By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) — It’s an impossible stat to ignore: the Packers have 11 sacks in their last three games — all without rushing linebacker Clay Matthews.
The Bears have nine sacks all season.
That second part is simply an indictment of the Bears defense. The first part is really what head coach Marc Trestman is worried about from an offensive standpoint.
“The important thing is finding the five who are coming. Finding the six who are coming. And knowing who to block and where to block,” Trestman said. “It’s not one guy. I think they’ve certainly got good personnel. As we know, they’ve had some injuries to some key guys and some difference-making guys, but it really comes down to blocking what we see and making sure we got a hat on the right guy and that’s really the challenge of the week: making sure we’ve got hats on the right guys.”
That applies to the run blocking as well, as the Packers are only allowing 83.6 yards per game on the ground, which is fourth best in the NFL.
“If they’re in their base defense, they have three very large humans inside that are hard to get around and a strong edge,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “And when they get in nickel, when you try to run it they blitz you and try to take away all the gaps that way. So that’s what makes it tough on you.”
Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) was back at practice Friday after being excused Thursday. More importantly, he was a full participant in practice, essentially confirming Trestman’s optimism that he’ll be good to go Monday night.
“I was happy to see Charles out there. He worked the entire practice, got reps,” Trestman said.
Greene Looking Good
Trestman said rookie linebacker Khaseem Greene has put together two good practices in a row, but the head coach was still not ready to name him the starting weak side linebacker for Monday night.
“He’s had two very good days of practice, I would say that. To say he’s solidified it, I wouldn’t say that today. But I’ve seen him do very well the last two days and work in with James Anderson and Bostic and making the calls and being in the right place. So I’m encouraged with the first two days of practice, no doubt about it,” Trestman said.
– Linebacker Blake Costanzo (knee) returned to practice Friday. Jay Cutler (groin) and Lance Briggs (shoulder) were the only ones to sit out completely.
– The Bears are averaging 7.19 yards per carry when running behind right guard Kyle Long, but the Packers are only allowing 2.08 yards per carry on runs behind right guards so something will have to give.
– With rookie Eddie Lacy leading the charge, the Packers have the fourth best rushing offense, averaging 141.4 yards per game. Watch closely which direction they run the ball, as they are much stronger running to the left side. The Packers average 7.56 ypc running off left end, 4.92 ypc behind left tackle and 5.95 behind left guard. Meanwhile, they’re only averaging 1.20 ypc behind right guard, 3.50 ypc behind right tackle and 4.08 ypc off right end. Up the middle, the Packers are averaging 5.65 ypc.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.