Cory's Corner: Don't Underestimate Bears

Packers and Bears games don't often matter.

The first game of the regular season was supposed to matter, until Mitch Trubisky looked more like a fourth round pick instead of being the No. 2 overall pick in 2017.

Trubisky is playing out of his mind right now. He is completing 70 percent of his passes with a 99.1 passer rating in the last the last three games -- all wins.

The difference between the season opener and now is that Chicago's backs are to the wall. The Bears don't have the luxury losing anymore because one more loss and they are out of the NFC playoff race. Obviously the season opener mattered, but we didn't know how the NFC was going to shake out at that time.

The Bears will be rolling into Lambeau Field with a 7-6 record just trying to survive. The Packers are 10-3 and are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFL's toughest division.

I have been very impressed with Chicago because David Montgomery's usage has gone up the last three games. He is the fulcrum Chicago's offense, similarly to what Aaron Jones is to Green Bay's offense.

Aaron Rodgers is 18-5 in his career vs. Chicago and the Bears are only giving up 18 points a game. Which means, the Green Bay defense vs. the Chicago defense will win this game.

That doesn't exactly bode well for a defense that has allowed an average of 109 rushing yards the last three games. But it isn't just up to stopping Montgomery, it's also about keeping Trubisky in the pocket and making him uncomfortable.

So what can Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine do to mask a run defense that has been about as pitiful as gifting fruitcake. That could mean a cornucopia of combinations, potenially even putting Preston Smith or Za'Darius Smith in the middle.

The Packers don't have to have this one. They could still lose and win the NFC North. However, this game has a playoff feel. The Packers will only win this game if Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams get going, because Chicago will likely be trying to stop the run.

So even though Trubisky has been benched this season, doesn't mean the Bears don't have a chance. The Bears may not be full of offensive highlights, but this team is a scary out right now.

And this is wrong time for Green Bay to overlook anyone.  

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (55)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
murf7777's picture

December 14, 2019 at 06:56 am

When you are playing a team that is giving up the 4th least amount of points in the NFL of course you need to be worried about an upset. BUT, Da Bears Still Suck, so final 23-13 Pack....Go Pack Go

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Leatherhead's picture

December 14, 2019 at 09:42 am

Exactly. This is a real good defensive team and we may struggle to hit 20, but if we cannot win at home against the Bears then we don’t deserve to win the division.

Probably not a bad bet to take the under. Truthfully, I’d rather take my chances and play to protect Rodgers this week. Run run run pass run pass punt. That’s a dangerous pass rush the Bears have.

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Bure9620's picture

December 14, 2019 at 04:10 pm

Yeah this one makes me nervous, we really struggle with running QBs and this Bears team is coming into Lambeau with all their chips in the middle. We MUST use Aaron Jones to stretch this defense from sideline to sideline, Roquon Smith being out is a big deal. Test this defense on the edges. Hopefully we have time to hit some play action. We need a big game from this O-line, they have been quite lackluster of late.

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Boneman's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:25 am

Too much credit is being given to the Bears for some fairly unimpressive wins over the last month. Too little credit is going to the Pack for winning ugly. I think this game is set up nicely for the Pack. Our pass rush will turn Trubisky back into the pumpkin he is and our inside running game will slow down their rush. 31-13 Packers! GPG!

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Tundraboy's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:19 pm

Could happen. Should happen. Go Pack Go

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Bearmeat's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:52 am

Let's not forget who the Bears have played in that timeframe. Yeah, they've won. Kudos. You can only play the teams on your schedule. And the Packers are no juggernaut. But let's not pretend the Bears are great either. I fear their front 7. Nothing else.

Looking forward to a good game.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

December 14, 2019 at 08:14 am

Bears last 3 games Giants, Lions, Cowgirls.

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Gort's picture

December 14, 2019 at 08:38 am

Packers last 5 games: 2 embarrassing losses, 1 win vs a team that fired their coach shortly thereafter, 1 "blowout" win vs. 2-11, and eeked out 5 point win vs. 3-10.
The Pack had better be fired up and ready to play because the Bears will be.
Damn, the "Chicken Little" in me came back.
Don't assume that is my prediction. I think the Packers can and will win, but . . .

