Packers Periscope: Week 17 vs Chicago Bears

Look, the David Bakhtiari news is devasting. It’s terrible. But it doesn’t rid the Green Bay Packers of their Super Bowl dreams. They have great depth along the offensive line and finished with a 2-1 record when Bakhtiari missed three games earlier in the season. Whoever fills in at left tackle will be good enough for this team to continue to win. They will have a great trial run this week against the Chicago Bears and their imposing pass rush.

The Packers are 8-1 in their last nine meetings against the Bears. Sunday will be the 202nd game between the NFL’s oldest rivalry. Green Bay leads the all-time series 100-95-6, including two postseason games. They last faced the Bears in week 12 and won the game 41-25, but this week’s meeting is even more paramount. If they sweep Chicago for the second year in a row, the Packers clinch the top seed in the NFC. It will be the first time they earned the top seed since 2011.

When these two teams met earlier in the season, the Bears were on a four-game skid. Green Bay made it five in the return of Mitch Trubisky, who got the start in place of an injured Nick Foles. Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, all four going to different receivers. The Packers' defense sacked Trubisky three times and picked him off twice. Both interceptions were hauled in by Darnell Savage, who has come on strong in the second half of 2020.

Green Bay’s offense basically did whatever they wanted in week 12. Rodgers picked apart the Chicago defense from a clean pocket, and the run game added 182 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown. However, the Bears aren’t as sullen as they were midseason. Chicago is looking to extend a three-game win streak, and they need a win to leave no doubt about their chances of making the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Packers have a lot riding on this game as well. Coming off a dominating win over the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay has won five in a row. A win this week would clinch the top seed in the conference and also secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. As we saw in week 16, having teams travel to Lambeau in the cold can have a significant impact on the outcome.

Unfortunately, the Packers will be without one of their top players, first reported by Ian Rapoport and later confirmed by Matt LaFleur. After receiving the highest contract of any offensive lineman in league history, Bakhtiari reportedly tore his ACL during Thursday’s practice. Billy Turner filled in for Bakhtiari for three games earlier in the year and held up fine. The team could also turn to Pro-Bowl lineman, Elgton Jenkins, who seems to excel at whatever position the team asks him to play.

The Bears have a strong defensive front, so Green Bay needs to be ready. They can’t afford to have Rodgers take too many hits and put him at risk, also. The Packers quarterback is gunning for his third NFL MVP, but this week might be the right time to run the ball as much as possible. Chicago is right behind Green Bay in total run defense at 15th, allowing 115.7 rushing yards per game.

Defensively, the Packers need to focus on making Trubisky’s life miserable. If they force a few sacks and a turnover or two, this game will be in hand.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

7 points

Comments (28)

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

January 01, 2021 at 03:26 pm

Chicago has a couple of starting CBs probably out in Jaylen Johnson and Skrine.

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PeteK's picture

January 02, 2021 at 10:26 am

Yes, read that. Hope Rogers has enough time to take advantage of it.

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Lphill's picture

January 01, 2021 at 03:47 pm

Would like to see snacks get some snaps , since they will have a week off until a home playoff game .

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fish's picture

January 01, 2021 at 05:32 pm

Keke listed as having concussion, so Harrison will definitely get some snaps.

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porupack's picture

January 01, 2021 at 03:58 pm

Losing Bahk is a big loss, but GB has a game to test its replacement OL alignments in this last game against a good bears front 7,. If this injury happened just before a playoff game and the OL couldn't make proper preparations....a game loss would obviously be the close of the season. So GB can afford to lose the game (knowing of course they need to win for the coveted bye).

Success this year for teams is a large part surviving attrition. Can't imagine fans of 49ers and cowboys who have seen their best windows of opportunity come crashing down this year and may lose a lot of their foundational players.

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NitschkeFromTheGrave's picture

January 01, 2021 at 04:02 pm

Bakhtiari will definitely be missed.
Looking for a continuation of Dixon's play and would love to see someone on our defensive line have a big day.

This is a HUGE game. Pack by 9.

~Now, go out there and HIT someone. I need a cigar...

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fish's picture

January 01, 2021 at 05:35 pm

What do you guys think of running a 2 back set with Jones taking up the Ervin role? He's much better than Austin, and probably better than Ervin in that role.

It would clear lanes for Dillon (and Williams) to get to the 2nd level and punish some linebackers.

That would open up play action and slow down the rush.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 02, 2021 at 03:23 am

I like this!

