Maggie’s Pre-Game Six Pack - 2021 Week 6

Adams closing in on history, a Bears QB of the future, and more in this week's six pack.

The Green Bay Packers have another division matchup on Sunday, this time on the road against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Here are six things to keep an eye on heading into another historic chapter in the NFL’s oldest and best rivalry: 

1. Matchup 203 in the 312

The Packers and Bears will face off for the 203rd time on Sunday. The Packers currently hold a slight edge with a 101-95-6 record. Matt LaFleur made his head coaching debut against the Bears on the road at Soldier Field to open the 2019 season, and he’s led the Packers to a 4-0 record against Chicago since. Against the NFC North, LaFleur currently boasts a 12-1 record. Per the dope sheet, Sunday will mark the 50th game between the Packers and Bears at Soldier Field. Green Bay currently holds the edge with a 29-20 record, including one postseason victory in the 2010 NFC Championship Game. 

2. Top Tae 

Davante Adams currently leads the NFL in receptions (42), receiving yards (579), and receiving first downs (28) this season. At his current pace, that would give him a season total of 1,969 receiving yards and 143 receptions. 

Adams’ 115 receptions from the 2020 season set a new franchise record, and this would far-exceed that total. Of course, adding a 17th regular season game helps pad stats like this, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless. Additionally, since we’re working in hypotheticals now, those 143 projected receptions would give Adams 689 career receptions. Donald Driver currently leads the team with 743 receptions in 205 games. Adams has 588 career receptions having played in only 105 games. What’s more, Adams only needs eight receptions on Sunday against Chicago to surpass Sterling Sharpe for second all-time. Sharpe ended his career with 595 receptions in 112 games. 

Finally, Adams is right behind Sharpe in touchdowns, too. Sharpe finished his career with 65 touchdowns, third all-time behind Jordy Nelson (69) and Don Hutson (99). Adams heads to Soldier Field with 64 touchdowns under his belt. It’s entirely possible he ties or surpasses Sharpe for third all-time on Sunday, and also probable he surpasses Nelson at some point this season for sole possession of second all-time. 

3. Fields of Dreams

Justin Fields will be the 20th quarterback to start against the Packers since 1992. If not for a broken collarbone, the Packers would only have two, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Instead, Brett Hundley makes the list giving the Packers only three starting QBs in that span. Hundley started once against the Bears, at Soldier Field, beating them 23-16 in 2017. Bears fans are hoping that Fields is the answer at quarterback after so many failed attempts at finding “the guy.” But Fields won’t be without growing pains. In four games, he’s already been sacked 14 times, including nine times in his first NFL start against the Cleveland Browns. While Fields has one rushing touchdown from Week 1, through the air he’s thrown one touchdown and two interceptions so far this season. 

On the other sideline, per the dope sheet, Rodgers has thrown 23 touchdowns at Soldier Field, which is two less than Brett Favre’s team record of 25 passing touchdowns at the stadium. With two or more touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers can tie or take sole possession of the team record. His current record (outside of Lambeau) is 25 touchdown passes at Ford Field. While he’ll have an opportunity to extend that later this season, he could potentially tie or eclipse that total with new numbers from Soldier Field as early as Sunday. 

4. Monsters of the Red Zone

The Bears are second in the NFL in quarterback pressure rate with 40.9%, behind only the Browns (44.8%). Additionally, the Bears lead the league in sacks with a whopping 18 through five weeks. Despite the musical chairs along the offensive line for Green Bay, the protection for Rodgers has held up well, with him having been sacked only 10 times through five weeks. While the combination of Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., and Lucas Patrick held up on the left side of the line against the Bengals, the Packers could potentially get Elgton Jenkins back at left tackle this week. Rookie center Josh Myers has been a full participant in practice and is expected to start at center over Patrick as well. 

For the Bears defense, Robert Quinn (4.5) and Khalil Mack (5) have combined for over half of Chicago’s sacks this season. It’s worth noting, however, that both Khalil Mack and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks have yet to practice this week. Four different Bears have also snagged interceptions this year. In the red zone, the Bears are one of the best defenses in the NFL, ranking third in the league and allowing only a 37.5% success rate on six of 16 trips. The Packers, on the other hand, continue to struggle in the red zone on both sides of the ball. Green Bay’s defense ranks last in the league allowing 13 touchdowns on 13 trips, and the offense isn’t doing much better ranking 27th, scoring touchdowns only 55% of the time (11-of-20). 

