a steady diet of Forte and Bush to achieve the dual goal of keeping Rodgers off the field and draining the energy out of the Lambeau faithful.
- I’m a firm believer that cornerbacks thrive on confidence. On swagger. And if Peanut Tillman is not ready to go Thursday night I think Tim Jennings will carry the banner well on the outside. I don’t see how he’s not fired up after seeing himself on tape Monday. (Hell, I was.)
- You hear this all the time: there will be no surprises because these two teams know each other well. You know what? The Packers don’t know THIS Bears team at all! Nobody does. Rod Marinelli and Lovie Smith can go into the notebook and simply adapt one of the dozen game plans they’ve used against Rodgers/McCarthy over the last three years. Can Dom Capers? Absolutely not. Capers has sixty minutes of Bears tape to work off and thirty minutes of those were essentially garbage time. The Bears have a significant advantage in terms of preparation which is crucial for a short week.
- Since the Bears released Ryan Quigley this week I am assuming (I know, I know) Adam Podlesh was just bad Sunday and not injured. Because he WAS bad. And he can’t be giving the Packers attack short fields all night.
- I believe Jay Cutler is going to outplay Aaron Rodgers.
These games are always close. Always within a touchdown or so. I see the pattern staying true and Robbie Gould winning this one with a late, short field goal.
Chicago Bears 30, Green Bay Packers 27