Cutler does his share of talking while Rodgers walks the walk.
Tonight marks the 185th meeting between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. It’s one of the most bitter rivalries in sports with names that echo in the annals of NFL history. Butkus, Nitschke, Starr, Taylor, Sayers, Payton, McMahon and Favre.
The rivalry is now in the hands of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler who have already met in the NFC Championship in 2010. The Packers swept the series last season outscoring the Bears 62-38. The Bears are looking to win at Lambeau Field for the first time in five years.
Jay Cutler is talking a lot for a guy who is 1-5 against the Packers for his career. Wishing the Packers secondary well when you have gifted their defense with 11 interceptions in your career takes guts. Maybe it’s the off-season moves that have Cutler feeling chippy. The acquisitions of Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush with the re-signing of Matt Forte are gimmies but second-round pick Alshon Jeffrey is a speedster that could give the Green Bay secondary some problems.
And of course Devin Hester cannot be overlooked.
The Packers tallied 428 yards in total offense last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Cutler was 21-35 for 333 yards and two touchdowns. It looks like they’ve found a back to finally compliment and most of all spell Matt Forte in Michael Bush. Bush is a bruiser with decent speed and hands out of the backfield. The Packers front seven will be busy tonight.
Greg Jennings says that he’s going to make a run at it tonight but Rodgers’ primary targets will be James Jones,Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. The Bears are able to cover the deep ball exceptionally well. If Jennings is unable to go and if Cedric Benson is a non-factor on the ground the deep ball from the Packers will not be a worry.
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jermichael Finley needs to be in beast mode from the outset…
Speaking of Cedric Benson — toting the rock 9 times last week for a whopping 18 yards isn’t going to get it. Both Mike McCarthy and Benson have agreed that this isn’t going to fly. Benson is the key for the Packers tonight. If Benson is ineffective tonight, Rodgers can expect to drop back somewhere close to the 44 times that he did last week against the 49’ers.
The Bears better be aware that they are not facing Andrew Luck this week and the possibility of five Packer turnovers is less likely.
Expect a heavy dose of Jermichael Finley tonight. Last week against the physical Niners defense Finley pulled in 7 receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. He should keep the Bears Brian Urlacher busy tonight. Randall Cobb has game-breaking ability as a special teams threat but expect offensive coordinator Mike Tice to put him in favorable matchups.
The Packers defense has to simply play better this week. The Niners simply outplayed the Packers at the point of attack. If the Packers want to force the Bears into a one-dimensional approach they much force long yardage situations and get off the field on third down. Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson are vital in this happening.
The weather is supposed to be in the low to mid 40’s with light rain.
Prediction: This is the Bears best shot at beating the Packers in some time. They have improved offensively and are catching the Pack while they’re banged up. Most importantly, Green Bay is coming off a tough loss and working on a short week. I won’t allow myself to be fooled by the Bears gaudy numbers against the Colts nor will I believe that the Pack are as bad as they looked last week.
Packers 31 – Bears 27