Packers Periscope: Week 4 at Chicago Bears

The Past: Week 17 of the 2013 season was one of those games that you knew was going to be special; not only did the Packers and Bears, who have the longest rivalry in NFL, get to duke it out for a playoff berth but they got to do it at the expense of the Detroit Lions (as usual the Vikings were irrelevant).  To add more spice to the game, this was the first game back for both Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb, who has suffered a broken collarbone and leg respectively.  And naturally it would come down to a pass from Rodgers to Cobb for 48 yards on 4th and 8 that broke the game for the Bears who ultimately lost 33-28.

The Present: While the Lions and Packers definitely have the most talent in the NFC North both have been plagued by inconsistencies this season, which has left the good but not great but relatively consistent Bears as the likely front runner for the NFC North (I’m not convinced the Lions don’t end the season like they always do by imploding).  While the Bears of old had always been predicated on defense, Marc Trestman has morphed the cover-2 defensive team that Lovie Smith gave him into a high powered offense highlighted by two star wide receivers and Jay Cutler, who probably embodies Brett Favre in terms of his play style.  On offense, the Packers have to deal with a defense that is much improved, although the teams they’ve played aren’t exactly known for being high powered.  Eddie Lacy has a great shot at redeeming himself after 3 consecutive weeks of tough sledding against some of the NFL’s most powerful defensive lines. Finally, the Packers receivers also get a shot for a little redemption, while the Bears have been fantastic in pass defense, the defensive secondary is susceptible even though the Packers failed to take advantage of a similarly feeble Lions secondary.  On defense, the Packers pass rush came to life against Matthew Stafford, recording 2 sacks and 2 interceptions including the first for rookie Ha Ha Clinton Dix.  If the Packers can limit the damage from Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferies they stand a good chance of winning the game.

The Future: The Bears are in a relatively good cap situation and legitimately has a chance to win it all in the next couple seasons; ironically the bears largest economic mistake is the $8 million that they are still paying to Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers.  The Bears have swapped NFC North pass rushers by signing former Vikings Jared Allen and are currently paying him more ($12.5 million).  Ironically both have graded out about the same to really the Bears have spent extra money for little gain.  In the next couple years the Bears don’t have many free agents they must resign, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman are both on contract years at the moment, but both are on the tail ends of the careers and may not be resigned or might have to take a significant paycut to remain.  Matt Forte and Alshon Jefferies are up in 2016 and only Jefferies is a priority since Forte will be 30 at that point, which is typically the end for a running back, especially with as much mileage as Forte has with the Bears.

This years draft brought some dearly needed help in the defense secondary, with first round pick Kyle Fuller playing exceptionally well for a rookie. However outside of Fuller, the rest of the 2014 draft class has been underwhelming.  The Bears chose back to back defensive linemen in Ego Fergurson and Will Sutton and neither has played particularly well.  Pre-draft darling safety Brock Vereen has been average at best but hasn’t had many snaps to prove one way or another what type of player he is.  Finally the only offensive player in the first 5 rounds was running back Ka’deem Casey, who has gotten a grand total of 5 rushing attempts over 3 games.

Overall, the Bears are in a similar position as the Packers; both teams have enough talent to win a Super Bowl should things go their way but aren’t likely considered powerhouses or front runners for the playoffs.  Both have relatively stable salary caps and don’t have huge commitments down the road.  Both have become high powered offenses with defenses that try to take away the ball, which varying degrees of success.  If mimicry truly is the most sincerest form of flattery, the Packers really should feel good about the Bears taking a page from them in building a team.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


11 thoughts on “Packers Periscope: Week 4 at Chicago Bears

  1. I don’t care how poorly we are playing or who may be injured, as long as Jay Cutler is qb we have a legitimate chance at winning this game. Kinda hoping that Peppers doesn’t knock Jay out of the game, usually the backup is much better.

    1. Yes, knock him around, just not out. Jay will throw a few picks on Sunday. I’m sure of it. GoPack!

  2. Maybe I’m a delusional Packer fan, but you definitely are MUCH higher on the Bears than I am. Their defense is poor and banged up. Their run game has been bad. And, Cutler is still Cutler. This season, they lost to the Bills, needed a poor fumble call to beat the Jets, and were given a win by the 49ers (wish they’d give one the the Packers). Overall, I’m not that impressed. Green Bay SHOULD win this game!

    1. I think he has a right to be high on the Bears. They’re an OT loss away from 3-0. These guys rolled up 21 4th quarter points and beat at home the one team that’s pretty much owned the Packers for the last two years and killed their seasons for them. Given the win? C’mon. They got more interceptions in 1 game against Kaep than the Packers were able to in 3. Didn’t allow a 100 yard rusher or receiver either, not to mention not allowing Kaep to set any all-time records. The Bears offense didn’t look that solid, but their defense clamped down an offense that’s blown up the Packers 3 straight games.

      Look, I love the Pack too, but I love reality even more.

      Pack lose, 24-10, but it finally forces some significant changes that lead to the chance to rebound and forge a winning season. Rodgers finally gets down off that high horse he’s been riding around on lately and gets back to playing football and earning that mountain of cash that he looks down on the rest of the world from.

      1. The Bears may be an OT loss away from 3-0, but they’re a couple plays away from being 0-3 too. The 49ers aren’t the same team this year so it’s hard to compare them to the teams that beat the Packers.

        Plus, Packers are a 2 point favorite according to Vegas, so to say I’ m not in touch with reality because I think the Packers should win, is ridiculous.

  3. For this game the Packers OL needs to step up and make their blocks. Hopefully we find our TEs, the real Eddie Lacey and A. Rodgers from 2011. On defense we need to sustain pressure on Cutler and he’ll toss a few our way. The Packers are pretty much healthy and the Bears are dinged up. This week, no excuses and no prisoners. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  4. GB has all the tools to beat the Bears. The keys to the win are MM playbook. I’ll adjust my probability of a packer win after watching the first 2 plays. If both are run….then my probability for GB win goes somewhat lower. But if first play; attempt at an 18 yard strike….then I’ll get pumped for a real match.

    1. I would say, if first 2 plays are run and both take 1st down, Packers win with huge difference… It is not what plays will be called, but how they will be executed…

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