Episode CXCVIII (The Rise of Playoff Hopes): Bears at Packers – December 15, 2019

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Episode CXCVIII (The Rise of Playoff Hopes): Bears at Packers – December 15, 2019

Chicago Bears

It’s Friday of Packers Week, and I’ll be damned if this ain’t a mood:

https://twitter.com/olin_kreutz/status/1205322211302813696

The Bears are still #InTheHunt, which means they get another opportunity to claw toward a spot in the NFL’s postseason. No, this isn’t an ideal situation for the Bears. But it sure as heck beats being mathematically eliminated this time of year. Essentially, these are playoff games for Chicago.

Go get ’em!

Never Tell Me The Odds:

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas lists the Bears as a 4.5-point underdogs against the Packers with an over/under set at 40.5. It will be cold in Green Bay in mid-December. Shocking, I know. Hence, a the second-lowest projected point total (only Philly-Washington’s 39 is lower) on the board.

Series History:

The Packers lead the all-time series 97-94-6. And while it feels like the last time Chicago won in Green Bay was when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it hasn’t been that long. A John Fox-led Bears upset the Packers on Thanksgiving. in 2015. So, if that squad can do it … anything is possible. Right?

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Lambeau Field; Green Bay, Wisconsin

Broadcast Info: Sunday, December 15 at noon CT on FOX-TV (Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), Compass Media (Chris Carrino, Brian Baldinger

Referee: Scott Novak

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB David Montgomery
  • WR Allen Robinson II
  • WR Anthony Miller
  • TE Jesper Horsted
  • TE J.P. Holtz
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG James Daniels
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Rashaad Coward
  • RT Cornelius Lucas

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • DE Bilal Nichols
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Nick Kwiatkoski
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Prince Amukamara
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Buster Skrine
  • S Eddie Jackson
  • S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Bears Specialists: 

  • Eddy Piñeiro (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Cordarrelle Patterson (kick returner), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Packers Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • RB Aaron Jones
  • WR Davante Adams
  • WR Allen Lazard
  • WR Geronimo Allison
  • TE Jimmy Graham
  • LT David Bakhtiari
  • LG Elgton Jenkins
  • C Corey Linsley
  • RG Billy Turner
  • RT Bryan Bulaga

Packers Defense Expected Starters:

  • LDE Dean Lowry
  • NT Kenny Clark
  • RDE Tyler Lancaster
  • WLB Preston Smith
  • ILB B.J. Goodson
  • ILB Blake Martinez
  • SLB Za’Darius Smith
  • CB Jaire Alexander
  • CB Kevin King
  • FS Darnell Savage
  • SS Adrian Amos

Packers Specialists:

  • Mason Corsby (kicker), JK Scott (punter, holder), Hunter Bradley (long snapper), Tyler Ervin (kick, punt returns)

Keep An Eye On …

Bears Offense: Allen Robinson is 102 yards away from reaching the 1,000-yard marker. And while the Packers have allowed the seventh fewest points to fantasy receivers this year, the team has given up big games to D.J. Moore (9 catches, 120 yards), Mike Williams (3-111), Kenny Golladay (5-121), Michael Gallup (7-113), Amari Cooper (11-226), and Robinson — who had seven catches and EXACTLY 102 yards in Week 1. It’s there for the taking, #12. Go get it!

Bears Defense: Akiem Hicks figures to be activated from injured reserve before Saturday’s deadline, which means the feeling is that he will be in the starting lineup on Sunday. I’ve been looking forward to this.

Packers Offense: Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 6. In the seven games that have since passed, Rodgers has thrown for 1,670 yards, 15 touchdowns, and no interceptions, all while posting a 111.1 passer rating. And yet, Pro Football Focus notes that Trubisky has out-played Rodgers in recent weeks. So, how about the Bears defense keeps those “struggles” going? Just a thought!

Packers Defense: Adrian Amos continues to be a PFF darling, having earned the 11th best grade among NFL safeties. Amos came up with the gut-punch of a game-ending interception against the Bears in Week 1, so let’s keep an eye on him to see what he brings to the table on Sunday in his first game against his old team while playing for his new one at Lambeau Field.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.