The NFL’s most storied rivalry hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent years.
But the Bears will take another crack at team shareholder Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in prime time at Lambeau Field on Sunday night.
The game will also feature rookie Bears quarterback Justin Fields – who returns after missing the last two games with a rib injury.
1. You can’t win games if you are turning the ball over.
Bears Quarterback Andy Dalton had 26 completions on 41 attempts, 229 yards passing, two touchdowns and four interceptions thrown in the loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
The first interception was a poorly thrown ball that was high and behind a wide-open Jakeem Grant Sr.
The second interception could have been a better pass, but Cole Kemet still has to hold onto that ball — he just can’t allow it to bounce off his chest. Interception number three was caused by a tipped ball.
One of the things that you’re taught in pass protection is do not give up inside leverage because it’s the shortest route to the quarterback, and on that tipped pass Kemet got beat inside.
The fourth interception was the hardest for me to watch. For weeks I have been asking for some screens and I finally got my wish — and it was picked off by a defensive tackle.
2. The offensive game plan needs to be similar to what they did against Arizona.
Run David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert more and also continue to find them on pass plays. Montgomery ran for 90 yards and had eight receptions for 51 yards, while Herbert had 16 rushing yards and 11 through the air.
The Bears need to force the Green Bay linebackers to cover the backs out of the backfield, it opens up the in-between routes further down the field.
The Packers will give the Bears a couple of different personnel groups to contend with, like playing with four corners or having three safeties on the field. Let’s find out how willing they are to come up and tackle Montgomery and Herbert in the open field in the third and fourth quarters.
3. If you have a shot make sure you take it.
Defensively the Bears are going to have to turn it around.
I understand that the offense turned the ball over four times and that meant they had some short fields to defend, but 33 points is too much. They are going to need to put pressure on the Packers offensive line and force quarterback Aaron Rodgers to move around — let’s see if that toe is fully healed or not.
In the secondary, the Bears need to clean up their communication. Rodgers is one of the best if not the best at taking advantage of the smallest of mistakes a defense makes.
Last but not least, be sure, tacklers. Get your head in the right place, wrap-up and get people to the ground.
Prediction: Bears 17 - Packers 31