Be sure to check out Matt Bowen’s post over at National Football Post today. He and I were chatting yesterday about what matchups the Packers will look to exploit against the Bears on Christmas night. Obviously, Jermichael Finley will most likely once again be a major component in what the Packers want to do on offense, much like he was back in Week Three when he caught seven passes for 85 yards and scored three touchdowns.
While the Bears are known for running Lovie Smith’s beloved Tampa 2 defense, they have actually used less and less of it the last couple of years. Here’s a sampling of how Bowen sees them defending the Packers:
The Bears have shown more Cover 1 and Under 10 (FS rolls down to weak side) in their game plans this season. The issue here is the safety position in Chicago. Craig Steltz has played some good football the last two weeks, but when we talk about the size, speed and route running ability of Finley, this is a matchup that favors Green Bay. Look for situations when the Packers remove Finley from the core of the formation (think backside X receiver, in the slot, bunch, etc). Working vs. press or off-man, Finely should be able to get vertical in the route tree and crate separation on inside breaking routes vs. Steltz. And you could see Lovie put free safety Brandon Meriweather over Finley if he produces early.
Make sure to read the whole thing. As usual, Matt has some great insights into the X’s & O’s.