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Looks like it will be rookie Justin Fields starting under center in Week 14 for the Chicago Bears, most likely the result of backup Andy Dalton throwing four picks in the team’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week, and now most of the pressure facing the Packers here will be on the Bears’ 9th ranked defense, a squad that is doing its best to salvage what seems to be a lost season.
The 9-3 Green Bay Packers are second in the NFC only to the Arizona Cardinals, so every win counts towards earning the Pack the coveted first seed in the playoffs, the Packers relying mostly on their 7th ranked defense to keep their games close, but QB Aaron Rodgers is starting to heat up despite an injured toe so watch for him to try and pick apart this Bears secondary.
These two NFC North rivals have met each other 203 prior times (including 2 postseason games), with the Green Bay Packers winning 102 of those games and the Chicago Bears winning 95 of the games, plus there have been 6 ties.
The Chicago Bears defense is ranked 9th in the league, but their ability to stop the pass is ranked 6th overall, so they are theoretically equipped to give the Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers a tough time, this defense only allowing opponents to gain 208 yards through the air per game.
That’s about 40 yards of pass production less than what the Packers typically generate, so Chicago’s secondary will be a huge factor in taking away part of Green Bay’s offensive game plan, with CBs Jaylon Johnson and Kindle Vildor and S Tashaun Gipson needing to step up.
The Bears are the third best sacking team in the NFL with 33 team sacks on the year, but they are tied for the second-fewest interceptions (5) in the league, so a pick or two in this Week 14 matchup would be a nice surprise from a group that typically struggles to do that.
The great teams win the games they are supposed to win, and this one is a matchup that the Packers should leave victorious, especially given the fact that their QB, Aaron Rodgers has a habit of beating the Bears, and has even told their fans at an actual game that, “I still own you.”
But this is the NFL and these types of so-called ‘trap games’ backfire all the time, usually because the favored team has dismissed the underdogs and is already thinking to the next game, a mindset that usually comes up short in a league known for its parity.
Green Bay is better than Chicago on both sides of the ball with a more talented quarterback, a better record, a playoff-caliber team, but the Bears are proud and hungry and would like nothing more than to take the Packers down in front of that hostile Lambeau crowd.
Keep an eye on Chicago Bears rookie QB Justin Fields who is healthy enough to get the start on Sunday night, a decision made easier for HC Matt Nagy after his other starting QB Andy Dalton managed to throw four interceptions in the team’s Week 13 loss to the Cardinals.
Fields has started in eight games for the Bears and has a 2-6 record this season, the fast learning playmaker still getting used to playing in the NFL, the speed and power of the league a shock to most rookie players, especially the ones under center like him.
This year the 6’3” 228 pound Fields has struggled in the passing game, completing just 58 percent of his passes, 115 completions total for 1,361 yards and 4 touchdowns with 8 interceptions, that’s on top of 56 carries for 311 yards and 2 more touchdowns.
By now the entire league knows that Packers’ WR Davante Adams is QB Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target in games, the two so far connecting with 80 receptions for 1,083 yards and 5 touchdowns, numbers that have defenses double-teaming him all throughout the game.
That leaves a lot of potential open field for Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a fourth-year pro who has played for Green Bay his entire NFL career, the 6’ 4” 206 pound speedster who can get to his spots quickly and earn yards after his catches, a young receiver with a huge amount of upside.
This season as the Packers’ second receiver, in the seven games he’s played in Valdes-Scantling has been targeted 39 times, has caught 17 passes for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns, but look for him to be a bigger factor down the stretch as Adams receives defensive attention.
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|Bears vs Packers Information|
|What||Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers|
|Where||Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI|
|When||Sunday, December 12, 2021; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||NBC|
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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