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dobber's picture

January 02, 2021 at 05:23 am

I was told by someone with access to coaches that sweep action is actually very practice and timing intensive. So the reason why only a couple players are used in that particular role (Austin and Ervin, primarily) is because it would take too long to acclimate more than those few guys to do it.

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PeteK's picture

January 02, 2021 at 10:22 am

I believe it, timing issue.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 01, 2021 at 08:33 pm

Bears got a lot on the line. I'm expecting a relatively low scoring game. I don't think the Bears will be able to do much against this Green Bay defense. I think the Packers will run the ball more with Bakh out, and with the three great options they have now. I'm thinking 27-10 Green Bay.

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Oppy's picture

January 02, 2021 at 04:34 am

Bears are 3rd in the league in average points per game over the last 3 weeks, averaging almost 36 points per game recently.

I would love to see the defense hold them to 10, but I don't think it is likely.

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Coldworld's picture

January 02, 2021 at 09:16 am

Bears game is driven by being able to run, by Trubisky being able to break contain and giving Trubisky time to process. If we can play the sort of run D that we did last week and get similar pressure, the Bears actually have less in the receiving game. We also have a better O than any of their recent opponents.

This is a division game and one that matters. It’s likely to be ugly regardless of paper matchups. The Packers should win on both sides of the ball if Pettine builds on last week, but they are going to have to fight hard against a team that has every reason to outperform.

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Packers2020's picture

January 02, 2021 at 01:48 pm

The Bears have also played the worst defenses in the league the last 4 games. All in the bottom 5 in the league.

DETROIT, VIKINGS, JAGS, and TEXANS

If we play more base again with three down lineman; especially, with Snacks available we should be able to stop Montgomery and make Trubisky beat us against tight man. Put Savage on Graham and Alexander on Robinson and we should be good to go.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 02, 2021 at 10:29 am

The Pack need to go into the game thinking run first. Soften up the defense and slow the pass rush, particularly until the LT gets acclimated, and the Pack see's the defensive game plan. Pass off the run! Keep Rodgers safe!

Two caveats:

Lots of touches for Dillon preparing him for playoffs. Reduced touches for Jones. Save him as will need him. Dillon and Williams should have lots of touches with reduced touches for Jones.
2. Be prepared to adjust offensive game plan based on Bears defensive plan. My guess is Chicago will come planning to stop the run first.

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PeteK's picture

January 02, 2021 at 10:42 am

We ran the ball successfully last time , but Hicks is back for this game. 27-17 ,Pack vs Bucks at home in 2 wks. Revenge is best served COLD.

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mnbadger's picture

January 02, 2021 at 07:55 am

Pack 23-16 with cubs getting a late fg to to make it close. GPG

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Leatherhead's picture

January 02, 2021 at 09:36 am

23 would be one of our worst offensive showings of the season, just when we’re heading into the playoffs. I think it’ll be more like 31-21.

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mnbadger's picture

January 02, 2021 at 02:25 pm

cold weather vs a really good defense on the road without the OL's anchor at LT and no time to prep the replacement? 2010 was a very explosive and hot offense in the same setting and we scored 3 points offensively. I hope I'm wrong but stand by the guess. GPG

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mnbadger's picture

January 11, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Looks like we were both close. Fun to guess either way. GPG

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Philarod's picture

January 02, 2021 at 08:20 am

I wish the Bears had nothing to play for, but that will only make the victory that much sweeter.
(I don't want to think about the alternative, which would be the inverse of that.)

It sucks that Bakh is out, but the Oline has done it all year, so I have confidence. It may be a move-the-chains kind of game, but still: Pack 27, Bears 20.

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Qoojo's picture

January 02, 2021 at 09:53 am

When did the bears get a pro team? I have no idea of what to expect in this game. Do the bears really have semi-competent offense or was the past few weeks due to playing bottom feeders with nothing to play for? I don't know as I don't really watch the other games.

It will be interesting to see if the packers defense can play 60 minutes with the same intensity two weeks in a row.

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AFanHasNoName's picture

January 02, 2021 at 02:53 pm

There are 2 possibilities that make me sad:

1. We keep playing incredibly well offensively, which to me begs the question, why did we just pay 23 mil a year for DB. We're losing quite a few play makers with that contract.

2. We really looked good as the number 1 seed, but can't overcome losing an all-pro tackle come play off time. This would be devastating because doing this well for a 3rd year in a row would be incredibly difficult, let alone twice as we have, just look at the 49ers. Couple that with an aging MVP.

