The Green Bay Packers have won four straight, even though last week was a roller-coaster finish to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, the Packers travel south to take on the Chicago Bears in what should be an exciting NFC North showdown.
We are still early into the season, but this is a big game for both Green Bay and Chicago in Week 6. The Packers are hoping to separate themselves from the rest of the division, but the Bears are looking to establish themselves as a real threat in the division and the NFC.
Since 1992, the Packers are 44-15 against the Bears, and under Matt LaFleur, the Packers are 12-1 against NFC North opponents. In other words, the Packers have had the Bears’ number for a long time, but in a new season, anything can happen.
Here are the five things to watch for between the Packers and Bears on Sunday afternoon.
1. Offensive Line vs. Defensive Line
This is going to be the highlight of the game and it could very well make or break a game for either team. The Packers’ offensive line has played very well under the circumstance they have with injuries, but the Bears’ defense is back to playing to an elite level with their 18 sacks, which is the most in the NFL through five weeks. This point is also for the Packers’ defensive line against the Bears’ offensive line. Ever since their Week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, the Packers’ front seven has done a fair job at pressuring the quarterback. The Bears’ offensive line has been the opposite compared to the Packers’ front five as Chicago has allowed 18 sacks, tied for the second-most in the NFL.
2. Packers Cornerbacks
Last week wasn’t as bad without Jaire Alexander, but things could be worse against the Bears. As much as everyone likes to point blame at Kevin King, he’s going to be needed against Chicago, however, the veteran corner is dealing with a shoulder injury and he could miss the game. If he isn’t able to go, the Packers will have Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan, Shemar Jean-Charles, Isaac Yiadom, and Rasul Douglas. The Packers also have Kabion Ento and newly signed Quinton Dunbar on the practice squad. Stokes has played well, but the Packers need someone to step up, or the pass rush has to be so good that the corners don’t have to do much work.
3. Justin Fields
There was some sort of a sense, even before Andy Dalton got injured, that Matt Nagy had to come to his senses and put Justin Fields as the starting quarterback Well, the Bears new shiny toy has been QB1 for a couple of weeks and will be under center against the Packers. Now, I’m not here to slander the rookie quarterback because we don’t know how he’ll pan out, especially since he had a great career at Ohio State. Although, even though the Bears are 2-1 with him as the starter, he’s definitely not the reason why they have been winning. It’s been all about the running game and defense for Chicago. He’s not Mitchell Trubisky, but he is a rookie and has Nagy as the head coach. The Packers need to put him in tough situations and rattle the pronounced future Hall of Fame quarterback the Bears have been raving about.
4. Randall Cobb
When you think Bears-Packers, you have to think of Randall Cobb. He’s had so many clutch moments in this rivalry and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives Chicago a little bit of deja vu. Other than that game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cobb has been quiet and it would tremendous if the Packers can find an option outside of Aaron Jones and Davante Adams because they are going to be getting heavy attention from the Bears defense. The Packers should move the ball down the field against the Bears, but when they get in the “gold zone” a player like Cobb, who has the chemistry with Rodgers, needs to become a threat. This necessarily doesn’t have to be Cobb, it could be Lazard, Tonyan, and a few others, but the Packers went out and got him and Rodgers want him, so let’s get some touchdowns.
5. Bears Fans
Don’t give in to these fans because this is their Super Bowl. This should be a regular game for the Packers because of the history between these two teams. The Packers are 45-15 since 1992 and have swept the Bears eight times in the last 12 years. This is only a rivalry because back when grandma and grandpa were in elementary school, the Bears were better. Recently? This isn’t close to a rivalry, it’s just another game for Green Bay. Maybe one year the Bears will win a season series, but they haven’t done that since 2007 and maybe the Bears will go on a crazy run like the Packers are on, but that hasn’t happened since the mid-to-late 80s. Until the Bears make this series somewhat close, their fans will treat this like the Super Bowl and no Packers fans should pay attention to that.