Well, the season pretty much comes down to this.
The Packers look like they got poked with a stick and showed some signs of life last week against an ineffective Falcons squad. Now they take their 0-6 road record to Chicago to face what might be the best defense in the league to find out if their offense is really capable of turning this on for a playoff run or not.
I think this is really the key to the game. He looked healthy as ever last week, but his tight end dropped some balls and his blockers left him hanging. He’ll need to overcome all that against the best defense in the league if this team is going to have a shot.
He’s certainly capable of it, but he’ll have to resist his temptation to wait for big plays to open up. The only way those will come is if he starts jabbing the Bears D underneath with some quick stuff first.
In their first matchup, a killer pass rush and an injured knee forced him into a quick pass rhythm. Maybe he needs to tweak his knee again… or he could just hit his first read.
Does Joe’s playbook have another hot script of quick pass-rush-beating pass plays mixed in with some hurry up runs to keep aggressive defensses on their heels?
More importantly: will what worked against the Cardinals work agianst the Bears?
The Packers offense started hot last week and then settled down. Can Philbin build on that gameplan and make it work for four quarters against a better defense? An aggressive offensive approach might be his only hope, but if it doesn’t work early, it could make for a very short-lived playoff push.
Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander are studs… but someone needs to get some pressure on the edge for this defense to work. That could come from Clay Matthews or even Josh Jackson, but, for the most part, it looks like Lord Sackrell is our best chance. Unlikely playoff pushes have been founded on more unlikely heroes.
Question of the Week
The Packers running game fizzles
Cobb comes up big out of the slot in the void left by injured Bears CB Bryce Callahan
Rodgers determines the outcome of the game
Jaire Alexander gets a pick
Kyler Fackrell gets another sack
The Packers defense will get fooled by some gimmick play (Pettine’s defense is only in year 1 and there are a lot of replacement parts; the Bears seem infatuated with these things)
Special Teams buffonery robs the team of a precious chance
Final Score: Packers 10, Bears 13
It feels silly to predict such a low score but I think last week’s minor ressurgance was more of a mirage than the previous two months. It’s an inconsistent offense against a dominant defense and a poor offense against a beat-up defense. It could be ugly.