190 Meetings and Counting: Packers vs. Bears

Tonight marks the 191st meeting between the Packers and Bears. A astronomical number that marks the most meetings between any two teams in NFL history, first squaring off in the year of 1921. 

Both teams, however, come into this week seven primetime match-up metaphorically on their last leg. 23 players combined were listed on both injury reports, and nine were deemed as out for the game. Of those nine, seven belonged to the Packers.

Jared Cook, Jared Abbrederis, Eddie Lacy, James Starks, Chris Banjo, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins won't be accessible in the Packers' arsenal, tallying down a terrifying amount of skilled starters that will have proven useful against a division rival. Meanwhile, the Bears have already listed Deiondre' Hall and Eddie Royal out for the game as well with the other injury-riddled players listed as either doubtful or questionable. Former Packers' left guard Josh Sitton among them, delaying a possible return to Lambeau Field's turf.

The Bears will aim to upset an already-aggravated Packers team at home, much like they did last Thanksgiving when the Packers honored Brett Favre at halftime. In correlation with the weather that night, the Bears essentially rained on their parade.

Currently, Chicago looks for their 94th all-time win against their bitter rival which would widen the minuscule gap that separates the two teams. Green Bay, on the other hand, must play its cards right to earn their 92rd win and take one step closer to evening the all-time series, which currently sits at 93-91-6.

The Packers will showcase their newest addition in the backfield with Knile Davis from Kansas City, who was notified of his trade to Green Bay on Monday night and landed in America's Dairyland the following day. When head coach Mike McCarthy was asked how Davis can help benefit the team's offense, his response was simple and if your name is Knile Davis, probably somewhat hurtful.

"Who?"

Nevertheless, the 2013 sixth-round draft pick will have his hands full against a stout front seven if he does indeed get the start. It's likely the Packers incorporate Davis into certain packages that he can prove useful in. At the moment, the pending promotion of Don Jackson from the practice squad to bolster the running backs group has yet to be seen. That leaves Davis as the only active running back on the roster that is at full health. Keep in mind, the Packers can also utilize wide receiver Ty Montgomery out of the backfield. Aaron Rodgers had high praise for the second-year wideout who is finally showing what he can do when healthy, coming off a 10-catch day against the Cowboys.

"Ty gives us a sure-handed guy out of the backfield and also a guy who is a good runner," Rodgers said on Tuesday. "Haven't had a chance to get multiple carries going but I think he can do some things as a running back and there's a reason we like him back there."

Montgomery has also proven useful on kick returns, showcased by his two returns against Dallas that averaged 32 yards per run-back.

"You watch him on the kick-offs, I mean, he hits that thing full speed and has no fear of contact, and we love seeing that."

Speaking of Rodgers, his career totals against the Bears have been almost exactly what you'd expect. His 35 touchdowns tie his personal best against any team, also hanging 35 career touchdowns against the Vikings. While most of his superior career numbers come against the Vikings, including best TD:INT ratio, most passing yards and most games played against, the Bears fall just short in second place. In other words, Rodgers takes great pleasure in lighting up divisional opponents.

In his last nine games against the Bears, he's completed 68.61% of his passes, slung 28 touchdowns to just five interceptions. That's not too bad.

In recent weeks against all opponents, that hasn't been the case. Rodgers has been heavily criticized for his below average performance, even to the point of being compared to Brian Hoyer, Blaine Gabbet and even Johnny Manziel. Sadly, the numbers don't lie, but neither does film. Receivers failing to get open has been a reoccuring theme since last season, but this year, that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case. Rodgers has failed to get the ball out of his hands quicker despite impeccable blocking from his offensive line, failed to hit the underneath routes that have been there and has failed to be on target with several throws per game. On the upcoming primetime stage, he'll have a chance to right the ship, hopefully without a glass of Scotch, because, well, that just won't help.

While Rodgers has been renowned for his stellar play, the Packers as a collective group have had no problem with their Chicago rivals in recent years. Since 2009, the Packers have won 12 of the last 16 against the Bears, not counting the 2010 NFC Championship in which Green Bay left Soldier Field as National Football Conference Champions. Of those 12 wins, however, was the 55-14 routing the Packers provided in 2014 — the last time Jordy Nelson saw this Bears team.

