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Chicago Bears Turkey Bowl Guide
- Updated: November 25, 2015
What better way to enjoy Thanksgiving night then to see the Bears taking on Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the NFL’s greatest rivalry. Many people may have thought this game was going to be a beat down like last year’s game at Green Bay; however, the recent poor play of Green Bay mixed with the decent play of the Bears could make this one closer than Rodgers would like.
The 7-3 Packers hope to solidify their division leading status with a division win against their most tenured foe in the Bears. Meanwhile, if the Bears hope to keep their playoff hopes alive, a win here would do wonders for them.
How are the Bears going to knock off the Packers at Green Bay? Fortunately, the Lions showed us how to get it done in week 8. Here is what the offense and defense has to do for the Bears to add onto their win column.
Limiting Rodgers on the ground:
The Lions’ win at Green Bay exposed a lot of the Packers’ weaknesses. Rodgers threw for a good game, 333 yards & 2 touchdowns. But the worse stat for him was how many passes he attempted, 61. The Lions completely shut down the Packers’ run game, forcing them into several third and longs.
In fact, let’s take the Packers’ 14 drives in that game and break each one down. We can eliminate their 12 second drive right before the half and their last-ditch effort on their game winning field after recovering an onside kick. We are now left with 12 drives, and of those 12 drives, only 3 of them resulted in a score.
So what did the Lions do on those 9 drives that forced punter Tim Masthay to make an appearance? They forced Aaron Rodgers and the Packers into third and longs by eliminating the run game. The Packers had 14 third downs in their 9 failed drives, the average length of those third downs was 8.8 yards. The Lions shut down the run game early on, holding Starks to 42 yards, and forced Green Bay to throw the ball more than they wanted to. That is where Rodgers’ 61 pass attempts came in to play a factor.
Eliminating the complementary offense of passing and rushing is crucial for the Bears’ defense.
What the offense needs to do:
For God’s sake score in the red zone. Who would have thought that would be a lot to ask for? Christmas needs to come earlier because the Bears won’t win if their offense is Robbie Gould.
But captain obvious aside, this game may come down to the ability to run the football. In Green Bay’s three losses, the opposing team averaged 32 rushing attempts. Matt Forte says he will be back and ready to go which will only help the rushing cause. Jeremy Langford has been everything the Bears hoped he could be in Forte’s absence. The duo of Forte and Langford could be a scary one for the remainder of the season.
The offense doesn’t need to beat Rodgers in a shootout. This game will be won on the defense’s ability to limit the Packers’ offensive time.
Cutler has played his best year as a Bear. However, Jay has also never won at Green Bay. Getting Alshon Jeffery back will be huge for Jay. Cutler missed his number one red zone target last week; it was evident in the two red zone trips that ended up in field goals. Add in a never before seen duo of Forte and Langford, Green Bay may not know what’s coming for them.
I’ll be making the trek up north for this Thanksgiving matchup, so if you see a blue dot with a cheese grater head on in a sea of green, safe bet it’s me.