25

September

Packers vs. Bears Preview: 5 Things to Watch

The Green Bay Packers (2-0) and Chicago Bears (1-1) face off in Week 3 of the NFL season.

The basics

When: 3:15 CDT, Sunday, September 25, 2011

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

TV: FOX, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman with the call, Pam Oliver on the sidelines

Radio: 620 AM WTMJ (Milwaukee); Packers Radio Network

Series: Bears lead, 92-84-6. Packers won last regular season game, 10-3, in January 2010 at Lambeau Field. Bears hold 20-19 record at Solider Field.

Five things to watch

1. Containing Forte

In six career games against the Packers, Bears running back Matt Forte has only averaged a little over 20 touches per game. The Bears will need to go over that number on Sunday to win. Forte is the focal point of the Bears offense, but too many times the Bears have went away from him.  Mike Martz isn’t making that same mistake to start this season. After asking for a new contract before the season, Forte has looked like one of the more complete backs in the game through two weeks. He’s averaging 4.5 yards on 26 attempts, but Forte is doing his real damage as a receiver, where he’s caught a team-high 15 passes for 204 yards.  If the first two weeks are any indication, the Packers might have trouble containing him in that role. Of the 851 yards the Packers have allowed to opposing quarterbacks, running backs are responsible for 235 of those. With the kind of film the Packers’ defense have put out early this season, you’d have to think Martz spent this week looking for ways to get Forte the ball in space.

2. Missing a playmaker

For all the nicks and bruises Packers safety Nick Collins has endured over the years, he’s played in 95 of the 98 regular season games the team has played since 2005. After suffering a neck injury in the second half against the Panthers, Collins will now miss the Packers final 14 games. I think most are underestimating how big of injury this could potentially be. Yes, Charlie Peprah played over 900 snaps for the Packers last season. Yes, Morgan Burnett looks like he could be a playmaker. But you simply can’t replace a two-time All-Pro who has 18 picks over the past three seasons with a journey man backup or a guy who really is in his first year at the professional level after an ACL injury. Making matters worse is the fact that the Packers now have undrafted free agent M.D. Jennings, who was expected to be nothing more than a practice squad guy, as the primary backup to both Peprah and Burnett. What was a position of strength for the Packers now appears to be a place opposing offenses could go to attack.

23

January

Our Packers – Bears Predictions

The writing crew at AllGreenBayPackers.com put their prognostication skills on the line for this NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears:

Adam Czech: Packers 26, Bears 22
The Packers need to win the turnover battle and put together long drives that result in touchdowns. Also, weird things will happen-it’s soldier field-don’t let it snowball.

Chad Toporski: Packers 23, Bears 17
Despite the hype of Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, this game is going to come down to the performance of two of the best defenses in the NFC. And while the Chicago Bears are extremely solid up front, their secondary is less stellar. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers defense is a more complete unit, with key playmakers at all positions. Look for the Packers to finish with at least a +2 turnover differential and four sacks.

Kris Burke: Packers 23, Bears 17
In what will be an emotional tug of war for nearly 60 minutes, the game likely will come down to the final drive. Aaron Rodgers will continue his hot hand Cutler will make another interception eerily similar to the one he threw against the Packers in Week 17.

Thomas Hobbes: Packers 16, Bears 10
I see this as a game of defense and field position.  The Bears will probably get one lucky strike against the Packers; either a kickoff/punt return for a touchdown or a long touchdown pass to one of their speedy receivers.  The Packers will have better success moving the ball on the Bears, but will have to settle for field goals.

Jersey Al Bracco: Packers 24, Bears 19
Robbie Gould has a big day for the Bears with 4 field goals but the Packers hold the Bears to one touchdown. Aaron Rodgers throws for two TDs, Mason Crosby makes one of 2 field goal attempts, and it’s enough to punch their ticket to Dallas.

Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments…

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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27

September

Packers – Bears Prediction Contest. Win a Charles Woodson T-Shirt.

Packers – Bears Prediction Contest. Win a Charles Woodson T-Shirt courtesy of the fine folks at Sconnie .com and BrentFavre.com.

Make your picks. . Closest overall in point differential with the correct winning team wins the T-shirt. Don’t forget the tiebreaker question…

Winning Team:

Final Score:

Tiebreaker: Total net yds. of Offense for the Packers:

Post your entry in the comments below. Only entries posted here and received by 7:30PM Central Time on 9/27/10 will be considered. Winner will be announced Tuesday morning. (T-Shirt available in men’s L only.)

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Follow Jersey Al:


                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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