The Chicago Bears (1-5) are reeling, but the Green Bay Packers (3-2) are scuffling too. The rivalry is renewed on Thursday Night Football on CBS. Can Chicago turn around this nightmarish season? Can Green Bay get back on track and give the Minnesota Vikings some competition for the NFC North Division Championship?
Keep An Eye On:
#97 Willie Young – Quickly becoming the most exciting player on the Bears squad, Willie Young is making a name for himself around the NFL. He is tied for 4th in the league with 6.0 sacks. He has 5 sacks over the last two games, including the strip fumble of Blake Bortles in last Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Jaguars. It’s hard to put any blame for the last two losses on Young. This guy is playing hard, making stuff happen, and giving it his all to help the Bears snap out of their funk. Can Willie bring down Aaron Rodgers once or twice? Will he go all “Shea McClellin” and break Rodgers’ collarbone again, just like in 2013? And Young’s sack dance? He’s bringing the funk back to a squad that needs to regain confidence and swagger.
NFL Stats Thru Week 6 (6 games for Chi, 5 games for GB), better stat in bold:
Packers Offense: 17th Scoring O (22.8 ppg), 25th Total O (331.8 ypg), 16th Rush O (105.2 ypg), 25th Pass O (226.6 ypg)
vs Bears Defense: 19th Scoring D (23.8 ppg), 11th Total D (341.2 ypg), 19th Rush D (107.7 ypg), 10th Pass D (233.5 ypg)
Bears Offense: 31st Scoring O (16.8 ppg), 7th Total O (375.2 ypg), 23rd Rush O (91.0 ypg), 4th Pass O (284.2 ypg)
vs Packers Defense: 16th Scoring D (22.6 ppg), 10th Total D (339.0 ypg), 2nd Rush D (72.4 ypg), 21st Pass D (266.6 ypg)
These stats are just mind-boggling sometimes. When was the last time the Chicago Bears were 7th in Total Offense and 11th in Total Defense?…..and won just one game out of six??? When was the last time the Chicago Bears were 4th in Passing in the NFL???? Probably never. The yardage stats are looking good, but the points stats are looking awful. Bears are second to last in the league in scoring offense! Only the New York Jets, with former Bears stars Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall, have scored less. Interesting.
As for Green Bay, when was the last time Aaron Rodgers and the Pack offense were as low as 17th in Scoring, 25th in Total Yards, and 25th in Passing? What in the world is wrong with the Packers? I heard a theory yesterday that the new “secret” to defending Rodgers is to keep him in the pocket and make him throw from a static position rather than letting him scramble and throw on the run. He is so accurate and finds open receivers when he rolls out and scrambles so I can understand the reasoning. However, maybe it’s just the lack of confidence in Jordy Nelson’s knee, the loss of star OG Josh Sitton (who is doubtful as of press time), the lack of a consistently healthy running back, and just plain bad luck. Or, maybe it’s the regression to the mean. In other words, Aaron Rodgers was overrated all along and now the odds would say he would regress to a more average standing amongst NFL quarterbacks. Or maybe it’s something else. His girlfriend Olivia Munn? His brother Jordan Rodgers and the weird rumors of their strange relationship? They supposedly don’t talk. Too many concussions? Maybe Aaron Rodgers has CTE. What do you think?
Overall, these NFL stats based on simply yards and points leave much to be desired. Let’s go to our good friend Troy Aikman’s “Efficiency Ratings” for a clearer picture. Through Week 5 (last week), Troy has Green Bay at 6th Overall Combined. The Packers Offense is 9th and their Defense is 6th. Meanwhile, Chicago is 22nd Overall, 23rd in Offense and 21st in Defense. I wish they had updated the “AER” ratings this week but they haven’t posted them yet. Go here for more info:
Bears Record: 1-5
My Record: 2-4
Despite the Packers many problems, including their lack of healthy RB’s (Eddie Lacy hurt his foot on Sunday so they just traded with Kansas City for Knile Davis), I don’t see Green Bay losing at Lambeau Field twice in 5 days. I also don’t see this Chicago team shocking fans by pulling out a win at Green Bay, even if the Packers are struggling right now. By the way, these Thursday Night NFL games are ridiculous. The League prides itself on safety? Then why do they make guys suit up with only 3 days of rest? That’s a shorter rest than an MLB starting pitcher, who makes no contact in his outings. Instead, NFL players are not only playing a contact sport, they’re playing a collision sport. Many NFL veterans have shared that they can’t even get out of bed until Wednesday at the earliest. The body needs time to recuperate. Putting them back out there on Thursday after playing on Sunday….why? I know why….it’s that big television contract worth billions of dollars. Oh well, don’t even get me started on this. That’s a blog for another day. For now let’s put that behind us and focus on the game. I’ll pick:
Green Bay 27 Chicago 17