The Chicago Bears (3-5) open the 2nd half of their season on Sunday at Soldier Field against the hated rival Green Bay Packers (4-4). Let’s break it down really simple here:
- Bears ~ Improving
- Packers ~ Regressing
Chicago fans are sick and tired of watching Green Bay for the last 25 years getting great quarterback play from Hall of Famer Brett Favre to immediate successor and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Bears have struggled to find a good QB since Jim McMahon. And that didn’t last long, especially when Charles Martin effectively ended James Mac-ma-han’s career with his resentful, vindictive, and vicious gorilla attack.
But that’s the way it was in the 1980s. The Bears were led by Head Coach Mike Ditka. The Packers were led by Head Coach Forrest Gregg. These coaches both had Hall of Fame playing careers and they played against each other in the 60s. They didn’t care for one another. Their passion and hatred was reflected on the field. I was just a young bear myself growing up in the 80s but it didn’t take long for the hate to build inside me as I watched the Packers retaliate with dirty cheap shots, inspired by their insipid coach Forrest Gregg. They always started this despicable junk, at least that’s what I saw. One time they threw the greatest, Walter Payton, over the bench out of bounds. Check out this one by Ken Stills on Matt Suhey:
Simply despicable. This is where the good, clean, old-fashioned hate started for me, and I won’t ever get rid of the bitter taste in my mouth. Need more videos to get fired up? How about this one:
Back to the quarterback situation, Chicago hasn’t had a really great QB since Sid Luckman in the 1940s. In franchise history, the Chicago Bears have won 9 NFL Championships, second only to Green Bay’s 13 titles. 9 Championships ain’t bad. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Bears have only won two Championships since 1946. That’s ridiculous and unacceptable. It’s time for change. This cycle is ready to be reversed. After closely following this franchise since the beginning of the ’16 season, I can see it. I can feel it. The tide she is a turnin’.
Rodgers is hurt with the second broken clavicle/collarbone of his career and the Bears defense is turning into a dominating, ferocious unit worthy of acclaim. Under the leadership of GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach John Fox along with DC Vic Fangio, this franchise is ascending. Just give ’em time and it’s gonna happen.
For now, let’s turn our attention to the 196th meeting. Green Bay took the overall lead earlier this season as they now lead 95-94-6. Chicago looks to tie it back up on Sunday.
Bears offense vs Packers defense
According to the NFL yardage stats, the Bears offense is 29th in total offense, 32nd in passing, 6th in rushing, and 27th in scoring at 16.8 ppg. Aikman’s Efficiency Ratings (AER) has the Bears rated as the 28th best offense.
The Packers defense is 25th in total defense, 20th against the pass, 23rd against the run, and 22nd in scoring defense at 23.9 ppg allowed. AER has the Packers defense rated as the 29th best defense in the NFL. That’s the 4th worst defense in the league!
Although these units are both mediocre, one stat stands out. The Bears can run the football. They are 6th in rushing. Green Bay is 23rd against the run. SLIGHT EDGE: Chicago
Bears defense vs Packers offense
Bears defense is 8th overall in the NFL yardage rankings, 11th against the pass, 13th against the run, and 13th in points allowed at 21.4 ppg. AER has Chicago’s D at 8th!
Packers offense is 23rd overall, 21st in passing, 21st in rushing, and 11th in scoring at 22.6 ppg. AER has the Packers as the 7th rated offense. But what do these numbers really mean? Rodgers started the first 6 games but his inept replacement Brett Hundley has struggled in the last 2 games.
Chicago’s D has a big advantage in this game. This unit is improving week by week whereas Green Bay’s offense has looked putrid since Hundley stepped in. BIG EDGE: Chicago
Watch Out For……….
WR#17 Dontrelle Inman – I can’t wait to see what this guy can do out there! Inman is a 28-year-old out of the University of Virginia. He’s a big receiver at 6-3 205. Recently acquired from the Los Angeles Chargers, last year Inman caught 58 passes for 810 yards and 4 touchdowns. He had 5 broken tackles last year, 6 drops, and ranked 38th in DVOA and 37th in DYAR. These are fancy terms found in the Football Outsiders Almanac 2017 that mean “Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average” (DVOA) and “Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement” (DYAR). In essence, Inman was about the 38th or 37th best WR in the NFL last season. For comparisons sake, Alshon Jeffery was ranked 42nd and 40th in those categories last year for Chicago. Is Inman the next Alshon? He might be. I actually think he’s better. Where was Cameron Meredith ranked last year? He was 45th and 43rd. So basically the “Dutch Lion” feels good to say that, once Inman learns the routes and the plays, etc. he will fill in adequately as the new Bears #1 WR. Moving forward, this could be a great acquisition by Ryan Pace.
This is what we’ve been waiting for! Chicago is favored over Green Bay for the first time since December 22, 2008 The Bears are favored by 6 points as of Thursday’s Chicago Tribune. Needless to say, the “Dutch Lion” is super pumped up and roaring with excitement! Another thing the Bears have going for them is they are rested after their bye week while Green Bay just got walloped on Monday Night. I can see the tide a turnin’. Bears roll this Sunday to tie the all-time series.
Chicago Bears 23 Green Bay Packers 10