The loss of Bakh sucks

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flackcatcher's picture

January 02, 2021 at 03:14 pm

It's a division game. It's an away game. It's a de facto playoff game. IT'S BEARS WEEK. Take nothing for granted...

2 points
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erikgj's picture

January 03, 2021 at 10:58 am

Pack 45 to 10

Bears excel at sucking. ‘Biski fumbles and 2 ints.

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DTomasLazauska's picture

January 03, 2021 at 11:22 am

Falcons vs Buccaneers Live Free: The Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to square off in an NFC South match up at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay is 10-5 overall and 4-3 at home, while the Falcons are 4-11 overall and 2-5 on the road. The Buccaneers have clinched a playoff berth. They beat the Falcons in Week 15, 31-27.

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ampa Bay is favored by 6.5 points in the latest Buccaneers vs. Falcons odds from William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under is set at 50.5. Before entering any Falcons vs. Buccaneers picks, you’ll want to see the NFL predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 23-13 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters Week 17 on an incredible 119-77 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.

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Now, the model has set its sights on Bucs vs. Falcons. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NFL betting lines for Falcons vs. Bucs:

Tampa Bay embarrassed the Detroit Lions 47-7 in Week 16. The Buccaneers built a 34-0 halftime lead at Detroit.Tampa Bay gained 410 yards in the first half and totaled 588 yards against the Lions.The Bucs are the No. 5 seed in the NFC entering Week 17. They can remain the No. 5 seed with a win over Atlanta or a Los Angeles Rams loss. The Buccaneers would play the winner of the NFC East in the first round if they maintain their current seeding. Tampa Bay is headed to the postseason for the first time in 13 years.

Tom Brady passed for 348 yards and four TDs vs. 0 INTs for a 158.3 rating in Week 16, his third career game with a 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark. He has a franchise-record 36 TD passes in 2020. Rob Gronkowski had two TDs last week, his 17th career game with two TDs. Mike Evans had 10 catches for 181 yards and two TDs in Week 16 and has a franchise record 13 receiving TDs this season. He needs 40 yards to become the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards in each of his first seven seasons.

Evans is aiming for his sixth game in a row at home vs. Atlanta with five-plus receptions and a TD catch. Devin White and Shaquil Barrett (COVID-19 lost) will not play on Sunday. Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf) is out and Carlton Davis (groin) is doubtful.
-1 points
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raedwallaceee's picture

January 03, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Falcons vs Buccaneers Live Free: The Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to square off in an NFC South match up at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay is 10-5 overall and 4-3 at home, while the Falcons are 4-11 overall and 2-5 on the road. The Buccaneers have clinched a playoff berth. They beat the Falcons in Week 15, 31-27.

Watch Now: https://freestrem.com/nfl-live/

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ampa Bay is favored by 6.5 points in the latest Buccaneers vs. Falcons odds from William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under is set at 50.5. Before entering any Falcons vs. Buccaneers picks, you’ll want to see the NFL predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 23-13 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters Week 17 on an incredible 119-77 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.

The model ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now, the model has set its sights on Bucs vs. Falcons. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NFL betting lines for Falcons vs. Bucs:

Tampa Bay embarrassed the Detroit Lions 47-7 in Week 16. The Buccaneers built a 34-0 halftime lead at Detroit.Tampa Bay gained 410 yards in the first half and totaled 588 yards against the Lions.The Bucs are the No. 5 seed in the NFC entering Week 17. They can remain the No. 5 seed with a win over Atlanta or a Los Angeles Rams loss. The Buccaneers would play the winner of the NFC East in the first round if they maintain their current seeding. Tampa Bay is headed to the postseason for the first time in 13 years.

Tom Brady passed for 348 yards and four TDs vs. 0 INTs for a 158.3 rating in Week 16, his third career game with a 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark. He has a franchise-record 36 TD passes in 2020. Rob Gronkowski had two TDs last week, his 17th career game with two TDs. Mike Evans had 10 catches for 181 yards and two TDs in Week 16 and has a franchise record 13 receiving TDs this season. He needs 40 yards to become the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards in each of his first seven seasons.

Evans is aiming for his sixth game in a row at home vs. Atlanta with five-plus receptions and a TD catch. Devin White and Shaquil Barrett (COVID-19 lost) will not play on Sunday. Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf) is out and Carlton Davis (groin) is doubtful.
-1 points

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PhantomII's picture

January 03, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Bears have to win. I think they will Blitz.....a lot. Rodgers needs to get rid of the ball on time to stay clean. We win 31-16

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