Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Green Bay Packers
- QuarterbackJosh McCown was superb as he came in to relieve Jay Cutler in Week Seven, but now he must take on the starting assignment. That’s a different story. While McCown has good size and more than adequate arm strength, he has had some problems with his decision making in the past. Starting on Monday night in Green Bay may result in high anxiety for him.Aaron Rodgers is in sensational form right now. He was near perfect against the Vikings in Week Eight, as he completed 24-of-29 passes and threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Three of his incomplete passes were throwaways, one was a drop and one was off-target. Rodgers has a 15-4 TD-interception ratio this season and it will be difficult for Chicago to slow him down.
- OffenseThe Bears need to get a big game out of Matt Forte since he is their best and most consistent offensive player, but that will be difficult because the Packers will focus on shutting him down. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall can help out McCown by breaking wide open in the secondary. Alshon Jeffery is one of the most improved receivers in the league.The Packers offense is almost always going to be successful because Rodgers is such an accurate passer. However, they finally have a running game to support him. Eddie Lacy has run for 446 yards and three touchdowns and he is averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Jordy Nelson finds a way to get open and will not drop the ball while James Jones (knee) could be back for this game.
- DefenseThe Bears still are capable of creating a number of huge plays with their aggressive defense. Nobody is better at creating turnovers than Charles Tillman, but he may not be able to play as a result of a knee injury. However, when the Bears are not forcing turnovers, they are getting dominated physically. They rank 27th in yards allowed.The Packers are a much stronger team on the defensive side than they have been in the past. They rank 11th in yards allowed and they are far more physical than in recent years. While Clay Mathews remains out with a broken thumb, linebacker A.J. Hawk has a team-high 59 tackles and 3.0 sacks. The Packers’ resurgent defensive line is doing a solid job against the interior run.
- Special TeamsThe Bears have had a few problems with their coverage teams, but Devin Hester has returned a punt for a touchdown and he may be capable of a big play against the Packers as well. Placekicker Robbie Gould is one of the team’s best weapons and has made 12-of-13 FG attempts.The Packers have issues with their coverage teams and those problems came to the surface when Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown in Week Eight. Mason Crosby has rebounded from a terrible year by making 17-of-19 FG attempts this season.
The Packers have tormented the Bears with regularity and this does not appear to be the spot where the Bears turn things around. Rodgers is much too sharp and the Packers’ running game will punish the Bears' disintegrating defense. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor