After the supremely unexpected victory on Sunday, the Chicago Bears (1-2) travel ‘Up North’ to face the typically solid Green Bay Packers (2-1). This is the 4th time these teams have met in Green Bay on a Thursday night and so far the score is even at two victories a piece. The all-time series now stands exactly even at 94-94-6. Green Bay hasn’t led in the series since 1932, so if the world ends AFTER the final gun sounds tonight but BEFORE the 2nd matchup this season on Sunday, November 12, then the winner of tonight’s game will be the final victor. So yeah……HUGE game!
Watch Out For………
WR #12 Marcus Wheaton – Marcus Wheaton needs to establish himself as a downfield receiving threat in the passing game for QB #8 Mike Glennon. It will open up the field for Glennon and the passing game, and for the running backs to roam more freely. Last week vs Pittsburgh, Wheaton was targeted twice but was held without a catch. Look for him to be targeted more often this week and to record his first catch of the season.
Aikman Efficiency Ratings (AER)
Let’s get some info from Troy once again with his AER rankings system. Here’s how Troy has them matching up based on the opening three games.
- Chicago: 22nd overall (145.1), 22nd offense (74.3), 14th defense (70.8)
- Green Bay: 14th overall (153.0), 9th offense (88.0), 24th defense (64.9)
As you’d guess, Green Bay has the higher rated offense. However, you might not have known that Chicago has the higher rated defense. Props to DC Vic Fangio and his unit. Overall, the Packers are 14th and the Bears moved up to 22nd from 25th last week. This would seem to point towards this game being closer than the experts think.
Week 4 Prediction:
The Bears looked so much better from Week 2 to Week 3 on Sunday at Soldier Field in beating Pittsburgh. However, there’s not much time to prepare for the Packers during this short week. Don’t get me started again about the NFL’s insane Thursday night games project. One quick thought: it’s an abject failure that won’t last! That’s a column for another day. For now, despite Green Bay’s typical early season struggles, they managed to eek out a victory over Cincinnati in OT at Lambeau Field.
I see this game in this environment being a little too tough for Chicago to win. I wish I could project a victory for Chicago but this is probably one of the hardest games on their schedule. By the way, what kind of 4th place schedule did the NFL serve up for the Bears? They’ve played 3 of last year’s Final 4 in this year’s first 4 weeks (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, at Green Bay). What, no New England Patriots in there too? Jeez NFL! For Bears fans, that’s the bad news. The good news is the schedule gets much easier as we move towards cooler weather.
As of Thursday morning’s Chicago Tribune, Green Bay is favored by 7 points? The “Dutch Lion” will take the Pack to win, but “bearly”. Thursday games are notoriously low scoring. I’ll take Chicago ATS (against the spread) but not S/U (straight up). Green Bay will take the series lead for the 1st time in 85 years.
Green Bay Packers 20 Chicago Bears 14