Chicago Bears stumble out of bye into arms of Green Bay Packers
- Updated: November 1, 2013
The Chicago Bears (4-3) just enjoyed their bye week, but things didn’t change much in their time off.
Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) is still not practicing and has been listed as Questionable to play. Quarterback Jay Cutler (groin) and linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) are still out for a few weeks. Defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins and linebacker D.J. Williams are still out for the season.
In short, the Chicago Bears are still a banged-up team, especially on defense.
They say time heals all wounds, but unfortunately one week was not enough to heal most of Chicago’s. Now this team must try to figure out a way to compete with the rolling Green Bay Packers (5-2) — winners of four straight — despite missing their starting quarterback and at least three defensive starters.
Run the ball
With Jay Cutler not playing, the offense will be led by Josh McCown, who has not started a game since 2011. McCown looked pretty good when pressed into action against Washington a few weeks ago, but the Redskins had not had time to prepare for him like the Packers have.
If Chicago is going to have any chance of winning this game, they will need to score some points.
Their best bet is to focus the offense around running back Matt Forte, who is having an excellent year (795 yards from scrimmage, 4.6 yards per carry) despite not having been used heavily. Forte was called on to carry the offense against Washington after Cutler got hurt, and he responded with 12 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
Green Bay has a better defense than Washington, but they can be run on, so Chicago needs a big game on the ground from Forte to keep this competitive.
Defensive line improvement
The defensive line has been pretty terrible so far this year. They have notched only four sacks, have failed to pressure the quarterback consistently, and have not been good against the run, especially in recent weeks after their defensive tackles have been hurt.
New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs ran for over 100 yards against them — his first 100-yard game since 2011 — in Week 6, and the Washington Redskins gouged them for 209 rushing yards and 4.9 yards per carry in Week 7.
Green Bay has a respectable running game for the first time in several years; rookie running back Eddie Lacy has rushed for 395 yards and two touchdowns in the last four weeks. Chicago simply cannot afford to let him go off against them.
Even if they can slow down the running game, there is still the issue of Aaron Rodgers, one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. The only way to slow down Rodgers is to hit him early and often, something the Bears have done a decent job of in the past, but the defense as currently constructed does not seem capable of doing that.
The defensive line is going to need a massive game to slow down Green Bay’s offense, meaning that defensive ends Julius peppers and Shea McClellin are going to have to play considerably better than they have so far this year.
The linebacking corps been pretty much the only bright spot on the defense this season, as veterans Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams, and James Anderson have combined to form a solid trio.
That will change this week, however, when rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene take over for the injured Williams and Briggs, respectively. Bostic will be making his second straight start at middle linebacker, but he will add play calling duties to his plate in place of Briggs. Greene, meanwhile, is set to make his first career start; he will man the weakside linebacker spot that Lance Briggs has had on lockdown for the past decade.
This rookie duo is physically gifted but can be expected to make some mistakes, especially against a smart veteran quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. Keeping the mistakes to a minimum while hopefully using their speed and athleticism to make a few big plays would be a huge boost for the Chicago Bears.
It basically comes down to this: the defense cannot reasonably be expected to consistently stop Green Bay’s offense. The Chicago offense, meanwhile, cannot reasonably be expected to win a shootout on the road with their backup quarterback.
If the Bears want to have any chance of escaping Green Bay with a win, they are going to need to win the turnover battle. Unfortunately, Green Bay does not turn the ball over much; they have just nine turnovers through seven games.
Chicago’s best chance is to force fumbles, as the Packers have lost five fumbles on the year. Khaseem Greene and cornerback Charles Tillman are both particularly noted for forcing fumbles, and a key fumble or two could help keep the Chicago Bears in this game.
It’s pretty tough to see the Chicago Bears winning this game unless their defense figured out how to get significantly better over the bye week (and even then they would face an uphill battle). The foc
us here will be on the new offense proving it can handle Green Bay’s defense, something it has struggled with in past years. The Packers score early and often and win fairly easily.
Final score: Green Bay Packers 41, Chicago Bears 27
@_MKE_ i benched spiller long ago
@_MKE_ That is a tough one. I think with the tate injury I would just go CJ and pray
. With Tuel there you at least know they are going to keep everything short or on the ground this week
Nate or Rourke, is my article going to post before kickoff. I know a picks article after the kickoff is going to look suspect and bring into question the integrity and rightfully so.
@robertj72 what picks article?
"Meanwhile, the Vikings have their fans longing for the stability, imagination and precision of the Brad Childress era."
When you suddenly. realize that ten minutes ago you were in the middle of making a cup of coffee and forgot about it then you might be stoned
@gatrbuc17 I made a quesadilla earlier today and forgot about. Burnt the shit out of it.
@Natesweet "I am fluent in over 6 million forms of cock blocking"
@gatrbuc17 I think I might be not drinking today today. Too much wine yesterday.
yep, Detroit aint playin
@Natesweet What Peyton isnt playing???
@gatrbuc17 I have Pandora which tastes very grapefruity with a hint of berry.
Next time your wife says to you " Honey you never say anything sweet to me anymore" Just look at her and say "Cheesecake"
@gatrbuc17 Oh baby, your pussy tastes like candy. they like that one.
I found another GIF for JWoude and Northwestern
@Maized and Confused That looks like the Bucs' Season
@Maized and Confused What the fuck is going on. Guy is in a barren tent building a giant card pyramid. Something seems off about this gif. It does not belong in this universe.
@_MKE_ Romo gets Minny at home. Hard to pass that up, unless you want to bet on Cam running in a TD or two. I think he will outpace Rivers.
But honestly, this is basically the first world problem of Fantasy Football.
@_MKE_ I have that issue (w/out Rivers) I went with Romo...but they all seem like winners this week
@_MKE_ If Foster is out Tate.