Monday Night Football will broadcast arguably the best game of week nine, because it is the only contest that pits two above .500 teams against each other. Halfway through the year, I’ve decided to switch up the format of these Gameday Previews and Reviews, as they were just too time consuming and frankly, a little boring. Let’s start the new-look Gameday Preview!
(4-3) Chicago Bears at
(5-2) Green Bay Packers
What you need to know about the Packer franchise:
They’re in Wisconsin, are “publicly owned,” and build their team through the draft, as opposed to signing high-priced free agents.
There’s also nothing else in Green Bay, Wisconsin besides bars and this football team. Their fans get really drunk. Because what else is there to do?
Aaron Rodgers. The best QB in the game. He’s been without some of his best receivers most of the season, but he still makes everyone around him better. His offensive line has found some consistency, allowing him more time in the pocket. As if he needed it.
Offensive Player to Watch
Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy. (I’m already cheating on my own format.) Nelson has been Rodgers’ go-to receiver with injuries to Randall Cobb and now tight end Jermichael Finley. Their white-guy chemistry is uncanny. Lacy, a rookie running back, has added a dimension to the Packer offense that they’ve been missing for some time. He’s a power back that has been grinding out yardage each week. He’s been over 100 yards only once, but with Chicago’s weakness at defensive tackle, he could pose a very large problem.
Defensive Player to Watch
Casey Hayward. The nickel corner returned to the line-up against the Vikings in week eight after being out with an injury. He wasn’t on the field much, but his role will be increased against the Bears, who like three receiver sets. Hayward intercepted six passes in 2012, his rookie season. You can bet he’ll be itching to sit on a few routes and pick off Josh McCown.
Chicago is a 10.5 point road underdog.
How can Chicago win?
Josh McCown has to play a near-perfect game in the place of Jay Cutler. The offense must stay in short third down situations and feature plenty of Matt Forte in their gameplan. But this game hinges on the defense, who have to step up if they intend to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense. Rodgers is lighting up defenses and doesn’t tend to turn the ball over, so sure tackling and not busting your coverage is key.
In Green Bay? The Bears are losing this game. By more than ten. Just sayin’. This is one of those match-up’s you mark down as a loss before the season starts.
How many heart attacks will Joe suffer?
My expectations are LOW, so I should be generally indifferent. One or two might slip through my emotional defenses, but I’ll be okay.
You guys enjoy the game and don’t get too distressed if the Bears lose, mkay?
Bear Down and Happy Jay Cutler Day!