Packers XLV

The Mitch Is Back.

Posted November 27th, 2020 @ 05:11pm

2020 has turned into a year unlike any we have ever experienced, but there are a few welcome constants, including a Packers-Bears prime time game. The NFL's oldest rivals meet on Sunday night at Lambeau--the 15th straight season these bitter rivals have played under the lights.

Here's an opportunity for the Pack to put the NFC North to bed and re-establish a little Lambeau Field swagger, with four of the next five games at home. The last two home games have been, how should I say this, less than inspiring. As you know, the Bears have been gracious visitors over the years, losing 10 of their last 12 in Green Bay, though I was there for one of those wins, five years ago on Thanksgiving night--the night the Pack retired Brett Favre's #4.

Once again, Green Bay faces another team coming off its bye, though the Bears haven't won off their bye since 2013 (a rare victory over the Pack). The biggest change will be familiar face, Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. With Nick Foles still nursing a hip injury suffered against the Vikes, Trubisky has taken all of the practice snaps and appears ready to try to reclaim his job--at least as an audition for another team, since you would assume Chicago will bring in yet another guy under center next season.

So Green Bay will face a motivated Trubisky, who will have his hands full on an offense that looks putrid, even by Bears standards. They'll be helped by the return of David Montgomery at lead running back, but are still dealing with massive injuries on the offensive line. Mitch will likely use his legs a lot to try to frustrate the Pack's aggressive pass rush. The Pack needs to shut down Montgomery and Cordarelle Patterson on the ground and force Mitch to make his customary questionable decisions.

I can see him converting a handful of third downs by running for his life. He'll likely look early and often for WR Allen Robinson, who should draw Jaire Alexander's attention all night long, which means he can look all he wants. That will leave opportunities for rookie speedster Darnell Mooney and Packer castoff Jimmy Graham. But make no mistake, the Packers defense should dominate against this team.

One thing that would be nice would be to see the special teams group elevate to that of a competent unit. The Bears always seem to have good return guys and if Green Bay doesn't contain Patterson on kick returns and Anthony Miller on punt returns, they will be giving the Bears offense the only thing that gives it life: short fields. Make them go 70 yards and they're sure to break down at some point. But give them good field position and you keep them in the game. On the positive side, it appears Tyler Ervin will be back, so we can all breathe a little easier after watching Darrius Shepherd and Josh Jackson the last couple of weeks.

Like last week, the heavyweight matchup is the Pack's offense against the Bears D. The biggest question is the availability of D-lineman Akiem Hicks, who is the heartbeat of that defense. He left the Vikings game with a hamstring injury and has not practiced this week (Friday's practice has not yet happened as I write this). Dalvin Cook found no footing while Hicks was in there and ran loose once he exited. Aaron Jones needs to be a major factor in this game and if Hicks is out, he has a good chance to do just that.

Billy Turner will likely have to deal with Khalil Mack for most of the night, but should get help from the tight ends.  Their entire linebacking corps is elite and all the others need to be dealt with: Roquan Smith, Danny Trevaithan and Robert Quinn. The Pack expect center Corey Linsley to play through his back injury. As good as Elgton Jenkins looked last week, they're at their best with their preferred starting five on the field, obviously.

On the back end, the Bears get their leader back: safety Eddie Jackson was activated Friday from the COVID list (he did not test positive). If CB Kyle Fuller is tracking Davante Adams all night, Allen Lazard will face impressive rookie Jaylon Johnson. That's a matchup Rodgers figures to test frequently. We'll have to watch MVS's availability; he pulled up in practice Thursday with an Achilles injury and missed practice on Friday (other than riding a bike).

Watching Aaron Rodgers duel against this defense is always worth the price of admission and he'll likely be the ultimate difference in this game. He's 18-5 against the Bears with 47 TDs and 10 picks and a passer rating of 104, against defenses that are usually among the league's best.

That said, I don't expect it to be easy. The Bears come in with their season hanging by a thread. They've lost four straight and are in desperation mode. I think they keep it close in a relatively low scoring game (caveat: if Hicks is out, the Pack could put 30 on the board), ultimately they'll take a commanding three game lead in the division.

