It’s finally here. The moment Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears fans wait for every year, Bears-Packers week. It’s a rivalry that dates back to 1923 and Thursday will mark the 185th meeting of the two Midwestern franchises. The Windy City versus the Cheeseheads. Chi-town versus Titletown. The City of Big Shoulders versus the Toliet Paper Capital of the World. (It’s really is called that, I swear.)
Lovie has compiled an 8-9 record against the Green Bay Packers, losing seven of the last nine meetings. However, this is a new Bears team coming to Lambeau Field to play against Mike McCarthy’s Packers on Thursday night. We are going to see two of the top offenses in the game, led by Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, with the Bears having a chance to take a two-game lead in the division. It’s going to be a marquee matchup. We will see where the Bears really stand in 2012. The Packers running game and defense are big question marks and could be their Achilles heel if the Bears can take advantage. Packers top wideout Greg Jennings is doubtful for the game, giving the Bears an even better chance of coming out on top.
Thursday night can’t come soon enough, so let’s take a look at some important numbers heading into the game.
230.75: Average passing yards per game for Aaron Rodgers against the Bears at Lambeau.
222.50: Average passing yards per game for Jay Cutler against the Packers at Lambeau.
7.1: Average point differential in last 8 Bears-Packers games (including playoffs).
10: Turnovers forced by Bears in last 6 games against the Packers (including playoffs).
199: Bears rushing yards the last time they faced the Packers (Week 16 of 2011 season).
6.79: Average points per game scored by Robbie Gould against the Packers.
2000: The last time both teams scored more than 21 points in a Bears-Packers game at Lambeau (Bears won 27-24).
13/201: The number of receptions/yards for Brandon Marshall in his 2 career games against the Packers.
103.33: Average yards from scrimmage (rush/rec) for Matt Forte against the Packers at Lambeau.
113.25: Overall average rushing yards per game for Matt Forte in his last 4 road games.
3: Number of times the Packers have started off the season 0-2 since 2000; they missed the playoffs all three times.
7-3: Jay Cutler’s record in September as the Bears quarterback.
9-5: Aaron Rodgers record in September as the Packers quarterback.
9: Number of 20+ yards offensive plays by the Bears in Week 1 of 2012, the most in the league.
0: Overall number of interceptions thrown by Aaron Rodgers in 4 previous Thursday night games.
7-1: The Bears overall record in Jay Cutler’s last 8 starts.
That last stat is one of the most important ones to look at. Cutler and the offensive line have righted the ship recently, and the Bears are performing like everyone hoped. The multitude of weapons on offense will be something that the Packers have never seen from a Chicago offense. However, even without Greg Jennings, the Packers still have four capable receivers. I have a feeling this one is going to be a shootout. The box score is going to be overflowing like a female Packer fan wearing jorts and a tank top. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see over 900 yards of offense and Packer fans crying limburger cheese tears when this one is over. Game on!