Packers Periscope: Week 10 vs. Chicago Bears

What a difference five weeks makes.  The Green Bay Packers hit the road and face the Chicago Bears this Sunday for the final time this season.  The last time these teams faced off at Lambeau Field, the Packers were so dominant that Bears players were taking cheap shots out of sheer frustration.

This time, it's a battle of two young quarterbacks and two teams who are playing some uninspiring football lately.  

The Past

The Packers finally took the lead in the all-time series after the last meeting, the first lead in over 80 years.  That lead is already in serious jeopardy.

The Bears have won two of their last three games and are coming off of their bye.  They beat the Baltimore Ravens on the road and handily beat the Carolina Panthers at home.  

The Packers have lost their last three and a tight end to boot.  Former Bears and now Packers tight end Martellus Bennett quit on his team (was waived) earlier this week and won't be in Chicago.  

The Bears have played themselves into last place in the NFC North, at least for now.  A win over the Packers would change that.  

The Present

Chicago is 3-5 and hoping to build a young defense and coach up their rookie quarterback (hopefully of the future).  The Packers are 4-4 and in a free fall.  

With the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions both on the rise (for now), this game between the Packers and Bears has turned into back page news.

Packers quarterback Brett Hundley missed several throws against the Lions that could have gone for long gains or touchdowns.  Those misses appear to be more on Hundley than the popular belief that head coach Mike McCarthy won't let Hundley loose.

On the Bears side, rookie Mitchell Trubisky is still trying to prove himself worthy of the second-overall pick that he was in this past draft.  While the Packers have struggled as a whole, their defense has had most of their parts.  They aren't facing Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford this time.  Will that be the difference in how they play?

The Future

McCarthy and the Packers will tell you they're trying to win every game, regardless of the situation.  The Bennett situation tells us that it's at least possible that there are other players on the team who have mentally given up on 2017.  That's just my take.

With McCarthy desperate to right the ship, there's no way the Packers are about to tank this season away.  At least not on purpose.

The Bears, on the other hand, are tired of being the "also rans" of the division.  They're finally in a position of power, favored by 5.5 points as of Thursday night.  If only for this one game, they're looking to return to being the team dominating this match up.

At present, the outcome of this game may not end up meaning much.  But while not mathematically, it's as close to a "must win" as it gets for the Packers.  As well as McCarthy's teams have responded with their backs against the wall in the past, I don't foresee that happening in this game.  Until the offense can generate closer to 30 points, they're going to have a hard time winning most games.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (27)

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Bearmeat's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:42 am

Your last sentence is the reason they're 4-4 instead of 7-1. The team depends on Aaron Rodgers to score 30. The defense is mediocre to bad, and it has been for years.

Sorry for the Trumpism, but it's time to drain the swamp. Fire TT. Fire DC and the entire defensive coaching staff. I'm on the fence about MM yet.

Oh, and about this game? I hope GB wins. I think they'll lose. I don't think they'll score 10 points until garbage time, and I expect to give up 20.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:45 am

Plain and simple. Bennett is a selfish jackass.

I'm glad he is gone. Having a player like that is a cancer in the locker room. Perhaps getting rid of him will send a message to the locker room too. That they are not giving up on the season.

The rest of the season starts on Sunday. The Packers are 4-4 with 8 games to play. What they need is some consistency. They have 1 good play and then have 2 bad ones. Have 2 good ones and 1 bad one. They need to start becoming more consistent. It starts with the coaches. They have to come up with a good game plan and figure out what is going to work best for the players. And be more consistent with it. Things that work, keep doing it.

Hundley needs to start throwing downfield more. I'm not saying 20+ yard throws, but 7-15 yards downfield he needs to go after more.

I saw improvements in Hundley. I'd like to see more on Sunday. Lets go down to Chicago and get a W.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:06 am

They should have put Bennett on IR. Going to a much better team is exactly what he wanted. He doesn't deserve it.

I saw moderate improvement in Hundley too. And I expect a better defensive effort on Sunday simply because Trubisky is not even Keenum at this point. But the Bears D is almost as good as Minny's, and our defense couldn't hold Alabama to 10 points. I don't think that GB will even score 10 points that matter, and frankly, I'd be surpised if they get 250 yards.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:28 am

I agree. He got exactly what he wanted.

I agree about the defense too. I think they will play better simply because of the QB they are facing. The last 2 weeks they have faced Brees and Stafford. They are upper echelon QB's in the league. They held with the Saints until about 5 minutes left in the game. Actually with Brees being an elite QB, holding them to 16 points through 3 quarters isn't bad. Against the Lions they held them to 17 points through 3 quarters which is pretty good as well. What has killed them has been the 4th quarter. Perhaps they are wore out then, but the last 2 weeks they gave up 10 and 14 points in the 4th quarter.

