Packers keys to a win over the Bears.

There are few things during the year that make me get more excited than a Packers-Bears game. The Pack are looking for their 6th straight win over the Bears which would put the all-time record to 92-89-6 giving Green Bay a chance to tie the series up by the end of next season. Let’s take a look how the Pack can close the gap tonight.

1. Take some shots early- The Bears are giving up a mind-boggling 29.4 points per game this year. While the team is still doing well in the take-away department the Packers can try to end this one early with a few rainbow shots to Jordy Nelson. 

2. Cover up the ball- While this might seem like the most obvious thing to do in the world, the Bears have had some good success stripping the ball from Packer receivers. Just ask James Jones and Jermichael Finley. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is the best in the league at punching the ball out a runner’s hands. If the Pack needs to sacrifice a few yards tonight to avoid the risk of a turnover then that is a win in my book.

3. Respect Josh McCown- McCown is not Jay Cutler but he is a backup that has had a lot of experience. He played well two weeks ago filling in for Cutler and has had two weeks to prepare for the Packers. Remember it was McCown’s touchdown pass to Nathan Poole in 2003 that beat the Minnesota Vikings and sent the Packers into the playoffs. Let’s hope we see that play more tonight than the Fail Mary.

  • Side note- Over/under four times we have to witness the Fail Mary tonight?
4. Packers corners vs. Marshall/Jeffrey- This is the deepest the Packers have been at cornerback during the Mike McCarthy era. They will have their hands full tonight with Brandon Marshall and the emergence of second-year man Alshon Jefferey. These guys have been one of the top wide-out duos in the league and are monsters at 6’4 and 6’3 respectively. 
 
I’ve got to go with the Packers tonight with the Bears having no Jay Cutler or Lance Briggs on defense. The Packers could be in a tad better shape tonight if James Jones is back but with the way Aaron Rodgers is playing I don’t think it matters who he throws to tonight. Pack 30 Bears- 20. 
 

 

Packers-Bears recap part 2.

As our promo for 1440 WNFL said today. What’s better than winning the division? Winning the division at Chicago! Congrats to the Packers on back to back division titles but the work is not over yet. Let’s get to what I liked and didn’t like from yesterday’s game.

1. Receiving corp. 

  • Randall Cobb continues to impress Packer nation. While he has a good amount of drops on the season his ability to create plays and pick up first downs made the injury of Greg Jennings less painful and just give the Packers another weapon to exploit. 
  • James Jones haters, please shut your mouths. The guy has 12 touchdowns this season and has made some of the most acrobatic catches in the NFL.
  • Even with reports the Packers might want to cut him, Jermichael Finley put together his fourth good game in the last five posting five catches for 61 yards. If Finley stays out of his own head, the Packers offense will be difficult to handle.

2. Defense:

  • Overall this defense put together one of the best performances of the season. 190 yards given up, 13 points and 12 first downs. Phenomenal performance put up by the guys on defense and a big reason was the return of Clay Matthews. Matthews had a pretty good game, putting up two sacks, 6 tackles with four coming for losses and more pressures on Cutler. A typical Matthews day against the Bears. 

Here are a few things I didn’t like.

1. Missed kicks:

  • Coach McCarthy is staying with Mason Crosby and at this point in the season I don’t think that is a bad idea. Crosby has been phenomenal from under 50 yards but with misses from 42 and 43 yesterday have me a bit concerned.

2. Fumbles:

  • I am happy Ryan Grant is back in a Packer uniform but his fumble came at a very inopportune time. Had the Pack put up a touchdown the game would have been put away. 
  • The second fumble came on a botched punt return gadget play when Randall Cobb’s backwards pass went through Jeremy Ross’ arms. But again the defense came up big and held the Bears to a field goal.

Packers keys against Arizona

The Packers did not put on the offensive explosion many thought they would last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Part of it was the loss of Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings but I also believe a big part of it was the fact they played down to their competition. The Arizona Cardinals fly into Lambeau for another noon kickoff. Time to get to the Packers keys of pulling off a victory today!

1. Protection, protection, protection:

  • The Packers have given up 28 sacks this season through eight games. Yes 28. That is an obscene amount for a team who hopes to make a deep playoff run. Some have been because Rodgers has held onto the ball for too long but most can be put on a lack of protection. Arizona boasts a ferocious front seven led by Daryl Washington who has blossomed into a phenomenal pass rusher and is in the top 5 in the NFL in sacks with 8. The o-line, tight ends and running backs will be counted on a lot today to keep Rodgers off the Lambeau turf.

2. Running game:

  • If Randall Cobb needs to run the ball 5 or 6 times today to get this run game going then I am all for that. Alex Green isn’t even averaging three yards a carry since taking over as the starter. He needs to be patient and the line needs to open up holes so the Cardinals pass rush has to hesitate at the snap of the ball.

3. Tight ends step up:

  • Jermichael Finley. You know what you need to do, so stop yapping and do it. The tight ends dropped three passes last week and with Jordy Nelson possibly out again, Finley, D.J. Williams and Tom Crabtree need to be reliable targets for Rodgers. They will also be asked to chip a lot today and slow down Arizona’s pass rushers.

4. Mason Crosby:

  • Every time this guy misses a kick I am really tired of hearing or reading the Packers need to cut him. As Mike Ditka would say, “Stop It!”. Crosby is a good kicker, just happens to have missed all of his kicks over 50 yards this season outside of a 32 yarder last week that looked like had a mind of its own. I am a big believer in you Mason but get back to where you were last season when you were Mr. Clutch.

I’m Ryan Fantozzi and I approve this post.