Packers XLV

Relax, Rodgers Will R-E-S-P-O-N-D

Posted September 26th, 2014 @ 05:09pm

As the Packers take a nosedive down the NFL power rankings, they know that if they can take care of business at their home away from home, Soldier Field, they will finish the first quarter a respectable 2-2 with a favorable schedule staring them in the face.

Aaron Rodgers' ballyhooed "R-E-L-A-X" comments aimed at Packer fans should do nothing but make you feel like he's got this. After all, he always seems to respond, just as the Packers have after 1-2 starts the past two years. Now, no Packer team under Rodgers has started 1-3, so let's hope he knows what he's talking about.

Rodgers and the Pack have won their last four games at Soldier Field, most recently last year's season finale thriller that won the division. That puts the Pack at 9-2 in their last 11 games against the Bears--Jay Cutler seems to save his worst games for the green and gold.

The Bears come off a big Monday night road win, but they're banged up, particularly in the secondary and on the offensive line. Charles Tillman's season ending injury has opened the door for impressive rookie Kyle Fuller, but it has zapped their depth chart. Both safeties were injured in the Jets win, though it looks like both will try to give it a shot.

For the Packers to re-establish some sense of their place in the division, it begins with the run game. The Bears do not defend the run well and there should be big opportunities for Eddie Lacy to finally get untracked. If he does, Rodgers will look like a new man, with play action back in his arsenal. Look for the Bears to begin the game in the same two high look that the Lions displayed, with coverage tilted towards Jordy Nelson. The Packers can exploit it in the middle of the defense--it wouldn't be a bad time for Brandon Bostick to make his first regular season appearance.

The defense should have Clay Matthews, who's listed as probable after practicing all week (in a limited fashion) with his strained groin. Couple that with Julius Peppers' obvious motivation and the Pack should make life difficult for Jay Cutler, who's beaten the Packer a grand total of one time. The defense was impressive against the Lions, with Jamari Lattimore settling in at inside linebacker and Datone Jones appearing much more comfortable every time he plays.

The Bears will try to establish their own running game, as Matt Forte has been grumbling about a lack of opportunities. Couple that with their banged up receiver corps and you can bet their recipe for a win is a more balanced offense that controls the clock and keeps the hungry Rodgers off the field.

It might surprise some to see that the Packers are one point favorites in this one, considering their slow start and the Bears' two consecutive wins on the road. But Chicago is coming off a short week and the Packers are the more desperate team, they're healthier and they have a lot of recent success at Soldier Field, which should make them a relatively confident bunch.

Rodgers delivers and Packer fans relax.

Packers 27  Bears 23

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Comments (4):

I'll be taking some time off next week, which will include my annual visit to Lambeau to watch the Pack dismantle the purple Thursday night, so I'm looking forward to seeing a 3-2 mark for the Packers one week from now. Until then, GO PACK!

on September 26th, 2014 at 04:35pm

on September 26th, 2014 at 04:36pm

"Da Bears" have been a "tonic" for the Packers in times of Green & Gold struggle before and may be again. In the 3 biggest games in the recent history of pro football's oldest rivalry the Packers have come up big every time. But I'm not sure this game this early in the season is on par with the 2010 game to make the playoffs and NFC title meeting and last season's for the division title. A loss certainly won't be good but it won't mean the end of the season either. The NFC North will be decided in December not September and at least as far as scheduling the Packers have the advantages cards then. Win or lose I want to see the offense wake up and the defense continue to show improvement. Over the last 100 minutes, nearly 7 quarters, they've yielded just 13 points and started generating some picks. The Bears may be a little overrated right now. They got 7 turnovers which were crucial to their wins over the 49ers and Jets. Eddie Lacy's fumble in Detroit nothwistanding, the Packers aren't a turnover prone team. And Jay Cutler is minus-6 in the td to int. ratio in his career against the Packers. I have a feeling the guys will get it done this week to restore confidence. If not their own then ours.

on September 26th, 2014 at 07:53pm

your listening Davey, I said 2 days ago Pack 24-20, u say 27-23. I said we need TE down the middle to make some plays, u agree. case closed. Pack wins.

on September 26th, 2014 at 09:25pm

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