Chicago Bears: Previewing the vital, must-win game vs the Packers

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Packers
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Plenty to cover in this Chicago Bears vs Packers preview

This game is going to mainly ride on two aspects  — both on the Chicago Bears defense. Number one, the Bears defense has been playing like they are in second or third gear since Akiem Hicks got hurt in the Bears’ first game against the Vikings.

I have theorized that seeing him pull a hamstring while chasing Kirk Cousins gave other Bears defenders pause about playing all out, especially Eddie Jackson. I have also suggested that once the playoffs hit, the Bears’ defense will shift into high gear and there is no doubt this Packers game will be played at playoff intensity levels. So it is fair to assume we will see a big upgrade in the inconsistent effort we have recently seen by the Bears defense.

The second factor will hinge on the most important coaching decision anyone on the Bears coaching staff will make regarding this game or the entire season. Chuck Pagano has to get out of the safe predictable mode he has been coaching in when deciding how to cover Davante Adams.

The Bears defensive coordinator has kept Fuller on the left side of the field, exclusively. This means he does not use his best cornerback to shadow the other team’s best receiver. Pagano also does not do much double teaming. However, given the importance of this game to the Bears organization, this is the time to break these molds.

Pagano should use both of these methods covering the Packers’ star wideout and see which one works the best. It makes sense to start the game by having Eddie Jackson follow him around as the double team partner to whichever corner is lined up on the side Davante Adams lines up.

The other is to have Kyle Fuller be his shadow. Having Eddie Jackson be the double-team safety to shadow Adams while Fuller stays on the left side also means Pagano has some leeway to disguise his defenses more than if Fuller was Adams’ exclusive cover guy.

This fits in with an answer Chuck Pagano gave when asked this week why Kyle Fuller only lines up on the left side. His answer was that it gives them more options. The Bears defensive coordinator probably also wants to make it easier to disguise his coverages by keeping Fuller on the left side.