Final Thoughts on Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scores a rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Green Bay Packers 24-14 win at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scores a rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Green Bay Packers 24-14 win at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti-USA TODAY Sports /

Before the Green Bay Packers take on the rival Chicago Bears on Sunday Night, as always, I have my final thoughts on the upcoming matchup.

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears Final Thoughts

– The Green Bay Packers CB room gets a boost with the return of Kevin King. I know his last showing against Minnesota was rough, but prior to that performance, King had a three-game stretch where he allowed eight completions on 13 targets and for only 48 yards per PFF. With that said, Rasul Douglas should absolutely get more snaps than him.

– Malik Taylor will also be back for the Green Bay Packers. I don’t expect him to see many snaps on offense, but his return means that Amari Rodgers no longer has to return kicks.

– I would expect a lot of David Montgomery today. I imagine this is a game that Chicago will want to slow down, keep Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines, and limit offensive possessions. Backup RB Khalil Herbert had 97 rushing yards against the Packers in their first meeting.

– Randall Cobb provided Rodgers with a reliable target on 3rd downs and in the red zone, but as we saw during 2019 and 2020, having a true slot/motion-man isn’t a requirement for this offense to be successful. It will be a group effort to replace his role and production, but Equanimeous St. Brown is someone who I could see really getting more opportunities.

– The Bears will be without Akiem Hicks. Against Jon Runyan and Royce Newman, Hicks could have caused some major problems in both the run and passing games.

– I know I say this every week, but especially without Hicks in the middle, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon should have their fair share of carries. The Bears are allowing 4.2 yards per rush this season and rank 26th in ESPN’s run stop win rate metric.

– Robert Quinn vs. Yosh Nijman is a matchup to watch. Quinn has logged 11 sacks this season, and while he can lineup on both sides of the line, my guess is that he will try to exploit the inexperienced Nijman. Green Bay can provide Nijman with help through tight end chips, quick passes, and the run game.

– Keeping Justin Fields in the pocket and not allowing him to extend plays is going to be important to the defense’s success. It will be a group effort, but this responsibility will largely fall on the edge rushers. Fields has the ability to extend drives with his legs while asking the CBs to cover for 5+ seconds is never a recipe for success.

– Basically just pick an important offensive category, and there’s a good chance that the Bears rank near the bottom of the NFL in that area.

– An odd stat is that the Bears rank third in total sacks but 29th in pressure rate, according to Pro Football Reference. That shows that they don’t apply pressure on the QB very well, but when they do, they convert those opportunities into sacks. This seems extremely unsustainable.

– Joe Barry’s M.O. has been taking away the passing game. This week, however, it will be interesting to see if he sticks with that strategy or plays with more players closer to the line of scrimmage in an effort to slow Montgomery and to apply pressure on Fields.

– As a team, Chicago’s passing numbers rank near the bottom of the NFL, but Darnell Mooney is zeroing in on a 1,000-yard season. He has 721 receiving yards at 14.1 yards per catch with three touchdowns. TE Cole Kmet is second on the team in yards (402) and receptions (40), while Allen Robinson is third in both categories.

– After struggling to connect on the deep ball the first 10 games of the season, Aaron Rodgers and this offense found some success against Minnesota and Los Angeles. For the overall success of this offense, it’s going to be important that the Packers continue to connect downfield. By Sharp Football’s explosive pass play rate allowed, the Chicago defense ranks 20th this season.

– CB Jaylon Johnson has had a good season for the Bears, and he will likely see a lot of Davante Adams on Sunday night. According to PFF ($$), when these two matched up in Week 6, Adams caught three of his four targets for 84 yards.

– As of me writing this, we don’t know for certain whether or not De’Vondre Campbell will play, but against a Bears team with the mobile Justin Fields at QB and David Montgomery at RB, Campbell’s presence will be quite welcomed.

– Let’s all cross our fingers that the field goal unit can make it through a game without any sort of issues.

– It’s always important to keep in mind that the Green Bay Packers are 28-0 under Matt LaFleur when they win the turnover battle.

– Yes, the Green Bay Packers have played two very good teams coming off their previous byes (San Francisco in 2019 and Tampa Bay in 2020), and the Bears certainly aren’t of that caliber. However, it’s worth noting that the Packers have been outscored 75 to 18 in those two games.

– The Packers can clinch a playoff spot with a win and New Orleans loss or tie along with a San Francisco loss as well.

Prediction: Packers 31 – Bears 16