5. Fighting for the North

The 4-1 Packers will take on the 3-2 Bears with a tiebreaker on the line. With a win, the Packers would climb to 5-1 on the season and maintain a two-game lead over the rest of the NFC North, which is actually more like 2.5 games with the tiebreaker. If the Bears win Sunday, they’ll climb to 4-2, the Packers will fall to 4-2, and the Bears will own the initial tiebreaker good for first in the division. 

The Bears are undefeated at home this year, and both Chicago and the Packers are 1-0 in division games to start the season. With a daunting schedule on deck for the Packers in the second third of the season (I miss quarters), home against Washington, then on the road against Arizona and the Chiefs, getting the tiebreaker on Sunday is significant, especially without All-Pros David Bakhtiari and Jaire Alexander in the lineup. There’s a realistic shot both are back for the second matchup between rivals at Lambeau Field in December. 

6. Running (Back) Out of Options

The Bears will be without running back David Montgomery on Sunday. He was added to injured reserve after Week 4, but had already rushed for 309 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Damien Williams was set to take over the starting role in his absence (139 rushing yards and two TDs), but was added to the COVID-19/reserve list on Thursday. That leaves rookie Khalil Herbert and Ryan Nall as the team’s two healthy running backs. Tarik Cohen remains on the PUP list until at least next week. 

Additionally, Chicago’s right tackle Germain Ifedi was also added to injured reserve after starting all 21 games for the Bears since his signing. His loss is significant to a Bears offensive line that’s been struggling to keep Fields upright this season. Still, that line was finding some cohesion in recent weeks and the Bears were looking strong on the ground, ranking ninth in the NFL running the football with 634 yards. On the flip side, Chicago is dead last in both passing yards (566) and passing touchdowns (two) through five weeks. 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

12 points

Comments (12)

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

October 15, 2021 at 06:50 am

A lot of words. (Mental Masturbation and Verbal Gymnastics) This could have all been said from the last paragraph. The contest comes down to a crappy offense takes on a slightly better than crappy defense.

I said too much, "where is my cigar".

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

October 15, 2021 at 08:18 am

You smell. Go back to your grave.

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Spock's picture

October 15, 2021 at 07:08 am

Thanks, Maggie. Always enjoy your articles. Let's hope THIS defense doesn't make unknown RB's look like all pros. I hope MLF has gotten the message across to the young guys about how important conference games are. Goal one is to win the division. From there it's reset time. GPG!

8 points
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dobber's picture

October 15, 2021 at 08:21 am

Stop the Bears run game and run the ball/protect ARod.

Win in the trenches. That's the story this week (and pretty much every week).

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PatrickGB's picture

October 15, 2021 at 01:50 pm

Agree, it has seemed that whom ever played RB, the Bears have done well in that phase. Also, I think that the pass rush from them can be brutal! Limit that and the Packers can do well.

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ImaPayne's picture

October 15, 2021 at 09:32 am

Thanks but the game ahead should center on exactly who is playing. Someones past stats man nothing, who is in and who is out will do a lot to determine strategy.
Its like CHTV has zero injury reports other then what they get from other websites.

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PackerAaron's picture

October 15, 2021 at 01:28 pm

It's like you can't read.

5 points
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BruceIrons's picture

October 15, 2021 at 09:45 pm

Just curious: how do you think injury reports work?

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TXCHEESE's picture

October 15, 2021 at 11:04 am

I'm hoping this is a game where Tonyan or Lazard go off. Definitely need to put something out there besides AR to DA for defensive coordinators to have to worry about. No turnovers and the Pack wins this game.

9 points
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CheesyTex's picture

October 15, 2021 at 12:46 pm

IMO ESB must go off in this game... or he goes off into the sunset.

3 points
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mnbadger's picture

October 15, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Agree with Maggie and everything above, except ...Nitschke.., sorry. Packers 26 - cubs 20. GPG

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jont's picture

October 15, 2021 at 08:42 pm

Good review.

As I watch da Bearss and look at their injury report, I don't see much cause for worry in this game. Their top two running backs (Montgomery and Cohen) are out, the best receiver (Robinson) is nursing a sore ankle, and QB Fields is every bit a rookie. On D, Hicks and Mack are listed as questionable; they'll play but not 100%. And then there's coaching. Nagy, it seems to me, always makes one or two bad play selections in every game, decisions that break his team's momentum.

As with last week, I think a decent defensive performance by the Pack will be enough to win. Chicago shouldn't score over 13-17 points without a GB defensive error or two. Something like a 27-13 GB win seems likely to me.

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