Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
It’s a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game as the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday. The Packers are -4 point favorites over the Bears with an over/under point total set at 45.
The Chicago Bears started the season making a big splash knocking off the team with the best record in the NFC last season, the Atlanta Falcons, in week one but then came crashing back to Earth as they were handled in New Orleans in week two. Bears’ QB Jay Cutler has been under siege once again this season as he’s been sacked 11 times in just the first two games as he’s competed 53.2 percent of his passes for 556 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. After a solid week on the ground in week one the Bears were forced to abandon the running game in week 2 and for the season Matt Forte has 117 yards on the ground but he also has 15 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown. Johnny Knox has five receptions while Roy Williams and Devin Hester have four each as the Bears have been highlighting more of the short passing game to Forte. Defensively Chicago is still very tough as Tim Jennings leads the team in tackles with 17 while Lance Briggs has 14 and Brian Urlacher has 13 and Julius Peppers and Henry Melton each already have two sacks. The Bears are just not going to be a team that wins pretty but they are a team who has plenty of talent to get it done.
The defending Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers, have won their first two games and while they are far healthier as a team than they were a year ago, they still have plenty to work on if they hope to repeat. It’s tough to find much wrong with the way Aaron Rodgers is playing football these days completing 70 percent of his passes for 620 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions but even so the Pack have had to rally twice in their first two games. James Starks appears to be getting the bulk of the carries early in the running game averaging 6.8 yards per carry as Ryan Grant is averaging a not too shabby 4.3 yards per pop. Rodgers has no shortage of targets to throw to and Greg Jennings leads Green Bay with nine catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns while Jermichael Finley has eight catches and Jordy Nelson has seven catches and two touchdowns. While the defense has played well enough to win there has to be concerns as they have allowed 952 yards in two games. Desmond Bishop leads the Pack with 22 tackles while Morgan Burnett has 21 and Nick Collins has 12. Green Bay has seven sacks through the first two weeks with several players with one including Clay Mathews and B.J. Raji. While it’s tough to push the panic button when the team is undefeated and just two weeks in, the Packers know that if their defense doesn’t stiffen repeating may be a very difficult task.
Chicago is 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games against a team with a winning road record, 3-1-1 against the spread following a loss, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven home games. Green Bay is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall, 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games, and 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 games as a favorite. Green Bay is 10-3 against the spread in their last 13 games in Chicago.
These two teams know each other extremely well and have played both high and low scoring games against one another and the games are always decided late as I believe this one will be as well. With the home team getting better than a field goal the play here is to take the points regardless of who you think is going to win outright.
Chicago Bears +4 Green Bay Packers