Why the Packers beat the Bears

On September 24, 2014, in NFL, by Stephen

Packers minus 1 1/2 at Bears

Chicago limps home after two back-to-back gutty road victories, using a huge second-half to upset San Francisco and getting past the Jets this past Monday night.

What awaits the Bears is a hungry Packers squad that will get its prolific offense in gear in this matchup. The Bears could be down eight starters. Their secondary is down three starters, including both safeties. They don’t have the secondary depth to handle all of Green Bay’s receiving weapons.

The Packers didn’t fare well last week on the road against the Lions, who also had multiple injuries in the secondary. There is a difference here, though. The Lions can stop the run ranking No. 2 in the league holding foes to 63.7 yards per game. Seattle also is dominant against the run ranking No. 5. The Jets are No. 1 versus the run holding opponents to a meager 55 yards on the ground. Those were the Packers’ first three opponents and a big reason why Eddie Lacy has rushed for just 113 yards and 3.1 yards per carry.

Chicago ranks 26th in run defense giving up an average of 144.7 yards per game. The Bears were 30th in yards allowed and points given up last year. Their defense remains weak, made more so by injuries although good-looking rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller makes the loss of Charles Tillman easier to swallow. Fuller has been outstanding so far, but perhaps no cornerback in the league was as adept at causing turnovers as Tillman.

This is Lacy’s first easy game and he’s helped by having right tackle Bryan Bulaga, an excellent run blocker, back in the lineup. The Bears are going to be forced to commit both of their safeties to pass coverage opening things up even more for Lacy. Rodgers is even more deadly with ground support, something he hasn’t had so far.

The Bears are going to put up their share of points, too, but I don’t see them being able to keep up with the Packers. Jay Cutler has had some brutal games against Green Bay with the Packers’ veteran defensive coordinator Dom Capers effectively confusing him with different blitz packages. Capers is 8-1 against the Bears and Cutler.

Brandon Marshall is not 100 percent bothered by an ankle injury. He was limping during the Monday night game against the Jets catching only pass for six yards. The Bears are down two competent offensive line starters with center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson unlikely to be recovered from high ankle sprains they suffered three weeks ago.

Chicago used to have outstanding special teams with Devin Hester returning kicks/punts and Dave Toub coaching. But Toub left two years ago and the Bears’ special teams have gone from great to bad under Joe DeCamillis.

Green Bay has covered in six of its last seven meetings versus the Bears with the lone loss coming last year in Green Bay when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone early in the game. The Packers have won in their last four visits to Solider Field.

This is a very short trip for the Packers. Sometimes the Packers haven’t taken the Bears as seriously as the Bears have taken them, but yet still have managed to win. This time the Packers will be treating this game as crucial not wanting to lose a second straight NFC North Division game.

The Bears have been a real money-burner at home going 3-12-1 ATS. They haven’t matched up well to the Packers even when healthy and now they’re in a dangerous situation. This is the right spot for Green Bay.


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