A couple of things may help the defense out even more though. 1 they look like they maybe getting Brooks back which will be a huge upgrade over Fackrell. And Biegel will be getting his 2nd game action. According to Moss Biegel graded out with a + on 17 of his 18 snaps or something like that. Also Joe Thomas looks to be coming back. That will help fill the void of Burnett not playing.

If the Offense can establish a lead going into the 4th Quarter I like our chances better.

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Nick Perry's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:26 am

What Rodgers injury has done is EXPOSE Green Bay Packers, the GM, and the entire coaching staff. Much like Peyton Manning WAS the Indianapolis Colts, Aaron Rodgers IS the Green Bay Packers. When Manning was lost for a season with a neck injury the Colts went 2-14 after being 10-6 and 14-2 the previous 2 seasons. The Green Bay Packers ARE the 2011 Indy Colts. 2-14 would be a definite possibility without the services of one Aaron Rodgers for an entire season. That my friends is on Ted Thompson. He's failed more less to field even a competitive team if they don't have Rodgers behind center.

Watching the Packers makes me wonder if the coaching staff is really THAT BAD, the Players are THAT BAD, or it's a combination of both. It makes me wonder about next season. Rodgers will still be Rodgers BUT he'll be a year older. It makes me wonder how far away the Packers are from REALLY being a SB contender. I'm not talking about just making the playoffs but a team that can play anywhere and win anyway they have too. IMO just getting rid of Capers probably improves them by 3 or 4 wins, maybe more. I believe they have some talent at very level on defense. But the O-Line now needs 3 new pieces with the loss of Bulaga. The WR group needs a new stud, and the TE position is once again pretty much a void. The offense won't look much different than it has the last few weeks moving forward through the season.

The future for this team is Elliot Wolf, John Dorsey, or any other potential GM candidate. There can't be excuses at the end of the season, we've used excuses the last 7 seasons. Nope the future is change for the Packers.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:56 am

' It makes me wonder how far away the Packers are from REALLY being a SB contender. '

Believe it or not, but the Packers are a Super Bowl contender every year with Rodgers. They simply have had some seriously bad luck along the way. 2015 they had no WR's left and they still made it deep in the playoffs. Last year they made it to the NFC Championship game, and had it not been for them losing 3 of their top 4 WR's before that game we have no idea how that game could have turned out or been different. These are not excuses. You can't lose that many players to specific positions and expect them to compete.

Yes the team isn't nearly as good without Rodgers. But the truth is the team has been built around Rodgers, just as the Colts were built around Manning. Rodgers is so good he puts fear in opposing teams. Both their offense and defense. How many players in the league do that? Honestly, not many. Sorry but no team is equipped to lose that.

We can talk about the defense and everything all we want right now. The honest truth is if we had a QB that had more experience, we probably would have at least 1 more win right now. The Packers had chances in the Saints and Lions games, but Hundley's inexperience has really hurt them. I see the improvements made from Hundley but what would the team look like if they had a Case Keenum?

Do the Packers have to make changes in the offseason, Yes. Are they that far away from a SB, no. The truth is in todays football, if you make it to the playoffs, any team has a chance to get to the Super Bowl.

With Rodgers as our QB I like our chances.

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dobber's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:15 am

" I see the improvements made from Hundley but what would the team look like if they had a Case Keenum"

I don't know, but I suspect they could get an antibiotic lotion for it and it would go away in a couple days.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:37 am

Surely there must be someone in the organization that thinks like you NP.!!!

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:53 am

Ironically, Rodgers's injury makes the future much brighter in Green Bay. Look what it has produced:

1. Locker room cancer and Packernation divider Martellus Bennett gave up and is gone. There is no scenario where that is not a good thing.

2. Without Rodgers sustaining drives and making games competitive, Dom Capers has been fully exposed. Even the Packers media (!) is finally calling for his ouster. At long last, Capers will soon be gone.

3. Even with a healthy offense and improving Hundley, McCarthy's play-calling is disastrous without Rodgers to bail it out. His seat is hotter than a hotplate on Mercury.

4. Ted Thompson will almost certainly retire this next offseason. He's had too many misses lately (Bennett being the most embarrassing), and now we get to see the team he's assembled implode without Super-Aaron. Ted's gone, and the future is fresh.

5. Without Rodgers to "throw them open" or keep the D off the field, numerous high-priced veterans are being exposed as simply too unhealthy or not worth the cap dollars. Several names from this list should be gone, opening enormous cap space or positions for the new GM to make his mark: Matthews, Bulaga, Nelson, Cobb, R. Rodgers, Rollins, Burnett, Brooks, Bennett (already gone), Fackrell, and House.

