Some Chicago Bears fans probably didn’t expect to see their team vying for the playoffs this year.
By the end of November, they had a record of 5-6 after losing six straight games, including a 25-41 blowout against division rival the Green Bay Packers.
But after winning the past three straight games, the Bears could still enter the playoffs with a win against the Packers on Sunday. They could also reach the postseason with an Arizona Cardinals loss against the Los Angeles Rams.
Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams said the past three opponents for the Bears, especially from a defensive standpoint, are far less formidable than the Packers.
“The Bears have played themselves into a win-and-you’re-in situation,” Williams said. “But from here on out, there won’t be any more bottom-of-the-barrel defenses to beat up on. The Packers defense has been hovering around the middle of the pack ranking wise and is going to be a step up in class compared to the Jaguars, Texans and Lions.”
Williams said a commitment to the Bears running game, which has proven effective lately, will be key. Running back David Montgomery, who passed 1,000 yards this season, will be an important part of a Bears’ winning strategy.
On the issue of quarterbacks, many Bears fans are wondering if quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be offered a short-term deal next year by Bears executives after the 26-year-old’s four-year stint showed promise but was far less than explosive.
Heading into Sunday’s game, Williams admitted containing the powerful arm of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be challenging and Bears defensive coordinators will have to decide on putting pressure on Rodgers playing zone coverage deeper into the field.
“We know coming up with a plan to stop Rodgers is a tall task,” Williams said. “The question is going to be blitz or not to blitz – not too many coaches have come up with the right answer.”