Things look pretty grim for the Chicago Bears, losers of four of their last five after jumping out to a 7-1 first half of the season. The leader of their defense, Brian Urlacher, is out, as are Tim Jennings, Earl Bennett, Robbie Gould and fellow special teams aces Sherrick McManis and Craig Steltz. Henry Melton and Shea McClellin are doubtful. The franchise quarterback is battling a stiff neck and a sprained MCL. But other than that, the Bears are in great shape.
Despite the pile of injuries and the woeful recent record vs the Packers, the Bears can still win Sunday’s game and keep their hope for an NFC North title and their playoff aspirations alive.
RUN. THE. BALL.
Matt Forte hasn’t had his best season. It’s unclear if that’s on him, on offensive coordinator Mike Tice, the offensive line or even new toy Brandon Marshall. Whatever the reason, the best way to protect Jay Cutler is to run the ball. Take it out of Cutler’s hands and go after the Packers and their 15th ranked rush defense.
The Bears cannot afford to get off to their usual slow start. The worst thing they could do is let the Packers get off to a big lead. If the Bears get down, they get horribly predictable on offense, paving the J’Webb highway for Clay Matthews right to Jay Cutler.
Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is having the type of breakout season that the Bears dreamed of from Devin Hester. Cobb has 71 catches for 777 yards and 7 TD’s. With Greg Jennings just easing back from missing most of the season with a serious injury and Jordy Nelson now taking his turn on the bench with an injury, Cobb is the Packers biggest threat. I hope the Bears can corner Cobb with Tillman and Kelvin Hayden, who’s filling in for the injured Tim Jennings.
One for the Road
There’s a growing belief that the Bears could be parting ways with Devin Hester, who has failed to live up to the hope he’d become a reliable contributor on offense and seems to have lost his MoJo in the return game. I can’t think of a better way to send him off in his last regular season home game as a Bear than with a return TD . The last time the Bears beat Green Bay, Hester had a stellar return to help bring the Bears back. Remember it fondly here:
Those are my keys for a Bears victory, what are yours? What do the Bears need to do to pull off this game and save their season and Lovie Smith’s career as Bears head coach? Post your ideas in the Comments.