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PeteK's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:52 am

Bears had trouble beating the Giants and a depleted Lions team... tweet tweet

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Gort's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:08 am

Cluck Cluck?

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GVPacker's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:27 am

Bearmeat I can read between the lines. You're basically saying" Da Bears Still Suck....And I concur!

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Bearmeat's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:11 am

More like: Mitch sucks. But yes. :)

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PackfanNY's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:53 am

Heck I don’t think anyone underestimates anyone. This is an any given Sunday league and every team has professional football players who aren’t expecting to lose. It is funny though that the Bears “resurrection” has come with wins against the Cowboys, Lions and Giants. The Packers win those games and we hear “worst 10-3 ever” whatever the hell that means. Bears who were the favorites according to the “experts” get the “wow the Bears are back” treatment. I like our chances in a hard fought game 21-13 Packers.

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CAG123's picture

December 14, 2019 at 04:13 pm

Man you hit the nail on the head with that one lmao we've exceeded expectations so much that people forget this was supposed to be a rebuild of sorts and we were still another year or two away from contention with a rookie head coach and the Bears were going to run the division for years (remember when the Vikes thought that?) now after beating a spiraling Cowboys team and some scrubs they're suddenly back?

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Tundraboy's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:27 pm

Nice one Cag123. Could not have put it any better.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 15, 2019 at 10:31 am

Yesterday is gone but today is a chance to Beat the Bears AND pretty much win the division. We’re at home and both teams have winning records. If you like old style tough, cold, outside in the dirt smash mouth football, this is your day.

Turnovers are the key of course, and that should mean Trubisky. If we can force him into some errors, we will win the game. If we cannot, we could be in trouble. He hasn’t really made a Jump this year but I still think he’s a decent QB who is capable of a good game.

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porupack's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:33 pm

Awesome Post, Packfan/ Best in a long time.

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PackfanNY's picture

December 15, 2019 at 03:24 pm

BANG!!!!!!! I need to play the Mega Millions on Tuesday!,,l. 21-13 ON THE MONEY!

Blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. LOL

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Lphill's picture

December 14, 2019 at 08:21 am

Have to keep pressure on Trubisky and make him uncomfortable in the pocket, this is a good game for the Packers to put a complete game together.

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Houndog's picture

December 14, 2019 at 08:40 am

I agree LP,
"this is a good game for the Packers to put a complete game together".
And considering it's week 15, it about time they do so.

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PeteK's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:49 am

Putting pressure on opposing QBs is the strength of our D. However, he will need to be shadow him because he has been tucking it in and running at the least bit of pressure.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:26 pm

Thumbs up

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm

The full arsenal of blitzes will keep him occcupied. Three and outs and let the offense keep the Bear defense on the field. O line has to dominate this game.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:23 pm

I like one more touchdown 28 -13!

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packergal's picture

December 14, 2019 at 08:35 am

The Chicago Sports radio stations are all saying that the "thebearsstillsuck" should stop Jones, and make Rodgers beat them.

They all comment that Rodgers has missed many of his wide open receivers, holds the ball way too long, gets jittery when pressured and will lose the ball like he did at SF and in the WR game. They claim he is not the 18-5 Rodgers any longer!

They predict Mack and the returning DL Hicks will have a field day at Lambeau, harassing Rodgers all day.

Time for our OL and Rodgers and the WR/TE group to lead the charge and GO PACK!

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Lare's picture

December 14, 2019 at 09:43 am

There's a brilliant strategy, try and make Rodgers beat you.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 14, 2019 at 09:49 am

All good points. I wouldn’t give that pass rush a chance to just tee off on Rodgers. This would be a good game to play very conservatively until the fourth quarter. Rodgers doesn’t need to expose himself to hits just to “make a play” until the game is on the line.