6. Just as importantly, as this season implodes, we'll get to see several young players "try out" in regular season conditions. Maybe Biegel starts. Maybe Josh Jones finally gets to blitz more. Maybe guys like Mays, Clark, and McCaffrey get some looks. It's audition time.

7. Finally, our next GM will enjoy a high draft position and low expectations next Draft Day. This team needs impact players, and will soon get some.

The future hasn't been this bright in Green Bay for many years. I for one am excited.

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Pauly's picture

November 10, 2017 at 02:00 pm

Agree future is bright. I am hoping TT or whoever, with 12 picks, trades some lower draft picks up to top 100 picks for impact players. Look what TT did with last yr's 10 picks,, ended up cutting 3 of them!!
Would really like to see 6-7 picks in in top 3 or 4 rounds.

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Handsback's picture

November 10, 2017 at 07:54 am

Nick's point is important to remember, because the Colts and Packers have/had a QB that's good enough to win the title every year. I don't think the 2011 Colts were a 2-11 team nor do I think the Packers would be a 4-12 team if that becomes their record. There's too much talent in other areas to lose that many games.

To me, it seems to be a mindset of the teams that since they were built around a HOF QB, if he goes down....everything has to change. That change can't happen in a few weeks. That change would take a season or two. The issue is that the QB that's supposed to back-up these HOF QBs has to keep the team's identity the same. BB in New England has managed to do that. MM hasn't been able to and the Colt coach certainly didn't do it either. I don't know if it's because the defense is so poor that it becomes exposed, (since the offense can't control the clock and score enough points to make the other team make mistakes) or your passing offense won't work with the 2nd string guy.

I don't know the answer, but if the Packer's thought Hundley could run the offense they sure as heck wouldn't have changed it in games to WCO 1.0 for beginners. If he can't get the offense started against the Bears, then they should let Callahan try it. What would they have to lose....another game?

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dobber's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:12 am

The bottom line is that the Packers have too much to gain in getting Hundley going. I think he showed some level of comfort late in the Detroit game. Yes, it was later on, but that game was still (on the scoreboard) in doubt when the Packers started moving the ball with the no huddle. He's going to be the starter from here on out unless he gets hurt. If they can make him look like a competent NFL QB (I know some of you are spit-taking on your coffee right now), they can profit from that. That said, they still need to find ways to be competitive and win games. I think Hundley needs to go into a death spiral (or get hurt) before they'll play Callahan.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:38 am

Completely agree. Packers have a lot more to gain in Hundley if he gets going.
And I thought he looked a lot better later in the game once they went into the no huddle. He was looking downfield more and was more decisive in his throws.

In college he mostly played from the shotgun. Its clearly where he was the most comfortable. I think McCarthy needs to run more of it. They can still change personnel which was very effective, but don't huddle. Just line up and call the play from there.

I think spreading teams out would help Hundley to see coverages a little better.

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stockholder's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:04 am

Future: The Bennett situation tells us that it's at least possible that there are other players on the team who have mentally given up on 2017. Good point. TT got used! MM hates Free Agency. The Bennett situation is going to used for a long Time. The players are not going to play All Out. The window for some players to win a ring just shut. The future is the Draft Now. TT blew this and he alone is responsible. Players that are playing for the future, just contacted their Agents. The Packers need a higher draft position now. Depression will be seen. The best we can hope for is a win, and not a super-bowl trophy.

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dobber's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:14 am

If they've got guys who are dogging it, they need to sit. There are plenty of younger players who are trying to entrench themselves in the league who will want that shot. Maybe you'll be throwing out lesser-skilled guys, but I'd rather have them playing 100-mph with their hair on fire--even if they're making mistakes--than having guys playing half-assed.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 10, 2017 at 08:16 am

I think its a possibility that some players have possible given up. Which is why I think that getting rid of Bennett was a good way to send a message to the team.
The problem with the Bennett situation is that if Rodgers doesn't get hurt I 100% believe that Bennett is still on the team.

'The best we can hope for is a win, and not a super-bowl trophy.'
I don't get what your saying by this?

