Chicago Bears: Previewing the vital, must-win game vs the Packers
The Chicago Bears run defense must remain stout with Akiem Hicks
The Chicago Bears handled Dalvin Cook pretty well, so that is encouraging for this vital game. The bad news is that the Packers have recently put together their version of a thunder and lightning combo at running back of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
If the Bears double team Davante Adams as I hope they do, then I can see the Packers going close to a 50/50 run-pass ratio as they did in the Panthers game. They usually run the ball 42% of the time. This all boils down to the battle of the trenches as being the key factor as to who wins this war. Given that the Packers lost their All-Pro left tackle and the Bears have put more money into their defensive line than any other aspect of their team, the Bears should have a good shot to win.
Of course, this speculation is based on the Bears double-teaming the Packers’ star wideout. It is fair to say that putting the Packers regularly into third and long is the Bears’ most likely path to a victory. This sets up putting pressure on Rodgers and taking him out of his comfort zone. Given that Roquan Smith is playing at an All-Pro level, Danny Trevathan is finally playing up to his previous high standards along with Robert Quinn playing his best ball of the season.
Now add some healthy doses of Akiem “the Dream” Hicks and Khalil “Mack Attack”, which would seem to make Pagano’s critical decision an easy one. Encouraging the Packers to run by double-teaming Davante Adams also takes the pressure off of the youngsters in the secondary Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley. Maybe Aaron “the Assassin” Rodgers leans to the run more than usual maybe not. However, it would be smart to make this a genuine temptation for him and Matt LeFleur to do.
Whether it’s double-teaming Adams or any other ploy that Chuck Pagano can use, it would be pretty shrewd for the Bears to line up in a formation that invites the Packers to run the ball. This would take some pressure off the young cornerbacks and put it on the part of the Bears defense that has the most talent — their front seven. Whatever happens, I expect the Bears and Packers to play a very physical game.