The Chicago Bears will face the Green Bay Packers for their Week 12 matchup. It is an important primetime game between two rivals that may determine whether the Bears can make the playoffs. The Packers, leaders of the NFC North, are the clear favorites, so Chicago will need to play a nearly perfect game to win. Here are three keys to the game for the Bears Week 12 matchup.
Get Mitch Trubisky in Rhythm
On Thursday evening, Head Coach Matt Nagy named Mitch Trubisky as the starting quarterback against the Packers. This was somewhat expected, as all clues in the past week have led to Trubisky starting over Nick Foles.
However, Trubisky will by no means be totally ready for the game. He has had a full week to practice, but has not thrown an in-game pass since Week 3. He is also just coming off of a shoulder injury sustained in Week 8 against the Saints. All in all, Trubisky will most likely be out of rhythm against the Packers.
Part of getting Trubisky in rhythm will rely on Chicago’s running game.
Trubisky is best when throwing on the run or off of play-action. To successfully do this, it is important that the opposing defense is at least partially focused on the run. Therefore, the Bears need to be a serious running team on Sunday night, something they haven’t been all season.
It will be running back David Montgomery‘s first game since getting a concussion in Week 10. Hopefully he helps a Bears team that is last in rushing yards and second to last in rushing yards per attempt. However, if Montgomery and the rushing offense can’t change this tendency, the Bears offense and Mitch Trubisky will be once again be in trouble.
Shut down Davante Adams
Davante Adams, Green Bay’s star receiver, is having the best season of his seven-year career. It is fair to say that the Packers offense would not nearly be at the same level without him.
This season, the Packers rank third in the league with 28 points per game. Aaron Rodgers, at 36 years old, is having one the best years of his career. There is no doubt that Davante Adams has been instrumental in the team’s and Rodgers’ success.
He leads the team in nearly every receiving category, with 105.9 yards per game and 8.5 catches per game. Through 8 games this year, he has caught 75.6 percent of passes thrown to him.
No team has been able to shut him down, as he has at least six catches in every game (not including the game he got hurt). But that is exactly what the Bears will need to do on defense.
The Bears defense will need to limit Green Bay’s scoring on Sunday night. To do this, they must shut down Adams. This job largely rests on cornerback Kyle Fuller‘s ability to be a lockdown defender, so get ready for an exciting matchup between these two stars.
Overcome recent injury issues
Green Bay and Chicago have both struggled with injuries this season. Important players on each side have missed games due to a variety of injuries.
The Bears offense has especially felt these damages as of late. The offensive line has been banged up all season and it is not getting better. Trubisky, Foles and Montgomery have all gotten injured in recent weeks.
However, Mitch Trubisky and David Montgomery are returning this week as starters. It is quite possible that they do not play to their full ability, considering it is their first game back. This could cause an already bad offense to be even worse.
However, the Packers have had their fair share of injury issues as well. As of Thursday, they had 21 players on their injury report, including their top two receivers: Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
If the Bears key players can overcome their injuries and still play well, they will have a much better chance against a banged up Packers team.
Even with the switch in quarterback and some players returning for Chicago, it is highly unlikely that they beat the Packers. Green Bay is very good, while the Bears are on a 4 game losing streak. Expect the Packers to win handily on Sunday Night Football.
Packers 27 – Bears 13
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