A different tune will be sung for the Bears at quarterback tonight. In addition to their injuries, Jay Cutler, whom Packer fans are rightfully infatuated with (he's thrown more interceptions to Packer defensive backs than he has touchdowns to his receivers), won't be cleared from his right thumb injury. Instead, Brian Hoyer will get the start. Whether suiting up for the Patriots, Cardinals, Browns, Texans or Bears, the 31-year old Hoyer has yet to face the Packers in his career. A plus that may provide a battered secondary with some confidence moving forward without their three starting cornerbacks.

With Demetri Goodson back from his four-game suspension, Ladarius Gunter trying to rebound after his embarrassing showing last week and Micah Hyde always willing and ready to play wherever the Packers assign him, confidence could prove to be useful. Goodson and Gunter will more than likely be manning down the outside while Hyde functions in the slot. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Kentrell Brice may see more conjoined safety work while Morgan Burnett continues playing closer to the line of scrimmage in defensive coordinator Dom Capers' nickel package. If the Packers' secondary wanted to make their mark and help create a short turnaround for the offensive unit to dominate the time of possession tonight, they would need to play fundamentally sound football.

Gunter won't be the only one trying to bounce back from a mediocre performance last Sunday. After surrendering just 171 rushing yards through their first four games and bounding off to a historic start, the Packers' defensive front seemed to take a bye week mulligan amidst giving up 191 rushing yards, including 157 from rookie Ezekiel Elliott. What was once 42 rushing yards allowed per game was bumped up almost twice as much to 72, which is still well below the league average of 105. A poor game against the first true talent the Packers' front seven has seen this season, or exposure for other teams' ground game to exploit?

They'll be going up against a rookie running back in Jordan Howard rather than Jeremy Langford who was listed as doubtful with an ankle injury. Howard has amassed 335 scrimmage yards as well as a touchdown both on the ground and through the air in just three career starts.

Kick-off takes place at 8:25 EST, and the Packers will be sporting their all-white Color (or lack thereof) Rush jerseys.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (10)

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

October 20, 2016 at 01:04 pm

Lots of confusion apparently with the number of games these teams have played. NFL Communications says 190, Packers and other outlets say 193.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 20, 2016 at 01:20 pm

Just add a + to your headline. 190+...

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Point-Packer's picture

October 20, 2016 at 01:30 pm

Eddie Lacy to IR. Career with Packers likely over. Needs surgery on ankle. Very sad.

Injury solely on the shoulders of Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy. Both should be canned ASAP. What a disaster.

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Finwiz's picture

October 20, 2016 at 02:02 pm

Well I did say yesterday we may have seen the last of Lacy in GB. Now with this announcement he's on the IR, I'd say he may be done unless he takes close to a min deal next year. Perpetually injured and unable to control the weight, it's a tough situation for a guy with so much natural talent. If it comes down to Lacy or Shields coming back it will be interesting to see what they do. I'd suspect it all depends on IF they are in contention for anything by then. There's a real chance this season is pretty much "up in smoke" with all these top line players out.

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Mojo's picture

October 20, 2016 at 02:15 pm

Surprised they ran Eddie against Dallas at all considering how normally conservative they are. And not to have a backup in place(other than WR's) for that game is a head-scratcher.

Say what you want about his weight, he was averaging over 5 yards a carry this year. Now we're replacing him with someone who has just over a 3 yard average for his career who fumbles a lot. Yeah.

Good thing ARod's on top of his game to pick up the slack.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 20, 2016 at 03:01 pm

"It's likely the Packers incorporate Davis into certain packages that he can prove useful in."

How is THAT likely??

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 20, 2016 at 01:41 pm

Looks more like a 7-9 season at best but perhaps they can achieve a victory by going 4-12 and secure a top ten pick.....wait....they'll likely still draft a 3-4 year development guy.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 20, 2016 at 02:03 pm

Holy crap Eddie Lacy on IR with ankle surgery. I see a RB drafted next year and there we go again with injuries.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 20, 2016 at 02:28 pm

Well this is bad news but hearing my son in laws brother law at 50 keeled over and is dying. Yeah it puts thing in perspective but man what the pits on all of it.

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Patrick Helms's picture

October 20, 2016 at 06:14 pm

Next man up...Don Jackson has been activated

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