Pack 23  Bears 16

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Comments (8):

Well, the weather doesn't look to bad for Sunday night. I agree with the analysis of Mitch. This game will hinge on third down throws. I am also a little fearful that the fumble bug has not fully pasted yet. Again, we are going to see a little bit better play calling on third down. I know everyone is running the wide receiver screen this year, it feels a bit predictable. On week one the play calls felt on new and fresh and energized. Now if just feels stale. I don't miss MM, but at least he would talk about self scouting. Feels like a good time to find some more plays that work on offense. Hoping to see a little more of Gary and a little of Preston Smith trying to cover a tight ends on defense. Go Pack. 27-17

on November 27th, 2020 at 04:48pm

This game will hinge on holding calls on the bear offensive line. Fear not about this game, packer fans! Roger(wink, wink)

on November 27th, 2020 at 05:19pm

Never any comments about our pathetic team Greg, I mean Roger,boy you really love the packers!! 1,what a little girl 2, what a little girl 3, what a little girl 4, what a little girl 5, what a little girl 6, what a little girl 7, what a little girl 8, what a little girl 9, what a little girl, I can count also!!

on November 27th, 2020 at 06:45pm

So the Bears have run about 10 plays and have had two offensive holding calls. The packers have run about 40 plays and have no offensive holding calls. Also, Rodgers was roughed by a hit on his shoulder pads, while Trubisky almost had his head ripped off twice on the same play for a packer td. NO ONE EVER QUESTIONS US. LMAO

on November 29th, 2020 at 08:29pm

At first glance the schedule for the next month looks like one set up for the Pack to go on a nice run to get their 11th NFC North title in the 18 years the Division has been in existence. Normally 4 of the last 6 at Lambeau would be considered a real advantage for the Packers but this is not a normal year. We've seen the Packers play poorly in their last 2 home outings in colder, windy weather and sans fans in the stands. They've only been a .500 team over the last 6 weeks since the 4-0 start. They have to show they are solving their problem issues with defense, special teams and with offensive players not named Rodgers, Adams or Jones. There could be a "trap" game or two on the balance of the schedule. It may actually be more to this team's advantage not to run away with a playoff berth since they seem to do better with some pressure on them. A "coast" into January could end up in a "one and done." But if there's one game coming up that they won't let themselves be trapped it's this one tonight. The incentives of the rivalry, taking command of what remains of the division race, vindicating themselves after last week should motivate and propel the club this week. It may not be artistic: Packer-Bear games rarely are. But the Pack does what it takes to get that 100th win in the historic rivalry and open up a 3 game lead on the NFCN.

on November 29th, 2020 at 08:54am

Frequent reader and listener, always enjoy your takes. Frankly I think this is Mike Pettine's audition to save his job in 2021. If his defense once again ignores the obvious in it's scheme and does not stifle Chicago's really bad offense in this game, he's not going to be around next year. He might not be anyway, but playing the Dbacks in zone or 10 yards off the line and giving Mitch time not to panic and do Mitch things would be inexcusable. I like our chances of hanging a fair number of points on the board on this D, especially after we dropped 31 on an even better D last week even with 4 turnovers. Go Pack Go.

on November 29th, 2020 at 09:32am

I hope you are right Packerlifer, LDF and Tom. I just d0n't see it. I'm Happy after writing last week, about 12 staying under center more for play action passes and the running game with zone runs works better then that read option crap. We scored 28 in 1st half and I said to my wife, Hey Lafluer read my post. LOL, Thy still are nit running the ball like they did the 1st 6 weeks. that scares me, especially against the bears. Even Davey has changed his tone, he must have been reading our posts this week. On Monday with P.A. he said the Bears is a win, No problems. Put it in the books attitude. No QB and no Ol men. He didn't say those exact words, but he was close to those awfully sure . Now I see his score is 7 point win, close to mine. Doesn't sound like convincing win to me. I just hope they win, I don't care what the score is. But I said last week 20 to 16 Packers, and sticking to it. I would squib kick it if Crosby cannot reach end zone. Even the 4 yards deep in end zone, Hell Patterson still could return it from there, GO Packers

on November 29th, 2020 at 11:23am

Roger Goodell Greg why don’t you fire the officials,they work for you ya stupid ass idiot,you’re just like the other asshole in this country who thinks things are rigged and fires people when things don’t go his way,Mrs Goodell is going to leave you,women don’t like WHINING!!

on November 30th, 2020 at 06:27am

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