Legendary senior writer, Packers lead blogger & NFC North columnist previews Packers vs Bears game.
INJURY REPORT: Fans know the Packers have three starters returning for the showdown Bears game: LG T. J. Lang on offense and OLB Clay Matthews and DE Mike Neal on defense. Offensive lineman EDS will be available to back up either LG Lang or RG Sutton, with rookie Barclay probably starting at right tackle. The bigger injury news is about the Bears. They lost big contributing starters on offense, defense, and special teams. On offense, Bears QB Cutler's knee sprain may simply limit his mobility, but his neck issue appears to be over. Yet, starter WR Earl Bennett is still out recovering from a concussion. The bigger blows are on their defense with MLB Urlacher still out, DT Henry Melton probably out due to chest injury, DE Shea McClellin probably out due to knee injury, and CB Tim Jennings probably out due to shoulder injury. Wow, QB Rodgers should have a field day against that beat up Bears defense. Finally, ther biggest blow is the loss of Craig Steltz and Sherrick McManis in special teams coverage where KR Cobb can have a field day.
WINNING GAME PLAN: Using the standard NFL cover 2 defense blueprint now used against the Packers, the Bear will play cover 2 against the Packers offense. With the newfound Packers running game, the Bears may not be able to stop Green, Harris and Grant with its seven men box. Thus, if the Packers force the Bears defense to sneak one safety up to the front box to support their run defense, QB Rodgers will get easy opportunities to attack the middle zone using WR Jennings, WR Cobb, and TE Finley. The Pack will find openings in underneath zone using quick slants and crossing routes and can work the intermediate routes against zone coverage.
PREDICTION: Packers 28 Bears 13.