Maggie's Pre-Game Six Pack - 2020 Week 12

Records for Aaron Rodgers, win number 100 all-time for the Packers, and more at stake this Sunday. 

The Packers will appear on Sunday Night Football for the second time this season to face off against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. It’s the NFL’s oldest rivalry in the league’s best stadium (but I’m not biased). Here are six things to keep an eye heading into kickoff: 

1. Records for Rodgers

Sunday could be a historic night in the career of future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He currently has 49,835 career yards and needs just 165 yards on Sunday Night Football to hit the 50,000-yard mark, something only 10 quarterbacks have done in NFL history. 

Rodgers is currently averaging 288.9 yards per game this season and has thrown for over 300 yards in his last three outings. His only performance under 240 yards came against the Buccaneers in Week 6 when he threw for only 160 yards. 

The quarterback is also seven touchdowns away from another career milestone, with 393 passing touchdowns. He’ll likely be the first quarterback in NFL history to hit 400 career touchdowns before throwing 100 interceptions (he’s currently at 88).  

2. Matchup No. 201 All-Time

The Packers and Bears share one of the league’s oldest, most historic rivalries, and that will be on display again during Sunday Night Football when the two teams meet for matchup 201. 

Green Bay currently leads the all-time series 99-95-6 and has a chance to hit triple digit wins against a second NFC North opponent in prime time (they have 103 wins against the Detroit Lions).

3. Less Monsters of the Midway in Green Bay

The Bears placed stud safety Eddie Jackson on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, so he won’t be available for Sunday’s game. Additionally, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks has not practiced yet this week. Those are two huge pieces to Chicago’s defense that likely won’t be on the field for Sunday Night Football. 

Still, the Bears have the sixth-ranked defense in points against allowing an average of 20.9 points per game. With big names like Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Kyle Fuller playing, it’ll be another stout test for the third-ranked Green Bay Packers offense in points for, averaging 30.8 points per game. 

After publishing, Eddie Jackson has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and will play Sunday Night. Akiem Hicks remains questionable. 

4. MVS Close to Career High

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was added to the injury report on Thursday after practice with an achilles injury, so his status for Sunday’s game is now up in the air. Whether he plays on Sunday or not, he’s likely to surpass his previous career high yardage total in his next one or two games. 

Through 10 games this season, the 6-4 receiver has put up 518 yards with a whopping 20.7 yards per reception average. His four touchdowns also double his previous total from his first two seasons. His previous career high came in his rookie season when he had 581 receiving yards. With only 64 yards on Sunday (or in his next game action), MVS will set a new career high for receiving yards. 

For context, his 518 receiving yards this season already exceed the WR2 numbers from 2019 (Lazard with 477 yards), and the second-place pass catcher for Green Bay in 2018 was Jimmy Graham with 631 yards through a full season. 

5. Bad Offense Bears

This Chicago offense is plain bad news. The squad is 31st in the NFL in points for, 31st in yards, 31st in first downs, 31st in rushing attempts, 32nd in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, and honestly we could keep going. There just isn’t a ton to be confident about when it comes to this offense. 

Mitchell Trubisky should get the start Sunday with Nick Foles out with a hip injury, and that might be a good thing for the Bears. With a weak offensive line that’s given up 25 sacks this season, mobility will be key. Nick Foles is a statue in the pocket and doesn’t have the ability to evade pressure. Starting Trubisky gives the Bears at least something to rely on (his legs) when the pocket collapses. 

The Bears have one of the better receivers in the league in Allen Robinson, who leads the team with 755 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham also seemed to have a career resurgence as a true red zone threat for the Bears, as he leads the team in touchdowns with five. The pieces are there for Chicago, it’s just a matter of whether or not the offense can start putting things together again after a four-game losing streak. 

6. Patterson = Problem 

The Packers have had some struggles on special teams this season, but more specifically in their last two games. The Jaguars returned a punt for a touchdown in Week 10, and the Colts forced a fumble on a kickoff return last week that they recovered, taking the ball away from Green Bay. 

Enter Cordarrelle Patterson, the league’s best return man. As recently as last week on Monday Night Football against the Vikings, Patterson returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown against his former team. He’s a three-time First-Team All-Pro and is currently averaging 30.3 yards per kickoff return. 

Field position is going to be imperative this week. If the Packers are forced to drive the length of the field while the Bears offense starts at midfield, that will make a difference. The Packers need a strong showing from special teams on Sunday.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (14)

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stockholder's picture

November 27, 2020 at 07:38 am

1. I hope those records include a lot of screen throws. 2. Match-up - Hopefully the officiating won't be Bear sided. 3. Monsters - Science Fiction 4. MVS- Needs to be on the field. He must want the ball if he's going to be a #2. 5. Bears bad offense - Gale Sayers, and Walter Payton use to be the talk of the NFL. 31st in NFL. They need to Fire their GM too. 6. Paterson- Kick it into the end Zone. Period!! Finally - I just expect a dirty Game.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 27, 2020 at 07:44 am

The forecast is for wind speeds of around 15mph during the game. Not ideal, but certainly better than the last two home games. Hopefully the Packers will be able to press their passing game advantage.

