Week 14 Preview: Bears at Packers — December 12, 2021

It’s Packers week again, and this time we get to do it on the primetime stage of Sunday Night Football, just so the entire football viewing world can get a good laugh at the expense of Bears fans. The Bears are 12.5-point dogs in this one, for a good reason. They’re in Lambeau, with a roster decimated by injury (that wasn’t that good when healthy), a rookie quarterback that hasn’t played in three weeks, and a head coach that’s one foot out the door, whether he knows it or not.

At least last time the Bears and Packers got together, we were still blissful enough about the 3-2 Bears to get together at Nisei Lounge with a few friends and have a few beers. At the same time, we lied to ourselves about the Bears having a shot at beating their boogeyman, Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers.

This is how that ended:

But, at least we had a great time. Anyways, let’s focus our attention on the only thing that matters for the Bears remaining five games this season, the development of Justin Fields. Or maybe even just keeping Justin Fields alive to see the 2022 season. Either way.

“Never Tell Me The Odds”

The DraftKings SportsBook lists the Bears (4-8) as 12.5-point underdogs against the Packers (9-3). Over/under: 43. More on the odds and ATS picks here.

Series History:

The Green Bay Packers lead the Chicago Bears 102-95-6 in the all-time series between the two storied rivals. The Packers have won each of the last five games, and as mentioned earlier, Matt Nagy is 1-6 against the Packers during his tenure in Chicago.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wi.

Broadcast Info: Sunday, December 12 at 7:20 CT on NBC-TV (Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth, Kathryn Tappen), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), Westwood One (Ryan Radtke, Mike Golic)

Officials: Ron Torbert (referee)

Expected Starters and Lineups:

CHICAGO BEARS (4-8, 2-1 NFC North)
POINTS FOR:
201 (16.8 PPG, 30th of 32 teams)
POINTS AGAINST:
287 (23.9 PPG, 21st of 32)

Offense
•   QB Justin Fields
•   RB David Montgomery
•   WRs Allen Robinson II, Darnell Mooney
•   TE Cole Kmet
•   LT Jason Peters, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG James Daniels, RT Larry Borom

Unavailable: RB/PR Tarik Cohen

Defense
•   DT Akiem Hicks, NT Eddie Goldman, DE Bilal Nichols
•   OLBs Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson
•   ILBs Roquan Smith, Alec Ogletree
•   CBs Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor
•   FS Eddie Jackson
•   SS Tashaun Gipson Sr.

Unavailable: LB Danny Trevathan, LB Khalil Mack, LB Cassius Marsh

Specialists
•   Cairo Santos (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Jakeem Grant Sr. (kick and punt returns)

Expected Starters and Lineups:

GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-3, 2-1 NFC North)
POINTS FOR:
 120 (24.0 PPG, 13th of 32)
POINTS AGAINST:
122 (24.4 PPG, 20th of 32)

Offense
•   QB Aaron Rodgers
•   RB Aaron Jones
•   WRs Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
•   TEs Robert Tonyan
•   LT Yosh Nijman, LG Jon Runyan, C Lucas Patrick, RG Royce Newman, RT Billy Turner

Defense
•   DEs Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, NT Kenny Clark
•   OLBs Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, ILBs Krys Barnes, Oren Burks
•   CBs Rasul Douglas, Eric Stokes
•   S Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage

Specialists
•   Mason Crosby (kicker), Corey Bojorquez (punter, holder), Hunter Bradley (long snapper), Malik Taylor, Amari Rodgers (kick and punt returns)

Three Bears

Justin Fields is back under center for the Bears after missing two games with cracked ribs suffered in the Bears’ loss to the Baltimore Raven in Week 11. I could say that Fields will have to be better than he was the first time he played the Packers for the Bears to have a chance to win on Sunday in Green Bay. That would be true. That would also be implying that I believe there is a viable path to victory for the Bears this Sunday, and let’s face it, that’s probably not the case. But, I still need to see more out of Justin Fields against the Packers, and not because I think he can beat them this season, but because I want to see a strong finish from Fields over the next five weeks, for the sake of his development heading into 2022. So, regardless of the box score, Fields’ performance should be a focal point.

Roquan Smith is having himself one heck of a season, having already logged 121 tackles, three sacks, an interception, and a touchdown. Much like Justin Fields, Smith’s performance should be a focal point for Bears fans and pundits this week, win or lose, because Smith is very much one of the brightest parts of the future of this franchise. I wrote about Smith finally getting some national love this week, and in combing through the stats, I realized that the former Georgia Bulldog is on a Brian Urlacher pace through his first four seasons with the Bears. The eye has informed us that he is a special player, and the fact that he’ll likely finish this season with more tackles through four seasons than Urlacher did, backs up that observation.

Can Smith wreak havoc on Aaron Rodgers this Sunday? He sure can. Will it matter much with the rest of the Bears’ injury-decimated 20th ranked defense playing around him? Probably not.

David Montgomery is the backbone of this offense for the time being. If all goes well, Justin Fields will takeover within that role shortly, but for now, the Bears offense marches to the beat of David Montgomery’s drum. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Matt Nagy take a page out of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels’ playbook from this past Monday night when they ran the ball down the throats of the Buffalo Bills? Keep on dreaming. We’re four years into the Nagy era, and if one thing rings true, it’s that Nagy cares more about his scheme than anything else. Don’t expect him to change at this point. I’ll be thrilled if we see 20-25 carries for David Montgomery on Sunday.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

more bears news

Defensive Coaching Legend Monte Kiffin is Dead at 84

Monte Kiffin, one of the greatest defensive minds in football history, has passed away at age 84. https://twitter.com/OleMissFB/status/1811530014678212689 Kiffin's coaching career began in 1966 as a Nebraska graduate assistant and included stops throughout college and professional football before coming to...

