Green Bay Packers v. Chicago Bears: 3 Burning Questions

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 08: Matthew Ioannidis #98 of the Washington Redskins sacks Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on December 08, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 08: Matthew Ioannidis #98 of the Washington Redskins sacks Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on December 08, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

This will undoubtedly be one of the Green Bay Packers’ biggest games of the season but before they take the field, these are the three burning questions we want answered.

Meaningful December football at Lambeau Field with the Chicago Bears in town, from a football perspective, I’m not sure that it gets much better than this. With the NFC playoff race being so tight, this is a much win game for both teams. The Green Bay Packers are looking stay atop the NFC North as well as hold on to that No. 2 seed. Meanwhile, Chicago at 7-6 this season is fighting for their playoff lives.

It’s been a while since these two teams met and each will likely look a little different than they did during their week one matchup when they were just trying to shake the rust off. It was a defensive battle that the Green Bay Packers won 10 to 3 and my expectations for this Sunday’s game are that the winner will once again be decided by the defenses.

But before these two rivals take the field on Sunday, as always, I have my burning questions about the upcoming matchup in which the answers will play a huge role in deciding the outcome.

How will the Packer offense perform?

The Green Bay Packers’ offense has been inconsistent all season long. One week they look like they can put up 30 or more points on any opponent, then the next week we are wondering if they can score more than 14. And this Sunday against Chicago, they will have one of their toughest challenges yet.

With the struggles that the Bears have had offensively this season, it can be easy to overlook how good the defense has actually been. This season they are giving up 17.8 points per game, which is the 4th fewest in the NFL, they rank 10th in total defense, and have the 7th best defense by DVOA.

However, recently Chicago did lose linebacker Roquan Smith for the season which could open things up a bit over the middle of the field in the passing game as well as for Aaron Jones both as a runner and a pass-catcher. But Chicago will be getting back Akiem Hicks on the defensive front who has been greatly missed.

Against Los Angeles and San Francisco when the offense was sputtering, we saw Green Bay abandon Jones and become very one-dimensional. If they do that against this Bears’ defense they will be in serious trouble. Not to mention that in the passing game, the ball will need to be out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands quickly and in rhythm – unlike last week – or once again, they’ll be in serious trouble.

Can they protect Aaron Rodgers?

Regardless of the changes that have taken place in Green Bay, the name of the game offensively will always be keeping Aaron Rodgers upright and the offensive line is going to have their hands full with the aforementioned Akiem Hicks back and of course, Khalil Mack. In their week one meeting, Rodgers was sacked five times and pressured a whopping 17 times, however, the duo of David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga didn’t surrender a single sack or quarterback hit to Mack.

Despite going up against some of the best defensive fronts the NFL has to offer this season, the Packers still rank in the top half of the league in fewest sacks allowed. Not to mention that since these two teams last met, the offensive line is much more cohesive and comfortable in the Matt LaFleur offense and Elgton Jenkins is now a starter.

When going up against a defense like Chicago’s, sacks are going to happen. But getting the ball out of Rodgers’ hands quickly will go a long way, while obviously limiting the amount of sacks and not allowing them in crucial moments is going to be key.

Will they stifle the Mitch Trubisky and Allen Robinson combination?

Yes, I am fully aware of what the question says, but despite looking awful for long stretches this season, Mitch Trubisky has been much better as of late. Now, perhaps that is due to the competition he’s gone up against, however, he’s putting up solid numbers and getting wins.

During Chicago’s three game winning streak, Trubisky is completing 70 percent of his passes for 860 yards with 85 rushing yards – including a 63 yard performance against Dallas – and nine total touchdowns. But I also have to mention that he has four interceptions as well. Trubisky’s top playmaker during that span has been of course, Allen Robinson who has 19 receptions on 30 targets, averaging nearly 14 yards per catch with four touchdowns. Not to mention that week one against Green Bay, he totaled 107 receiving yards.

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The Chicago run game has struggled all season long so this game could very well fall on Trubisky’s shoulders. As of late he has been using his legs much more often and that is when he is most comfortable. So the Green Bay Packers will have to contain him to the pocket – which they do quite well – and if they can create pressure, Trubisky will likely make a mistake or two. Or even three. And as far as Robinson goes, we will hopefully see Jaire Alexander shadowing him, much like he did last Sunday with Terry McLaurin, in order to limit his impact on the game.