Friday, November 01, 2013

Preview: Bears at Green Bay Packers on Monday Night

According to Football Outsiders, the Bears are ranked No. 6 overall while the Green Bay Packers sit at No. 9. Factoring in home field advantage, this would be looking like a tough match-up, but the Packers sit as 10 point favorites. Here are the detailed rankings from Football Outsiders below, but they look back at what's happened this season, and now at what's happened over the past few weeks:
Team Pass Offense Run Offense Pass Defense Run Defense
Packers 3 4 28 8
Bears 8 7 25 9
Looking at those numbers, factor in the Bears' advantage on special teams, and it looks like the Bears have the advantage, but the Bears have lost three of their last four while the Packers were unbeaten in October. While the Packers' injuries have been awful (no LB Clay Matthews, no WR Randall Cobb) the Bears have been leveled.

QB Josh McCown. He was pretty good in relief of QB Jay Cutler two weeks ago, so he could do well against a below average Packer defense. For his career, McCown has been turnover prone, and he avoided those against the Team From Washington. The Packers' defense hasn't been very good at forcing turnovers this year. The Packers are going to have to change their turnover-free ways and force a couple this week to keep the Bears in check. Doing this against a backup QB in his first start shouldn't be a difficult task.

LB Lance Briggs is out. The Packers offense is humming, they scored on every possession last week against the Vikings, and the Bears' defense is falling apart. They'll be without DT Henry Melton (lost for the season) and LB Lance Briggs (out for a while), and those are big. The other problem is that the players who remain are struggling badly. CB Charles Tillman is playing with an injured knee and DE Julius Peppers will probably be released this offseason. I had to double-check it to believe it but the Bears' defense is last in the NFL with only 9 sacks. How will any defense look when you give QB Aaron Rodgers time to throw? They were shredded two weeks ago by RG3, in what was clearly his best statistical game of the year, and they allowed 38 points on 6 long scoring drives. Rodgers should tear them apart.

While I expect 35-45 points for the Packers, I'm not sure about the Bears' offense. They haven't been held to under 32 points on road this season, but they haven't started McCown at QB yet. Assuming the Packers surrender points again to a below average QB, such as they did to Christian Ponder last week, the Bears could score 30 points, however the Packers haven't allowed over 20 points in any of their first three home games. This score prediction is more of a shot in the dark than usual. Packers 38, Bears 21.


Jack Niemuth said...

How the Bears higher ranked than the Packers? Pretty sure Green Bay's better. Anyway, nice prediction.

PackFaninFl said...

After soooo many years of having a quality defense, one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Bears *Finally* get an offense to match. But now their defense sucks!

Oh to be a Bears fan :)