Free Thanksgiving Pick

On November 26, 2015, in Free Picks, NFL, by Stephen

Bears at Packers Under 45

Weather can always be a factor this time of year in Wisconsin. That’s going to be the case tonight when Green Bay hosts Chicago.

The weather forecast is for 100 percent chance of rain. That’s going to make the surface at Lambeau Field very choppy and slow. The temperature could reach under 32 degrees, too, being a night game. That would turn the rain into sleet making anything but short passes difficult to throw while affecting place-kicking.

Key injuries, Jay Cutler’s poor history against Dom Capers and Green Bay’s problems on offense also contribute to why I like this game to go under the total.

Out for Chicago are tight end Martellus Bennett and No. 2 wide receiver Eddie Royal. This will be the first game Cutler doesn’t have Bennett this season. Top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery may not play either. He’s more on the doubtful side due to a shoulder injury. The short week and weather conditions could factor in the Bears deciding to sit out Jeffery.

Jay Cutler is having his finest season. Much credit goes to new Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase for this. But Cutler has a horrible history against the Packers. Capers, the Packers defensive coordinator, has successfully attacked Cutler’s weakness of getting skittish in the pocket when seeing new looks and facing pressure by blitzing from different areas using a multitude of fronts and looks. The Packers have the defensive line and secondary depth to do this.

The Bears have averaged just 15.7 points in 12 games against the Packers with Cutler under center. That number goes down to 10.5 points per game when the teams have played in Green Bay. The Packers have intercepted Cutler 20 times during the last eight meetings.

Green Bay’s offense is down averaging fewer than 25 points per game while ranking 21st in total yards and 22nd in passing. The Packers led the NFL in scoring last year at 30.4 points per game. Only twice have the Packers scored more than 30 points this season.

Chicago’s defense has shown steady improvement under defensive guru John Fox. The Packers are thin at wide receiver. Already without top threat Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers also will be missing his No. 4 wide receiver, Ty Montgomery, and No. 5 wideout Jared Abbrederis.

The Packers also could be without their excellent second-year center Corey Linsley, who injured an ankle last week. Again, playing on short week is not a plus to those injured while also heavily reducing the time coaches have for specific game planning and putting in offensive innovations. These two division rivals certainly know each other well so don’t expect any surprises.


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