Packers at Bears: Gameday Preview - 2022 Week 13

The Packers still have some faint hope of a playoff berth... and the Bears have their eyes on he #1 overall pick. This should be interesting.

 

The last time the Packers played the Bears, they dominated, holding Chicago to 228 total yards of offense (only 48 passing) and winning 27-10. That was back when the Packers looked like they were gonna be a good team this year...

 

WHEN THE BEARS HAVE THE BALL

The Bears have he fewest passing yards and the most rushing yards of any team in the league.

Both are because of Justin Fields.

He's been going bonkers as a runner this year and has the 7th most rushing yards of anyone in the NFL.

He's 2nd in the league in yards per carry (6.8), but also leads the NFL in rushing fumbles, with 7. A hurting non-throwing shoulder will make it harder for him to switch his carry arm and maintain possession. He will no doubt scramble and the Packers should be swiping at the ball.

He'll scramble because the Bears offensive line is a mess and their passing game is dismal.

Their 48 passing yards against the Packers in week 2 was a season low, but they've been low all year. They don't have a single game where they've passed for 200 yards as a team.

Darnell Mooney has been quiet and low on big plays. Running back David Montgomery has more receiving yards than any of their other wide receivers. Cole Kmet's product as a tight end has been middling. Midseason acquisition Chase Claypool has been virtually invisible, and rookie Velus Jones, Jr has 24 receiving yards on the season.

The only way they tend to get passing production is when Fields gets outside the pocket and buys time. In many ways, it's similar to Russell Wilson when he was with Seattle. The Packers should play him the same way they historically limited Wilson: keep him in the pocket and make him pass. Don't over-pursue on rush lanes, just push the pocket and make him throw it to his mediocre receiving corps.

Without Rashan Gary, it's going to be even harder to sack him, so just contain him. Having De'Vondre Campbell (who is listed as Questionable) back with Quay Walker would help in limiting run opportunities. The Packers also need to keep tabs on the other runners in Chicago: David Montgomery (the consistent plodder) and Khalil Herbert (who snaps off bigger chunks).    

The Packers should be able to keep more guys in the box to limit the run.

If Justin Fields doesn't play, the Bears offense doesn't have much of anything going for it

 

WHEN THE PACKERS HAVE THE BALL

The offensive line finally seemed to be coming together...  and then David Bakhtiari went out with an appendectomy.

We don't know what the Packers will do to replace him. They could slide Yosh Nijman over or just plug in Zach Tom. Continuity has been a problem along the line for the Packers, so Tom (who has been practicing most of the year at left tackle) could be the logical choice.

Even with a slight hiccup at left tackle, the Packers offense should be able to continue to build on recent momentum, especially against a Chicago team without a major pass rushing threat. 

After the Giants game when Rodgers injured his thumb, the Packers  went a two game stretch where they averaged only 255 yards of total offense. Then, in the toughest part of their schedule, the Packers have averaged over 360 yards per game over the last 5 games.

The Packers have been putting together some impressive running performances, Christian Watson has emerged as a true game-breaker, and Romeo Doubs is getting healthier (listed as Questionable, we aren't yet sure if he will play). And don't forget Randall Cobb, a historic Bear killer.

Meanwhile, the Chicago defense is banged up and has given up 173 points in the last 5 games - they rank 27th in points allowed on the season. This is not, by any means, the fearsome defense Chicago has put up in the past.

Last week, the Bears allowed Mike White to pass for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns with a 149.3 quarterback rating. In the same game, they let Zonovan Knight and Ty Johnson combine for 131 yards rushing with 6.9 yards per carry.

Eddie Jackson leads the team with 4 interceptions and he just went to IR. Roquan Smith, with 2 interceptions, is the only other player with multiple picks on the year. 

On the season, this pathetic group only has one player with 3 sacks: safety Jaquan Brisker. Watch for safety blitzes... that's pretty much the scouting report.   

