This week didn’t have the usual “Packers Week” feel as these games usually do.
It didn’t have the feeling that lands somewhere in between the impending doom associated with the ‘Imperial March’ from ‘Star Wars’ and the slight sense of optimism that this might be the week that the Bears shut Aaron Rodgers and the Packers up. They just weren’t there this time around. Maybe that’s just me.
Regardless, we’re less than 48 hours from the second (and final) meeting with the Packers this season. And as it stands, things are lining up for Justin Fields to start this week. And based on the word from Aaron Rodgers himself, we can say the same about Green Bay’s QB1.
With Fields’ stock sky-high and Rodgers’ time with the Packers once again potentially coming to an end, the tides seem to be turning in this rivalry — even if it might not look like it on Sunday with these Bears dealing with significant injuries at several key positions.
Let’s not invest too much into this week. But I’ll admit seeing the tides truly start changing with a win at Soldier Field would be fun.
Chicago Bears (3-9, 4th NFC North) vs Green Bay Packers (4-8, 3rd NFC North) – FOX (Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth); WBBM 780 AM, 105.9 FM (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)
Kickoff Time: Noon CT
Site: Soldier Field; Chicago.
Referee: Scott Novak
Odds: GB -4.5, O/U 44 (via DraftKings Sports Book)
We Got $5 On It
Note: Patrick’s listed bets were placed on Draft Kings Sportsbook, while Luis’ were made at BetMGM.
- One-Game Parlay: Total Points UNDER 44.5 + Bears +13.5 (+120) — Full disclosure: I don’t love wagering on this game, as too many variables leave me uncertain. But for $5 among friends, I offer the BetMGM one-game parlay in which I envision a game in which the two teams score 44 points (or less!) and the Bears cover a nearly two-touchdown spread. I’m not sure how they’ll do it, but it can happen.
- Bears Moneyline (+155) — Like Lu, I’m not a huge fan of betting on this game, so I’m just going to throw my $5 on the Bears money line and hope for the best this weekend.
You can get in on this action at DraftKings:
But there are a number of other official gambling apps you can use (with some juicy promos) right here.
Starting QBs and Projected Game Stats
Packers: Aaron Rodgers: 20/31, 245 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 2 carries, 6 rushing yards
Bears: Justin Fields: 13/21, 148 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 83 rushing yards, 1 TD
Bears Projected Starters
• QB Justin Fields
• RB David Montgomery
• FB Khari Blasingame
• WRs Chase Claypool, Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis
• TE Cole Kmet
• LT Braxton Jones, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG Teven Jenkins, RT Riley Reiff
• LDE Al-Quadin Muhammad, LDT Angelo Blackson, RDT Justin Jones, RDE Dominique Robinson
• SAM Matthew Adams, MIKE Jack Sanborn, WILL Nicholas Morrow
• LCB Jaylon Johnson, RCB Kyler Gordon
• FS DeAndre Houston-Carson, SS Jaquan Brisker
• Cairo Santos (kicker), Trenton Gill (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Dante Pettis (punt returns), Velus Jones Jr. (kick returns)
Packers Projected Starters
• QB Aaron Rodgers
• RB Aaron Jones
• WR Christian Watson, Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs
• TE Robert Tonyan
• LT David Bakhtiari, LG Elgton Jenkins, C Josh Myers, RG Jon Runyan, RT Yosh Nijman
• LDE Dean Lowry, NT Kenny Clark, RDE Jarran Reed
• WLB Preston Smith, LILB De’Vondre Campbell, RILB Quay Walker, SLB Kingsley Enagbare
• LCB Jaire Alexander, RCB Rasul Douglas
• FS Darnell Savage, SS Adrian Amos
• Mason Crosby (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Jack Coco (long snapper), Keisean Nixon (kick and punt returns)
David Montgomery will again be a focal point for me on Sunday against the Packers. With Fields (probably) back in the saddle, but still injured, the offense might lean towards keeping him out of harm’s way. This means that Montgomery should get plenty of opportunities with Khalil Herbert still out of action in the Bears backfield.
After watching Philly gut the Packers for 363 yards on the ground last week, and considering that they’re the second-worst rushing defense in the league (154.8 YPG), Montgomery — who averages over five yards per carry against the Packers — should be licking his lips waiting for this matchup on Sunday.
Justin Fields was trending toward playing in this week’s game against the Packers, whether I like it or not. Which, for the record, I don’t. But it looks like he will.
I hope Fields can keep himself safe and prevent further injury. Hopefully, the game plan is catered to that goal, and we see fewer designed runs for Fields than usual and a few more looks downfield through the air. But lord knows I’ve asked for that all season with no luck, so I won’t get my hopes up too high.
Chase Claypool is the new WR1 in Chicago, with Darnell Mooney done for the season with an ankle injury that will require surgery suffered in last week’s loss to the Jets. With Mooney gone, Fields back in the saddle, and Claypool’s week-to-week usage rate on the rise, there’s really no excuse not to see Claypool get into the swing of things this week from both a playcalling and performance standpoint.
More on that: