Green Bay Packers: 3 Keys to Victory over the Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 05: Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears rolls out to look for a receiver against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field on December 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Cowboys 31-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 05: Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears rolls out to look for a receiver against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field on December 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Cowboys 31-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

If the Green Bay Packers are going to come away with the win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, these will be their three keys to doing so.

Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will be the team’s 200th meeting and it comes with huge playoff implications for both. With a Packers’ win, they will continue to hold a crucial one game lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, and if they can get some help from the Dallas Cowboys, they can clinch a playoff spot as well. On the other hand for Chicago, at 7-6 they need a win just to keep their playoff hopes alive.

As was the case in their first meeting this season, I expect the game to be a hard-fought defensive battle that comes down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. And in order for the Green Bay Packers to be the winner, these are going to be their three keys to victory over Chicago.

Slowing down Allen Robinson

The Chicago offense has consistently struggled with running the ball this season, in fact, in average yards per game they are one of the worst in the NFL. That means much of the burden has fallen on Mitch Trubisky and the passing game. But despite some of the ridicule he’s taken this season, over the last three games Trubisky has performed fairly well with 860 yards, a 70 percent completion percentage and nine total touchdowns. So if the Bears are going to successfully move the ball on Sunday, odds are it’ll be through Allen Robinson.

During Chicago’s three game winning streak Robinson has caught 63 percent of his passes for 265 yards at nearly 14 yards per catch with four touchdowns. And looking back at week one against Green Bay, he had 107 receiving yards even with the Bears’ offense struggling to move the ball.

For a Green Bay Packers’ defense that has been prone to giving up the big play this season, it is going to be vital that they take away Robinson as much as possible, forcing Trubisky to look elsewhere, and not allow them to move the ball with explosive plays. Especially considering this will likely be a low scoring game in which every possession matters. Back in their week one matchup, Jaire Alexander didn’t exclusively cover Robinson then, but I’m hoping he does on Sunday.

Contain Mitch Trubisky

As I mentioned in the previous section, Trubisky has been pretty good during the Bears’ winning streak and one big reason why, is that he is using his legs more often. In this three game stretch, Trubisky has rushed 21 times, totaling 85 yards with two touchdowns. For reference, in his first nine games of the season, Trubisky would total just 15 rushing attempts. So even though Chicago’s opponents the last three games haven’t been the greatest, it’s not a coincidence that the offense is starting to click at the same time Trubisky is being a more active runner.

As we’ve seen in his short career, Trubisky is at his best when he can get on his pocket and rely on using his legs if needed. Meaning, it is going to be vital for the Green Bay Packers’ defense to contain him and not let him get outside. If they can do that, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Kenny Clark are going to have plenty of sack opportunities as they are going up against a Chicago offensive line that has allowed 50 sacks this season, which is the second most in football.

Not to mention that if Trubisky is under duress, he is likely to make a mistake or two for the defense to capitalize on. However, it all starts with keeping him in the pocket.

Protect Aaron Rodgers

Perhaps they’ve been overshadowed by the offense’s poor play this season, but this Chicago Bears’ defense is once again very good – especially at stopping the run where they’ve allowed the 7th fewest yards per game this season. And oh yeah, it looks like Akiem Hicks will be back along the defensive front on Sunday as well.

So as a result, I’m expecting it to be tough sledding for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams which means a number of passing attempts for Aaron Rodgers against a very good Chicago pass-rush. Despite having faced some of the best defensive fronts in football this season, the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line has held up quite well, allowing just 31 sacks and a sack rate of 6.4 percent. Both of which rank as the 12th fewest in the NFL.

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Naturally, against Hicks, Khalil Mack, and the rest of the Chicago front-seven, the Packers’ offensive line will have to be on their “A” game, but Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers can give them some help by making sure the ball is out of his hands quickly in order to negate the pass-rush. Ultimately if Rodgers is able to have some time, with no Roquan Smith or Danny Trevathan at linebacker on Sunday, he might have some good opportunities to pick this defense apart over the middle of the field.