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PackfanNY's picture

December 14, 2019 at 02:09 pm

Ah Chicago, the land of hyperbole.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:02 am

Don't sweat this one, it has a Packers' blowout written all over it. The team, coaches, and fans are sick of the loudmouth Bears' fans and those fans along with the Bears are going to be taken to the woodshed tomorrow.

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PeteK's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:06 am

Hope so. They have their two top tacklers Smith and Trevathan out and Dix is their top tackler now.

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GVPacker's picture

December 14, 2019 at 04:47 pm

Dix is their Top Tackler......Thats Funny Ha Ha!

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Since'61's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:21 am

In the three games which the Packers lost this season they were out-physically played by our opponents. The Bears, especially on defense, are likely to try the same approach. That means to me that we should run the ball. I agree with Leatherhead, formerly, Old School, that we should run, run, run at the Bears. Give our OL the chance to give out some of the punishment rather than take hits trying to protect Rodgers. Simultaneously, the run game protects Rodgers from the Bears pass rush.

As usual playing with a lead will be critical in a game like this, especially with the cold weather being a factor in handling the ball especially on pass receptions and kick/punt returns. Smart, aggressive, physical football, plus ball security will be the keys to this game.
I would prefer to see the Packers take the opening KO, drive for a score and set the tone for this game rather than defer. On defense we need to stop the run and make the Bears one dimensional. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:40 pm

"We should run, run, run at the Bears. Give our OL the chance to give out some of the punishment rather than take hits trying to protect Rodgers."

And right from start to finish. Absolutely agree Since 61. There's two things that we continually see week after week but the coaching doesn't get. First we got to stop taking the clock down to zero every single play and we have to start running more, for the exact reasons you have pointed out. Every time we don't do those two things disaster ensues.

Also I'm hoping that Rodgers bravado shows up and forces a change of heart this week. Hurry up offense time.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:25 am

The Packers and Bears are basically the same. The stat sheet by position may promote one over the other but game tape will show both as being equally unable to not step on their own feet.

The records are different but this game will tell us if the Packers are who many want (fantasize) them to be or who a few know (reality) who they are.

The Packers have a lot more to lose than a playoff seeding on Sunday....it's a team changer.

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PeteK's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:25 am

Bears do not have anything near a Rogers or Jones. Your right this is a big game for us because with a win, we win the division and assure ourselves of a home playoff game.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:29 am

There are other positions beside QB/RB that can win/lose a game.....The ' We have Rodgers ' simply doesn't cut it anymore and Aaron Jones isn't a guaranteed weekly asset either.

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porupack's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:37 pm

and are you of the fantasy crowd, or of the few that know the secret truth? I couldn't get your credentials.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 15, 2019 at 12:19 am

This is the problem with you and your type of fan. I'm not a fantasy/blind optimist fan where all must be considered great via excuses and denials. I'm a reality fan of what is seen and never assume to know a cure,less suggestions, but just evaluations on what is being given to me weekly. Besides, whenever a fix was/is mentioned, it would be met with the ridiculous and stupid reply of ' Why don't you apply for the job.' Which makes nearly all conversation immediately irrational and then grows to personal attack,because the fantasy/blind optimist cannot accept truth/reality about their team and especially a specific player or players.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 15, 2019 at 07:31 am

I agree. This game is the litmus test for sure.

Simply put, we need to kick the Bear's ass this week and head into Minnesota with some swagger. That's the way you used to do it.

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GVPacker's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:26 am

No offense to any Female Packer Fans on the site but Mitch Da Bitch is still a BONEHEAD and I'm confident he throws a least one pick and coughs up a strip sack fumble! The Smith Brothers will Feast on The Gummy Bears this Sunday!

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packergal's picture

December 14, 2019 at 10:53 am

Hello GV,

No offense taken and agree somewhat but I will point out not to take "da bears still suck" lightly.

"Mitch DB" has thrown 2 INT in last 2 games.
However, he has also thrown 6 TDs in the last 2 games, has a >75% completion rate and QBR of 118 and 115.
In addition, "Mitch DB" has amassed considerable yds. when he escapes the pocket.

