For the second time, this season these two teams play but going into their matchup, both teams couldn’t be any different than what they were the first time they played six weeks ago. While the Packers have been free-falling out of relevance due to Aaron Rodgers being injured and their horrible defense, the Bears have been playing well winning two out of four games and their loses have been close. Positively, this has been a much different Bears team, while negatively, the Packers are different than their week four matchup.
The Bears’ minor success can simply be attributed to that they finally gave the start to their rookie Mitchell Trubisky the week after their loss to Green Bay. Trubisky hasn’t been great by any stretch but with a solid defense and great rushing attack, he’s done enough to not be a detriment to his team. He hasn’t even had a 200-yard passing game yet, but he hasn’t needed to pass for that much because of the run game and defense he has. John Fox has kept it simple and it has worked as they have won twice as many games compared to when he wasn’t playing. It is also notable that in Trubisky’s first starts, they played Minnesota, Baltimore, Carolina and New Orleans; all top-tier to at least solid NFL defenses this year. His receivers are also Joshua Bellamy, Kendall Wright, and Dontrelle Inman, who are not great receivers to have for a rookie quarterback.
Since their loss to Green Bay, Jordan Howard has finally awoken and has become one of the NFL’s deadliest rushers. At the beginning of the season he was really lacking with many believing Tarik Cohen was going to replace him as the team’s primary back but Howard is now fifth in the league in rushing yards at 662.
In their first matchup, the Packers defense did an excellent job at defending Chicago’s rushing attack by only limiting Howard to 53 yards. They also played a turnover-happy Mike Glennon. Trubisky has done a great job of protecting the ball for rookie as he has only thrown two interceptions against those defenses. If the Packers can once again limit Howard, Trubisky will be a huge wild card especially because the Packers are poor in rushing the quarterback and pass coverage.
Chicago ranks seventh in total defense which would make them the toughest defense Hundley has played besides Minnesota. With Hundley as quarterback the Packers have not scored more than 17 points and with the front seven the Bears have, Hundley will not have an easy time. To pressure and score on the Bears, they must be attacked aggressively and directly. In all of Hundley’s starts, McCarthy hasn’t allowed him to be that as his playcalling has been extremely conservative. That style of playcalling won’t work against the Bears since that defense thrives on a slow pace but crack once the game become more vertical and the tempo quickens. The Packers receivers are good enough and Hundley has the arms and legs to do that but McCarthy must allow it to happen if they want to score more than 17 points. If the Packer defense can’t hold the Bears under 17 points and/or if the offense can’t score that much, they will lose in Chicago.