This Sunday’s NFC North clash between the visiting Green Bay Packers (9-4) and the Chicago Bears (8-5) could be looked at as a game of two teams heading in opposite directions. The Chicago Bears started strong (after an early season loss to the Packers in week two) but have struggled mightily of late. Quarterback, Jay Cutler is starting to show the wear and tear from a season of blows received while playing behind an offensive line that is shaky at best.
Green Bay, with its own offensive line trouble, spent the first half of the season stuttering and starting, mixing bad results with good displays before coming alive in the second half of the year. Well sort of coming alive. Looking at the teams the Packers beat in their latest run, not many post-season names appear in the win column. In fact the only really decent team they played since their dismantling of the Houston Texans was the New York Giants and we all know how that turned out – not pretty for the men in green.
So Green Bay has proved that even if former NFL MVP, quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not having the best of days, they still have what it takes to eat the cupcake teams. But will they be able to stomach a Bear that has its back to the wall? With only two games left after this, a Bears loss hands the division to Green Bay and puts Chicago precariously close to not making the post-season at all. Current fellow wildcard contender, Seattle has a head-to-head advantage over them and currently has the same record.
The health of Cutler will be a significant contribution to the outcome of the game. If he is not sharp it could be game over for Chicago early-on. Linebacker, Clay Matthews returns for Green Bay after sitting out the last four games with a hamstring injury. Chicago will benefit from the home crowd keeping the noise down and allowing the offensive line to hear the snap count. Chicago will soon find out whether Matthews has entirely recovered from his injury. If he hasn’t, the Bears will have a small push towards beating the Packers who are favoured by 2.5-3 points in the game.
The game is being shown in a central strip across the USA as well as the two team’s home markets. It can be seen on FOX at 1 PM EST for those in that area. Viewers elsewhere can use NFL Gamepass or streaming sites.