By Matt Zahn


(CBS) — Three things to watch for as the Bears try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive at frigid Lambeau Field. Kickoff is noon on Sunday.

Rodgers Slowing Down?

Now we all know Aaron Rodgers is a hall of fame quarterback, and he has owned the Bears in his career. But how good is he right now?

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws during the first quarter of a game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Aaron Rodgers (Photo Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

 

He’s just 16th in QBR, that’s ESPN’s version of the quarterback rating. That has him behind Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr and even Kyler Murray.

He’s still making enough plays to help them win. They are 10-3. But, he’s thrown for one touchdown or fewer in four of his last five games.

Look for the Bears to put some pressure on Rodgers, too. They sacked him five times in the season opener. But, it is December at Lambeau, and Rodgers has a passer rating of 111 in December and January home games. That’s best in NFL history.

Trubisky’s Confidence Rising

On the other side, will we continue to see the more confident version of Mitchell Trubisky? I think so.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears

Mitchell Trubisky #10 of the Chicago Bears runs for a few yards during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on September 05, 2019. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

 

The Packers defense started this season hot, but has been fading of late. They’re now just 20th in defense according to Football Outsiders.

Anthony Miller said this week that Trubisky has been more vocal and more definitive making calls. That seems to have shown especially in deciding when to run. He’s doing that much more lately, coinciding with his success passing. The Packers are one of the best defenses in quarterback rushing yards allowed, but I think that’s more about the quarterbacks they’ve faced.

Run On The Pack

Finally, if Matt Nagy sticks with the run maybe Trubisky won’t have to do much. The Packers are giving up over 122 yards rushing a game, that’s 25th in the league.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 05: Running back David Montgomery #32 of the Chicago Bears carries against the defense of outside linebacker Sean Lee #50 of the Dallas Cowboys during the game at Soldier Field on December 05, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Bears have been running more as a team lately, averaging 27 rushes per game the last seven games and up seven carries a game from their first six games. It’s going to be cold, probably around 15 degrees, so I expect plenty of the ground game in this one, even if that ground is slightly frozen. They do have heaters.

Oh, and if you’re going to the game,  I hear they’re giving out free hot chocolate and hot cider too.