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PeteK's picture

November 27, 2020 at 07:54 am

Will Aron Jones play like the ghost of Hornung (Marshall Jim Duncan). I'm stating the obvious ,but this is a must win game!

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 28, 2020 at 02:36 am

Sarah Belding: "Be careful. You're a man who makes people afraid, and that's dangerous"

The Stranger: "Well, it's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid"

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PeteK's picture

November 28, 2020 at 08:53 am

I'm sure people are thinking , "what the hell are these two Bozos talking about?" Hahaha A great Western because of that added mystery.

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Lphill's picture

November 27, 2020 at 08:08 am

Montgomery playing for the Bears, already The word is out to take him in fantasy against the Packers D , that along with JK Scott makes this a closer game than people think.

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mrtundra's picture

November 27, 2020 at 08:55 am

I'm hoping our defensive game plan against the Bears, won't make the Bears look like a top tier team. I think Aaron Rodgers will have a big day passing the ball, if our O Line plays they way they have, the past few weeks. We need Aaron Jones to have a big day running the ball. That will be tough for Jones, as Chicago has a good defensive unit, and can stop the run. Here's hoping Hicks is on the sideline. I also hope our DBs are in man coverage, more often. Both Jaire and King are better in man, or press coverage, than in a zone, or soft coverage. Plus, it is time for he Packers to defend Lambeau Field. Lambeau is our home field and the Packers should show some pride in defending it from the likes of the Bears. GO PACK, GO!!!

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Coldworld's picture

November 27, 2020 at 11:13 am

If Pettine comes out playing off and repeating the front 7 usage of personnel to date and the Bears establish the run then LaFleur really has no place to hide after his post game comments last week.

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cow7's picture

November 27, 2020 at 09:14 am

Bears special teams
Packers special teams
Packers defense
Bears off a bye
Poor field and weather conditions
Bears need the game more
Late season - finesse team vs physical team
Pettine
Scott
Graham revenge (he scores a TD for sure)
Patterson (remember when he destroyed GB as an RB with NE?)

This all adds up to a tight game.

If the Bears throw more than 10 times Packers win.
If the Bears throw 10 times or less Bears win.

Bears win 20-13.

Packers finish 9-7.

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NickPerry's picture

November 27, 2020 at 09:18 am

IF Akiem Hicks isn't playing (and even if he is) this MUST be a game the Packers get back to running the ball. Most of us saw the stats in an article by Gil Martin yesterday, if not go back and read it.

The bottom line is IF Aaron Jones gets at least 15 carries the Packers are 5-0 (remember he missed 2 games) AND in every game the Packers have had at least 25 rushing attempts this year they are 7-0. It just doesn't get any clearer than that folks...RUN THE BALL!

On defense put Jarie Alexander on Allen Robinson whenever possible and DON'T line him up 8 yards off. Same should be said for Kevin King on their #2...Get IN HIS FACE! Adrian Amos has played much better the last few weeks and is normally good against his former team. Savage was the FIRST DB taken in the 2018 draft. It's time he started playing like it.

I would much rather see this defense play aggressive in your face defensive football and MAYBE get burned from time to time deep anytime than watch that passive keep everything in front of you defense give up 12 play scoring drives and STILL get beat deep anyways!

And for the love of God will you MAKE SURE Billy Winn suits up? He can at least cause a deflection for a once in a while interception from this defense.

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cow7's picture

November 27, 2020 at 11:00 am

Jackson's playing.
Hicks will too.

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jlc1's picture

November 27, 2020 at 01:33 pm

It's that prime time bit that leaves me nervous. All three losses so far have been on national rather than regional broadcasts. Pretty sure this is the kind of metric that escapes analysis at PFF or elsewhere but has a demonstrably important impact on the game. Go Pack Go!

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Difer's picture

November 27, 2020 at 08:09 pm

The Packers offense doesn't do well against strong, fast, physical defenses. The 2d MN and Tampa Bay games are examples. I suspect the Packers will turn over the ball at least once, and STs could be the difference maker. Not to forget that the Packers are on a downer after a tough but deserved loss against a better Indianapolis team. Look for another prime time upset.

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splitpea1's picture

November 27, 2020 at 09:04 pm

It would seem as though this is almost a tailor-made game for the Pettine defense since you don't have to be overly concerned about the Bears' running game--except for Trubisky occasionally scampering ahead. We need to put the clamps on Robinson and force the ball elsewhere. But be alert for Mooney getting behind the secondary--he's fast!

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