Receivers Robinson, Miller and the TE from PITT by way of WR looked excellent the last 2 games and the TE screen over the middle against the Cowgirls was something Pack fans just dream about.

This is a dangerous team and "Mitch DB" is playing better at the right time of year.
Hello Mike Pettine and D team--stop "Mitch DB"!

GO PACK!

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Qoojo's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:05 am

Packers are a very inconsistent team, and you never know which offense will show up. The packers squeaked by all 3 division opponents. I doubt the Packers are underestimating the bears or any other team in the division, and it doesn't matter if the fans underestimate them.

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CAG123's picture

December 14, 2019 at 04:20 pm

What does that even mean? Not a single NFCN game has been a blowout this year division games are always tough just ask the Saints coming out of a bye in their home getting smacked by the Falcons or the Cardinals making the 49ers sweat in both games.

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Qoojo's picture

December 15, 2019 at 11:13 am

If you are referring to "squeaked by", it means that the games were close.

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Duneslick's picture

December 14, 2019 at 11:14 am

Why not put rashan gary in as an inside lb on running downs.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 14, 2019 at 12:57 pm

They have him at three tech and over the nose on occaision with Za standing up in the middle. He is being brought along.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:53 pm

I don't want hear any excuses. This is the bears. If the team especially the Defense,Rodgers, and MLF, do not come out on fire and put forth their best effort,best game plan and adjust when needed and play four quarters of football..... then we'll really know where we stand this year.,and what kind of team and heart they have or not.

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stockholder's picture

December 14, 2019 at 02:41 pm

The Bears don't have a chance in hell. This is Packer country. And were on a mission. The road to glory is paved with honor. And No bears team has ever had it. Put your feet up , the wave of BS still surrounds them. The color of their jersey matches just how dirty this team plays. Panic ,frustration, cheap shots, are the tools of their trade. We only need to play Good defense, safe offense, and show them we have the confidence to win. Go get em!

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wildbill's picture

December 14, 2019 at 05:04 pm

Hmm, I see a very physical game probably going down to the last possession. It’s da bears, and I want to pound them, but with our inconsistencies, and their defense, I look for a Rodgers drive at the end to win it

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:15 pm

More shoddy writing from Cheesehead TV. “ but this team is a scary out right now.”. I proofread everything I write before submitting it for publication. Is that really so hard to do? The frequency with which we see CTV do this is really disappointing.

BTW, Go Pack, GO!

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Gort's picture

December 14, 2019 at 07:27 pm

Don't like it, ask for a refund.

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dobber's picture

December 14, 2019 at 09:31 pm

Hicks will give their defense a boost, and he'll come out like his hair is on fire. Mack will be better playing next to him, too. Marcedez Lewis should get a lot of play this week. Hopefully, the Packers will be able to match their intensity out of the gate.

Here's hoping LaF has been holding back some special stuff for the next two weeks.

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RedRight49's picture

December 15, 2019 at 09:01 am

I'm certain the Pack's O-line and Aaron Rodgers are not underestimating the Bears or the intensity the Bears will bring to Lambeau today.

The Pack should involve their tight ends not only in blocking schemes but in short and mid-range passing plays.

Get the ball to some big bodies and let 'em grind out the YACs, chew up some clock, and help wear down the Chicago front D for runs by Jones and Williams.

Expect both Green Bay and Chicago will be blitzing away at each other's quarterback and want to see Rodgers wisely speed up getting the ball out of his hand to avoid their blitzers and unnecessary hits.

Can Ervin bring more spark - and yardage and field position - with special teams play and can special teams become a real factor towards a W?

At the end the Pack adds another W to the column!

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4zone's picture

December 15, 2019 at 11:37 am

I think the possibility of Graham being out may actually be a benefit for us. Today I think it is all on how well our OL executes in both run and pass. Got to like our ST improvements last week and hope they are a sign of good things to come.

We have played down to a lot of teams this year, but the Bears at home should always bring out the best in a Green Bay Packer and I expect that there will be a different air about the team this week than what we've seen in the last few.

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joshuaprice153's picture

December 15, 2019 at 10:07 pm

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