Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears game should be easy for Matt LaFleur’s team.
Emphasis on the word “should.”
The Packers have the better quarterback, running back, and receiver core. The Packers should have a defense that can handle Mitchell Trubisky, who is coming off a shoulder injury and has not started since Week 3. Green Bay should have incredible energy at home after having their hearts broken in Indianapolis last week. Now that you know what should happen, let’s take a look at what may happen.
First and foremost, the Packers have to continue their offensive dominance from last week. Against a Colts defense that came into the game ranked No. 1 in the NFL, Green Bay put up 31 points despite turning the ball over four times. Davante Adams still had over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown while Rodgers never really looked uncomfortable. Outside of the disastrous and unexplainable third quarter, the Packers’ offense moved the ball and moved the ball well.
Thankfully for the Packers, the Bears are the worst team in the NFL during the third quarter. Chicago only scores 1.4 points per game in the third quarter compared to the Packers’ 6.2. What happened to Green Bay in the third quarter last week was more of an anomaly than a pattern, or at least that is what LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers hope.
Chicago will base their hope on the return of Mitchell Trubisky as quarterback Nick Foles is nursing a hip injury that he suffered in Week 10 against the Vikings. Additionally, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and left tackle Charles Leno will be game time decisions for Matt Nagy on Sunday.
It appears that the Bears are excited to see Trubisky back under center for Chicago, even after benching him during their Week 3 contest against the Atlanta Falcons.
“Right now, we are excited,” said Nagy. “Mitch is absolutely ready and this is a huge opportunity for him.”
Trubisky will be facing a Packers defense that has improved against the run in the last few weeks, allowing just 115 yards per game. The unit also one of the top-rated corners in the NFL, Jaire Alexander. With Alexander and Kevin King matching up against Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, the Bears’ offense success will likely lie in the usage of David Montgomery. After allowing the Colts to dominate the running game in the second half last week, that will be a focus for the Packers on Sunday night.
“From a defensive perspective, again, I always look at run defense as the best run defenses,” said LaFleur. “There’s an intent, there’s everybody doing their one-eleventh in terms of being gap sound, playing with great fundamentals, and then flying to the football. The best run defenses swarm the football. And again, there were some really good moments of that. It’s just too inconsistent.”
For the Packers, LaFleur also wants to get star running back Aaron Jones involved more.
“Obviously, we know we have to run the ball better, and I’ve got to be more committed to calling some more running plays and making sure that we have good looks to run the football into, and then we have to execute better.”
Jones has not had a 100-yard rushing game since Week 2 against the Lions, which hampers the play-action game that Rodgers relies on during the bulk of the game. Facing an incredible pass rush on Sunday, the Packers will need to establish the run to keep Mack, Hicks, and the Bears’ speedy linebackers honest in the later moments of the game.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020
Start Time: 7:25 p.m. CT
Location: Green Bay, Wisc.
Stadium: Lambeau Field
TV Info: NBC
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: CHI +9.5 (-110) | GB -9.5 (-110)
Moneyline: CHI (+380) | GB (-475)
Over/Under: O 44.5 (-110) | U 44.5 (-110)
Playing the over-under in this game is a dangerous risk to take. NFC North division games are never a predictable affair. Although a Packers moneyline play seems pretty safe, there are not many combinations here that warrant a parlay play. If absolutely necessary, look for the Bears to cover the spread and the Packers to win on the moneyline, but stay away from the over/under on this one.
Any matchup between NFC North rivals is fun, especially when the Packers and Bears have historically been so closely matched. With the Packers only holding a four-game lead all-time against the Bears, there is little recent or historical precedent to make many predictions. However, with the success Green Bay had against a top Colts defense last year and the Bears playing Trubisky, it should be a solid win for the Packers. Look for Aaron Jones to get more involved and the Packers’ defense to make a statement at home.
Final Score: Packers 27, Bears 20
Follow MJ Hurley on Twitter @Mjhurley47
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