A broken-thumbed Aaron Rodger or an inexperienced Jordan Love should both be able to find success against this Bears defense, as should Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.

If the Packers run a straightforward offense, balancing running and passing, they should be able to punch out enough production to win.

 

OTHER NOTES

The Bears have turned the ball over at least once in 11 of their 12 games this year. They have only taken the ball away in 1 of their last 4 games.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Packers have looked bad this year.

But the Bears have been pathetic.

With mounting injuries and schematic dysfunction, the Bears have nothing to play for but a higher draft pick or pride. I'm sure they're tired of getting slapped around by their big brothers for decades on end, but the harsh reality is that Aaron Rodgers still owns them.

Packers 30, Bears 20

 

 

Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.

 

1 points

Comments (9)

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

December 04, 2022 at 06:51 am

The winner of this game will have the most victories of any team in NFL history. Which, this season, is more a result of longevity than excellence. But, it will still be bragging rights. And that should be worth something. And though the Bears have been terrible, expect them to be ready to play today. The real question is, if the Bears come out and smash the Packers in the mouth early, how will they respond? That could very well be the key to the game,

1 points
1
0
egbertsouse's picture

December 04, 2022 at 07:57 am

My prediction for the game: Boring. Both teams stink but the Bears will find a way to lose. Do the Bears have enough pride and gumption to shut Diva’s big mouth? No, they are total sad sacks.

Good day to drive over to Wisconsin and get a Xmas tree. And an Old-Fashioned . Brandy, of course, because I will be in Wisconsin and it’s the law.

2 points
2
0
Houndog's picture

December 04, 2022 at 08:11 am

I've got 3 things
The most wins in NFL history is a big deal and the Packers should be ready to play. Let's hope Joe Barry and his players know that, even a poor performance would be an improvement over disgusting.

Being without Savage might be an asset, eliminating the liability Savage has become.

It would be great to see Watson continue his rise and build on what he's had going, can he play defense too?

1 points
1
0
Packerlifer's picture

December 04, 2022 at 11:01 am

Pulling ahead in the most franchise wins all time will be a nice trivial pursuit fact for a week but it could shift back and forth for awhile given the state of both clubs for thr foreseeable future.

What will matter more is the race to be the first to 1000 wins next year.

0 points
0
0
Charvid's picture

December 04, 2022 at 08:21 am

Another point of interest in this game…How many missed tackles can the Packer D amass? Should be fun to count.

1 points
1
0
LambeauPlain's picture

December 04, 2022 at 08:54 am

With Jim Leonard staying with the Badgers, it looks like Barry Bungle Ball will not be replaced until after the season. Watching D today will be "interesting".

I believed Jim joining Luke's coaching staff was a probable outcome, depending on how Luke and Jim hit it off. Looks like Luke did a great job selling Jim, and the hit was a homer! Great outcome. Preferred option 1 fulfilled.

But my preferred option 2 was Jim being an in season Packer's DC replacement to get a head start on next season...but MLF didn't have the stones to do so and ruled that out.

I wonder if MLF publicly stating Barry was "in this sucker" and would likely be retained until season's end, nudged Leonard to do what his heart wanted...and stay a Badger.

So Joe Barry will be this season's Mo Drayton 2.0 who was Shawn Menniga 2.0.

0 points
0
0
Johnblood27's picture

December 04, 2022 at 09:30 am

The admin of this team is beyond pathetic.

groundhog day in GB...

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

December 04, 2022 at 10:41 am

Why would Leonard jump to work for a lame duck like LaFleur? Better off biding his time. LaFleur’s replacement should pick his own DC. Whether that’s this year or next only depends on just how long the leadership in Green Bay can fight apparent reality.

Today though I don’t think even we should have trouble with these Bears. Hopefully we run early and often to set up the pass. If Jones/Dillon have a good day then likely we will.

0 points
0
0
fangirl's picture

December 04, 2022 at 09:42 am

Posters seem confident Joe Barry is out after the season ends. I wish I had more confidence this is the case.

1 points
1
0