How Devin Hester and a Lil’ Wayne Song Fueled Rome Odunze’s Bears Fandom

The second installment of the Chicago Bears' "Meet the Rookies" YouTube series stars Rome Odunze. This wide-ranging episode includes all stories from former coaches, anecdotes from a family with a proud Nigerian heritage, and tales from Rome himself. Once again,...

Jaylon Johnson is All-in on Caleb Williams

Back in March, about one month before the Chicago Bears chose Caleb Williams with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, cornerback Jaylon Johnson made some comments about "Hollywood stuff" surrounding quarterback prospects coming into the league. At the...

Bill Belichick is Making the Jump to TV

It still boggles my mind that Bill Belichick didn't get a head coaching job this offseason. But it's not as if Belichick will be unemployed for long. The eight-time Super Bowl champion coach is taking his talents to the television...

Invisible String Connects Swift and Moore, NFL Top 100 Countdown, and Other Bears Bullets

My therapist and I discussed the playful banter we have here in the writer-reader relationship at BN Bears. And I think that if we continue to keep it fun, this will be a good year for all of us on...

This Hard Knocks Clip Has Me Hyped For Rome Odunze

The most nervous I was on NFL Draft weekend was when the New York Giants were on the clock. A team that was in desperate need of wide receiver help, the Giants had me sweating out their time on the...

Kiran Amegadjie is Ready For the Next Step in His Manifestation Plan

The first installment of the Chicago Bears' "Meet the Rookies" YouTube series features two of my favorite things — developing offensive linemen whose arrows are pointing up and manifestation. Kiran Amegadjie was the Bears' third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft....

The Bears Are Subtly Taking Over the Giants’ Season of Hard Knocks

HBO's "Hard Knocks" series focusing on the Chicago Bears and their 2024 training camp won't begin until August 6. But that isn't stopping HBO's offseason off-shoot of the NFL program from being Bears-coded despite its central focus on the New...

Remembering Matt Forte’s Excellence, Losing the Ticketmaster War, Survey Time, and Other Bears Bullets

Today is the last day of our 60s. There are just 60 days until the Chicago Bears kick off the regular season against the Tennessee Titans. Defensive lineman Wally Chambers is the most accomplished player to wear No. 60 for...

What Are Your Expectations For Caleb Williams in Year 1?

Hope springs eternal this time of year for Chicago Bears fans. More so now than at any other previous point in recent franchise history thanks in part to the presence of No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams. The Bears are...

Latest News

Astros vs. Rangers: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

At Minute Maid Park on Friday, the Texas Rangers (44-49) meet the Houston Astros (49-44), fellow members of the AL West, at 8:10 PM ET.Looking to see who's in and who's out for the Astros and the Rangers? Keep reading...

Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

The Toronto Blue Jays (43-50) will visit the Arizona Diamondbacks (47-47), Friday at 9:40 PM ET, in the opener of a three-game series.Looking to see who's playing for the Diamondbacks and the Blue Jays? Continue reading to see full injury...

Braves vs. Padres: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

On Friday, the Atlanta Braves (51-41) are visiting the San Diego Padres (49-47), at 9:40 PM ET. The Braves have lost two straight, and the Padres have lost four in a row.Looking to see who's playing for the Braves and...

White Sox vs. Pirates: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

At Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates (45-48) open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox (27-68), at 8:10 PM ET.Looking to see who's available to play for the White Sox and the Pirates? Keep scrolling for...

Brewers vs. Nationals: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

A series opener between the Washington Nationals (42-52) and Milwaukee Brewers (54-40) is on deck Friday at 8:10 PM ET, at American Family Field.Hoping to find out who's in and who's out for the Brewers and the Nationals? Keep reading...

Mariners vs. Angels: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

At Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Friday, the Los Angeles Angels play the Seattle Mariners (three straight victories) at 9:38 PM ET.Looking to see who's playing for the Mariners and the Angels? Continue reading for full injury reports for both...

Twins vs. Giants: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

The Minnesota Twins (53-40) will visit the San Francisco Giants (45-49), Friday at 10:15 PM ET, in the first of a three-game series.Looking to see who's available to play for the Twins and the Giants? Keep reading for complete injury...

Cardinals vs. Cubs: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 12

At Busch Stadium on Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals (48-44) meet the Chicago Cubs (45-49), fellow members of the NL Central, at 8:15 PM ET.Curious about who's available to play for the Cardinals and the Cubs? Continue scrolling for full...

Storm vs Lynx: Best Bets, Player Props & Computer Picks – July 12

The Seattle Storm (14-8) play the Minnesota Lynx (16-6) at 10:00 PM ET on Friday, July 12, 2024.Our computer predictions for Friday's game can help you place an informed wager by picking the best bets available.Pick the Lynx (+5.5) to...

Seattle Storm vs. Minnesota Lynx: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Seattle Storm (14-8) face the Minnesota Lynx (16-6) on Friday, July 12, 2024 at 10:00 PM ET on ION.Watch the WNBA all season long on Fubo!How to Watch Storm vs. LynxGame Day: Friday, July 12, 2024Game Time: 10:00 PM...

more bears news