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stockholder's picture

November 10, 2017 at 01:13 pm

The statement Win is related to the bears game and maybe a few more. I feel they know they cannot make the super-bowl now. The Club lost A-Rod. But the biggest reason is Capers. If , I and others had any faith in this defense , then YES , they could be super - bowl champs. The defense was the problem, and not BENNETT! The waiving of Bennett suggests to me that management will not try to sign Free Agents like him again. (Knowing TTs history) { He was smoke and mirrors to pertect the defense.} There fore, they will resort to the DRAFT and New defensive coaches. Not Defensive players. TT believes in his picks. And the defense has TALENT. The players are not going to bust their tail, no matter how much we want. Especially with the writing on the wall AGAINST CAPERS. I believe MM treats the remaining games like pre-season. Who can shine and who needs to be replaced. The defense will stay intact. No one is leaving! Maybe Burnett via FA. Second; Look for the TE position to be drafted Heavy. TT will make up for Bennett this draft. OL will be drafted for Depth. But the biggest thing he needs to change is the WR group. Every player should treat every game like it's their last. Hundley will be/ is an excuse game. But these Wrs need to go. Flat out Go. TT didn't draft 2 WRs not knowing it. Which WR has any Razzle Dazzle? None now. Which has any breakaway speed and the hands to go with it. None now. By the time this season is over 3 things will need to happen. A New DC, New WRs, New OL. I predict the new DC and any free agent signed , will be connected to him.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

November 10, 2017 at 01:31 pm

How funny that you act like there was only one problem--the defense, "NOT BENNETT!"

That's funny. You're funny.

Here's a more balanced view: The problem is several things, including a horrendous defense led by a toothless fossil...AND BENNETT!

Bad defenses are problems. So are cancerous, bigoted malcontents. Having one doesn't preclude having another.

Oh, but wait...we can only have one...that's funny...you're funny...

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stockholder's picture

November 10, 2017 at 02:29 pm

You keep blaming Bennett as the cancer. Thats just plain ridiculous! He was a frustrated professional player that wanted to leave. You are not in the locker Room. And Bennett may have had other problems. There are many problems that the packers have is true. But the fossil didn't survive in greenBay this long, without someone condoning his work. Someone has to take the Blame. TT tried his best. It's time to thank people for their services, and move on.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

November 10, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Have you even read any of the latest on Bennett? He was a complete malcontent of the highest order--a total cancer.

Man, I can't believe how some people will defend ANYTHING if it's done by someone who shares their stupid agenda.

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sheppercheeser's picture

November 10, 2017 at 09:44 am

How do you say "two teams who are playing some uninspiring football lately" when Chi has won two out of three and GB has lost three in a row?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 10, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Some folks want style points along with their wins. If GB had won 2 of their last three, these comment sections would look a lot different.

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billybobton's picture

November 10, 2017 at 02:08 pm

ughhh could that be because winning means you didn't lose? that something had to be different than reality?

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jasonperone's picture

November 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The Bears are 3-5 and have been uninspiring for years. Even when they win, they don't instill hope, furthering the long-standing narrative that the Bears still ____!

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billybobton's picture

November 10, 2017 at 02:07 pm

What's funny here is the complete lack of information to support positions.

Many teams - SEA/RAMS/Raiders/ went out and got talent to make a play off push....none of them had the ball ripped away from them like what we did

what was teddie's response? sign talent? turn over every rock and tree to get help?

nothing, he tanked the year and MM want along giving pretty sad and inaccurate comments about BH and the years of investment which only underline the truth

yet MB is the bad guy, the guy who wants to win, the guy who sees his career ending in a horrible way with the head coach and GM REFUSING to not only do something but with proudly and arrogantly proclaiming that they are tanking

the guy who wants to win is the bad guy

there is NO evidence that MB hid an injury before signing, none, there is NO evidence he was not hurt playing for GB, NONE as of yet

but the front office sure tries to imply things just like they did with Favre and Sitton and poor Ari F

and 'fans' run right in to buy, why ask teddie how we go 5 years without a back up QB when you can vilify MB?

why ask MM where the run game went or why it took two injuries to get the best back on the field?

MB makes a great distraction for simple minded fans

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PETER MAIZ's picture

November 10, 2017 at 03:09 pm

The linebackers need to develop a rush to give the cornerbacks a chance. Pressure is what it takes and Dom may improve this department a bit this game. Hundley needs to go through his reads plus read defenses. Many games to come are against weak teams so we may win a few of those. But Hundley better improve (after all, being in the McCarty school of quarterbacking should have prepped him, but I say this with a lot of irony). TT should retire as well as other members of the coaching staff. McCarthy is a good play caller.
And does anybody know if Rodgers will have the magic arm after his operation? I only hope Capers is gone. Lots of talent and Dom is still at the bottom of the barrel.
Chicago will not be a high scoring game in my estimation. But Hundley has got to improve going forward. If not heads may roll.

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al bundy's picture

November 10, 2017 at 06:21 pm

Having read your great posts I hate to add a bigger fear: what if these guys are playing there guts out and givng it there all? Oops.

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