The Chicago Bears will have a chance to clinch their first NFC North title since 2010 when they host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Chicago is currently a 6-point favorite at home with an over/under of 45 points.
A week ago, the Bears had one of the most impressive wins of any team this season, beating the Rams 15-6. The Chicago defense put forth an incredible performance, as they bounced back quickly after a disappointing loss to the Giants the previous week. The Bears are now 9-4 and need just one more win to clinch a division title.
The Packers, meanwhile, are still alive in the playoff race. One week after firing head coach Mike McCarthy, Green Bay easily beat the Falcons 34-20 to move to 5-7-1 on the season. With the other teams fighting for the final wild-card spot in the NFC set on self-destructing, the Packers still have a chance to reach the playoffs if they can win out and get some help.
A New Challenge
After firing McCarthy and handing the team over to Joe Philbin, a lot of Green Bay’s offensive woes seemed to be cured. The Packers got Aaron Jones a little more involved, creating a good balance between the run and the pass. As a result, they scored 34 points, which is their highest point total of the season.
However, it’s worth mentioning that it came against the Falcons, who are one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL. A much greater challenge awaits the Packers this week. Fresh off a dominant effort against the previously unstoppable Rams, the Chicago defense will be full of confidence that they can stop Aaron Rodgers. After the miraculous comeback that Rodgers orchestrated against the Bears in Week 1, the Chicago defense should be plenty motivated to unleash their vicious pass rush against a Green Bay offensive line that’s led Rodgers take way too many hits already this season.
More from Mitch
On the other side of the ball, the Bears were happy to welcome Mitchell Trubisky back last week after he missed two games due to injury. Unfortunately, it was not the kind of return Trubisky enjoyed. While Chicago got the win, Trubisky was just 16 for 30 for 110 yards. He also threw three interceptions. The Bears got enough from their running game to overcome Trubisky’s poor outing, but the young quarterback can’t make such performances a regular occurrence.
The fact that it was a shoulder injury that sidelined Trubisky makes his bad game against the Rams all the more concerning. However, a game against a Green Bay defense that’s nothing special should help Trubisky get back on track. On the off chance that Rodgers has his way with the Chicago defense yet again, the Bears may not be able to survive on their running game alone.
After their Week 1 win over Chicago, the Packers have won 15 of their 18 head-to-head meetings with the Bears this decade. But with a chance to clinch the division and get redemption for that frustrating loss, the Bears will avoid a letdown after last week’s big win. Bet on the Bears to win and cover the 5.5-point spread against Green Bay on Sunday.