By Maximillian C. Burgos | Contributing Writer
The Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football after their upset overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers nearly beat the Cincinnati Bengals at home.
Aaron Rodgers made a case for himself regarding an MVP candidate with the touchdown to Jordy Nelson with 20 seconds left on the clock, but the game was too close for comfort. In this divisional match up, the Packers will have to play better to win against the Bears.
Unlike the Bengals, the Bears did not score their first touchdown last week. The Bears gave the Falcons a run for their money in Week 1 nearly upsetting the reigning conference champions. They did manage to upset the Steelers, who were heavily favored in the game.
In that game, Bears quarterback Mike Glennon was a non-factor, only passing for one touchdown and throwing a interception. It was Jordan Howard, the second-year running back from Indiana University that stood out for the Bears in a big way.
Howard rushed for 138 yards on 23 carries and touchdowns. He also had five receptions for 26 yards. The key for the Bears winning was their aggressive running attack and defense being able to limit a number of points that the explosive Steelers offense can put up in a hurry.
The Bears managed to pull out the win with a Howard touchdown in overtime. The Steelers played-from-behind for almost the entire game, tying it with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The defense held on, allowing the game to go into overtime.
The Packers also played their entire game from behind. The Bengals scored three touchdowns in the first half putting them up by a score of 21-7. The Packers finally answered the score in the third.
The Packers tied the game in the fourth. After the Packers defense made a clutch stop, the Packers drove 70 yards on four-plays to set up for a 27-yard Mason Crosby field goal for the win.
The Packers rushing attack was relatively bottled up throughout the game. Rodgers had to get the win through the air, passing for three touchdowns. Geronimo Allison was a surprise standout for the Packers wide receiving core with six receptions for 122 yards, breaking a long one for 72 yards that was nearly a score.
Coming into this game, the Packers are heavy favorites on a Thursday night at home. Divisional games are fought with vigor, but both teams played into overtime and the Bears are on the road in Green Bay. It is going to be tough for the Bears to perform well enough to pull off the win.
After last week’s perform the Packers passing attack improves to second overall in the league, while their rushing attack falls to 29th. The defense is also the middle of the pack, being not bad nor good.
The Packers main issue this season has been the inability to produce turnovers on defense. They have no interceptions and have only recovered two fumbles. Coming into Week 4, they are minus two in the turnover column.
Rodgers has also turned the ball over this year three times. He has also been sacked 13 times, which is not healthy for the 33-year-old veteran. If the Packers want to keep their signal caller healthy, they need to keep him upright and reduce the amount of pressure that he is feeling in the pocket.
On a different note, if the Bears want to be successful against this Packers unit, they will have to rush the ball effectively and limit the amount of passes that Glennon will have to throw. Both Howard and Tarik Cohen with have to rush the ball with authority, controlling the clock and keeping the Packers offense off the field.
The Bears have the eighth overall rushing attack in the NFL and the Packers have had some trouble stopping the run. The Bears will have to lean heavily on their rushing attack if they hope to win.
Divisional rivalries are always good games, but playing at Lambeau Field is not easy. It will be loud and the Bears will be on the road looking for their second win while the Packers will be looking to stop on top of their division.
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