Green Bay Packers

3 Things To Know About the Chicago Bears

Photo credit: Mike De Sisti-Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers head to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears in a game that feels much less important than the Week 2 showdown between these two teams. Since that first matchup, both teams find themselves in the bottom half of the NFC North, with any chance of making the playoffs likely gone.

Despite the bleak feeling surrounding both of these teams, this is still the oldest rivalry in the NFL. Although the season hasn’t gone how the team intended, a beatdown on the Bears at Soldier Field would surely raise some Green-and-Gold spirits. Even though Aaron Rodgers is likely less than 100% healthy, he is excited to play this game and renew his ownership of the city of Chicago and its franchise.

To do this, the Packers will need to understand Chicago’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are three things to know about the Bears.

Great Running Game

Chicago’s offense is much different than it was in their Week 2 matchup. The biggest change is how they have been able to unlock Justin Fields‘ ability to run the ball and keep defenses off-balance with their running game.

Their ground attack is the best in the NFL, averaging 192 yards per game. The way the offense is designed allows Fields, David Montgomery, and Khalil Herbert to excel. While the running game is the best it has been, the passing aspect of the offense is still the worst in the NFL. Despite the addition of Chase Claypool at the deadline, the passing offense hasn’t taken the step up Bears fans would like to see under Fields. With the loss of Darnell Mooney for the rest of the season, the passing offense will likely regress even further.

If the Packers’ defense wants to shut down the Bears’ offense, they will need to shut down the run game and make sure that they keep Fields inside the pocket so he can’t extend the play with his legs.

Weak Run Defense

While Chicago’s run offense is one of the best, their run defense is one of the worst. The Bears allow 143.9 yards per game on the ground. While the offense has made strides from last year, the defense has regressed with the loss of Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, and Roquan Smith. These absences have had a massive impact on the defense as a whole and have seen them turn into a shell of what they have been in years past.

With Rodgers not at full strength dealing with injuries to his thumb and ribs, the offense can lean on Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon this week. Jones and Dillon were bright spots in the offense last week, and they’ll need to shine again.

While this offense isn’t the powerhouse we all expected coming into the season, this is the perfect week to show everyone they aren’t pushovers.

Bad Pass Rush

Along with the poor run defense, the Bears have also struggled to muster much of a pass rush this season. The losses of Quinn and Mack via trade have left them weak and inexperienced when it comes to getting after the passer. So far this season, they are tied at the bottom of the NFL with just 16 sacks. While their corners aren’t bad, they are forced to cover for longer periods of time with the lack of pressure the front seven is able to muster.

With the Packers’ line still one of the bright spots on the offense, they should keep whoever is under center relatively clean. The offense and passing game should be able to call for more slow-developing plays and potentially take more deep shots.

With the Bears’ corners struggling so far this season and the lack of pressure getting home, I would expect another big day for rookie Christian Watson as he looks set to continue his form from November and take it into December.

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