If last Sunday was considered unwatchable for Chicago, this game has the potential to be beyond such a dire description. Life for the Chicago Bears has been rough recently to say the least, and having such a beat-up team face down its longtime rival in quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers doesn’t bode well for Chicago.
The Chicago Bears are bruised and beaten. Last week saw multiple bench players take the field versus the New York Jets in a 31-10 loss that also injured some of the best starters on the field. Chicago’a top wide receiver (Darnell Mooney) and top safety (Eddie Jackson) both suffered season ending injuries on the oft complained about New York turf, sending them both to injured reserve. This leaves the Bears incredibly lacking in personnel for the upcoming visit from Green Bay, and the hopes earlier in the season that the Bears could send Rodgers packing in what may be his last game in Chicago as a Packer have grown slim. The only shining light for Chicago is that superstar quarterback Justin Fields may be back to the field on Sunday, but many question if this is necessary given the Bears are already faced with a season going nowhere and should be pining for a good draft pick. Alongside that, any further injury to Fields is to be avoided. On the other hand, Fields himself is a hardy competitor and wants to play, while some fans think it is good that he does to get reps with the offense. Nonetheless, he would have a hard job ahead of him Sunday if he is to start. His offense is lacking some of its top performers, running back David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney, and his offensive line has been a carousel of different players and injuries. Alongside that, the defensive side of the field is in shambles. On the whole of the season, the Bears defense hasn’t been too great, but it’s now missing it’s three best current players. With Eddie Jackson out, responsibility would fall to rookie cornerbacks Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker to show what they’re made of. However, both of them have been out since before the Jets game with concussions, and have yet to show signs of progressing through concussion protocol quick enough to return to the field. Fields would have to lead the offense with a performance of a lifetime to combat Aaron Rodgers, who no matter his shape or form, is always ready for the Bears.
On the other hand, the Green Bay Packers are in mostly good form. They have been up and down just like the Bears, but are more than capable of putting up points. The offense has had an impressive showing the past three weeks, despite winning only one of the three games in an overtime comeback versus the Dallas Cowboys. Last week versus the Eagles resulted in a loss, but was an exciting showing for the Packers nonetheless. They managed to put up 33 points against one of the best defenses in the league, but not without struggles. Rodgers did throw two interceptions, and has had a bit of a turnover happy season this year. While one could say this would be an advantage for the Bears, it is unlikely to see this happen for the Bears beat up defense. However, Rodgers did leave the Eagles game earlier due to a rib injury, yet still plans to see the field on Sunday. Even if he weren’t, it perhaps wouldn’t be good news for the Bears, as backup quarterback Jordan Love looked electric versus the Eagles, almost leading a comeback. He opened up with a 75-yard touchdown drive with only three passes, and looked continually solid in the little time he played. The Packers ran out of time for a comeback win after failing to recover an outside kick late in the fourth quarter.
If the New York Jets and their ineffective offense carved up Chicago’s injured defense so easily, Aaron Rodgers should have no problem. Unless Fields and the offense can rally like no other, and/or the Chicago defense deliver their best performance this season, victory for the Bears is extremely unlikely. Fields may be able to aid in getting a lot of points on the board, but it’s doubtful to be enough. That leaves the Bears to hope for one of Green Bay’s discombobulated offensive showings this week. While they have been common in the season, they never occur in Chicago. The Packers look to uphold their dominance in the rivalry.
Prediction: 45 – 31 Green Bay Packers