THE GAME POEM
“Turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude.”
THOUGHTS ON GREEN BAY PACKERS
- Green Bay’s defense hasn’t been great this season but they are actually ranked 8th in the league in points allowed per game. They are not in the top 20 of total yards, rushing yards or passing yards surrendered so what’s the reason for this anomaly? Turnovers. Packers are +8 on the season.
- A defense’s touchdown-to-interception ratio is a stat I’ve begun paying attention to in recent weeks and the numbers really are quite telling. The two best ratios in the league are 8-10 (Denver) and 12-15 (Carolina). The worst ratio is New Orleans’ 28-4. Packers are 13-11, right near the top of the sport. (Bears among the worst at 19-5)
- An interesting statistical tidbit from The Guardian (of all places):
By nearly every other quarterback’s standards Rodgers is having a brilliant season but he is not quite clicking with some of his receivers and his completion rate for the last three games stands at 52.1%, 57.4% and, on Sunday, 47.1%. Over that same same spell he has still thrown eight touchdowns and just one pick – he is Aaron Rodgers after all – but the fact that the chemistry between quarterback and receivers isn’t quite there (he has the lowest completion rate of his career in 2015) may cause trouble come the playoffs.
WATCH OUT FOR EDDIE LACY
He was nowhere and many thought a healthy scratch a few weeks back. Then he went to Minnesota.
The Bears can’t stop the run. But they haven’t let their inability to do so knock them out of games. Lacy will be hitting the holes with a head of steam.
IRISH VIDEO OF THE WEEK
THREE BEARS OF INTRIGUE
- The hourglass has flipped on the Bears’ career of Christian Jones. While the coaching staff is clearly enamored with Shea McClellin’s progress/potential in the middle of the defense, Jones has been invisible. Is he ever around the football? Expect Fox and Fangio to be looking to replace him this off-season unless he begins to show up in a big way on the tape.
- Jay Cutler has to beat the Packers. They are his white whale. Cutler has been everything the Bears organization could have hoped through his eight and a half games but fans still want to see their quarterback go toe-to-toe with the quarterback in yellow and come out on top. What better place than in front of the country on Thanksgiving night?
- You want to know who will be under the most pressure Thursday night? Whoever Covers James Jones. Aaron Rodgers beat the Bears with Jones in Week One and looks most comfortable of late when throwing to his old buddy down the field. If it’s Kyle Fuller or Tracy Porte or Bryce Callahan or Big Tom Callahan, the Bears can’t let Jones beat them.
AS I WROTE FOR COVERS.COM…
Why the Bears Will Cover (+8.5):
“Everything with the Chicago Bears this season has been injury-dependent and we probably won’t know the statuses of Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, Antrel Rolle and Pernell McPhee until 90 minutes before kickoff. (No big deal, it’s only 3 of their 5 best players.) But the Bears have two essential elements when it comes to covering a big number: (a) arguably the best late-game quarterback in the league this season and (b) a suddenly serviceable defense that limits the point damage even on long drives. The point differentials of games which Jay Cutler started and finished this year? -8, +2, +1, -3, -3, +3, +24, -2. Cutler and the Bears have been a tough, determined bunch. Why would anyone be surprised if they kept another game within one possession?”
Bears create the season’s definitive memory and upset the Packers with a Robbie Gould field goal at the death.
Chicago Bears 27, Green Bay Packers 24