The Bears will have an unexpected chance to tie the all-time record in this longest and biggest NFL rivalry shortly after the Packers took over the lead one month ago with a home win. The current record stands at 94-93 in the Packers advance while six matchups ending with a tie. Also, the Packers lead in overall points with 3,335 opposed to Bears’ 3,298. Green Bay is coming off from a third straight loss, a skid that started in Week 6 against the Vikings after Rodgers got hurt. The Bears on the other side are coming off from a bye week and previously they were defeated by the Saints, 20:12, on the road.
The Bears are 6-2 against the spread this season (4-0 at home) and they are 2-6 in Over/Under while the Packers are 3-5 against the spread (1-2 on the road) and 5-3 in Over/Under. Total points for Sunday’s matchup are set at 38 and bookies are giving an advantage to the Chicago Bears at -5. Very interesting duel is on the menu so let’s check some basic info about the teams’ form so far into the year.
The Chicago Bears had a couple of strange decisions during the offseason, and especially during the 2017 NFL Draft but we won’t dwell into that anymore. Still, I have to say that by my opinion, many Bears’ fans still can’t get over the fact that they choose not to pick DeShaun Watson, even though he suffered a season-ending injury last week. After demolition by the Packers in Week 4, Mike Glennon was benched and 2017 NFL Draft 2nd overall pick Mitch Trubisky stepped in. The Bears are 2-2 since then and it looks like the team is on the ascending path when we look at the overall picture. I’m sure that John Fox wouldn’t survive another 2016-like season but it seems that the Bears might be on the verge of something good with Trubisky and hopefully, we’re going to see a big fight for the division title in which the Bears are still contenders.
On the stat sheet, the team is averaging 287.6 total yards in offense (157.5 passing yards and 130.1 rushing yards) per game and 4.8 yards per play. Offensively they rank 29th in the league (32nd in passing and 6th in rushing). On the other side of the field, they allow 312.0 total yards (207.6 passing yards and 104.4 rushing yards) to their opponents and 5.0 yards per play. Their overall defense is ranked 8th in the league (11th in passing yards allowed and 13th in rushing yards allowed) while they also allow 21.4 points per game (13th in the NFL).
Since becoming a starter QB Mitch Trubisky is leading the offense with 512 total yards, two TDs and two picks while running back Jordan Howard tops the team in rushing with 662 yards and four scores so far. TE Zach Miller and WR Kendall Wright top the receiving corps with 236 and 259 yards and three scores combined. On defense, linebacker Danny Trevathan and cornerback Kyle Fuller led the team in total tackles with 36 and 34 while DE Akiem Hicks collected team-high seven sacks. Trevathan also has one interception and one fumble recovered.
Markus Wheaton (groin) and Mark Sanchez (neck) are out while Cody Whitehair (elbow), Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring), Dontrelle Inman (hamstring), Kyle Long (hand), John Timu (ankle), Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and Hroniss Grasu (hand) are all listed as questionable for Sunday.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers are trying to adapt to the life without Aaron Rodgers but it’s not going very well at the moment. Third-year QB Brett Hundley is just not clicking with his receivers yet and we have to mention Mike McCarthy’s shady play-calling and game plan against both the Saints and the Lions. Concentrating on the screen-pass based game plan that gets read by a mediocre defense after just one drive and forcing Hundley to throw the ball down the field only when the team is behind one or more scores is just not good football. When we put the unconvincing defense in the mix we get 0-3 record since Rodgers’ injury. But like I’ve mentioned before, this season is probably already over when it comes to the Packers’ Super Bowl hopes and finishing the year with one of the worse records in the league would provide the team with a high-ranked Draft pick next season that they could use to get another playmaker in secondary or maybe in the offense.
Statistically, the team is averaging 310.1 total yards in offense (211.5 passing yards and 98.6 rushing yards) per match and 5.1 yards per play. Defensively, they allow 357.4 total yards per game (239.4 passing yards and 118.0 rushing yards) to their opponents and 5.6 yards per play. Their defense ranks 25th in total yards allowed and 22nd in points allowed per matchup (23.9).
In three games that he played (last two as a starter) Brett Hundley has 489 passing yards, one TD and four interceptions while running back duo Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery leads the team’s ground attack with 358 and 219 yards and five scores combined. Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson top the receiving corps with 404 and 338 yards and 11 scores combined while Randall Cobb has 319 yards and one score. Linebacker Blake Martinez and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix top the team in tackles with 54 and 36 while OLB Nick Perry has team-high 4.0 sacks recorded. CB Damarious Randall has team-high three interceptions and one pick-six against the Cowboys.
Tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a torn ACL in his knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the season while Morgan Burnett (groin), Quinton Dial (chest), Martellus Bennett (shoulder), Joe Thomas (ankle), Justin McCray (ankle) and Ahmad Brooks (back) are all listed as questionable for Sunday.
Bears vs. Packers Betting Lines
The Bears’ fans would be enormously happy if their team could manage to beat the Packers, even without Aaron Rodgers and I think that their wish might come true on Sunday. The Packers look disorientated and unmotivated to accomplish anything without Rodgers while the Bears have something good going on right now and if they take down Green Bay, the dream of the postseason might come to the far reaches of their visibility area but that might be an overstatement. Still, big things start with small steps and we won’t count out the Bears yet. When I put everything in the equation, my pick here will be the Bears with a victory larger than five-point difference. Also, I would go with under 38 points because the defensive units are the better part of both teams at the moment.