The Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers (4-4 Overall, 1-2 Away) visit the Chicago Bears (3-5 Overall, 2-2 Home) today for a 1 p.m. E.T. kickoff. Our Packers play Bears 2017 NFL free pick has Chicago at -4.0 and the over/under at 37.5. The Pack has lost three straight and in those losses they’ve scored an average of 14.6 points. The bears are coming off a 20-12 loss two weeks ago when they visited New Orleans. Prior to that game, they beat Baltimore and Carolina. Here’s how we see the game playing out.
Green Bay- Pluses and Minuses
The Packers without Aaron Rodgers are simply not the Packers. Rodgers, a quality talent and leader, is most likely out for the rest of the season. That puts Brett Hundley (58.8 COMP%, 1 TD, 4 INTs) behind center. Hundley, who has certainly struggled, has been sacked eight times this season. With not much of a pass attack on which to rely, Green Bay may lean on their running game, which has been less than stellar. It is true that rookie RB Aaron Jones is averaging 5.3 YPA and has three rushing TDs, but it’s doubtful he can carry the offense especially against a Chicago D that performs fairly well versus the run. There are quality receivers available including Devante Adams and Jordy Nelson who have five and six TD catches respectively.
The Packer D has allowed 23.9 PPG. It’s true they are going up against an offense that’s averaging 16.8 PPG. But Chicago is capable of more, while Green Bay over the past three games is averaging 14.6 PPG. They could have a problem today. The O-line has allowed 27 sacks. There are some bright spots on D, including Green Bay’s seven forced fumbles and six recoveries, their 41 TFL, and the secondary’s six picks.
- Major QB questions
- Can the running game do it?
- Green D must step up
Chicago- Pluses and Minuses
Rookie QB Mitch Trubisky (47.5 COMP5, 2 Tds, 2 INTs) has struggled since being put into the game a few weeks ago. One problem for Trubisky today is the fact that tight end Zach Miller is out. He has four TD receptions. RB Jordan Howrd, who’s averaging 4.1 YPA and has four TD runs may supply some offense.
The Bear defense has played relatively well. They’re allowing 21.4 PPG. They’ve forced seven fumbles, recovered seven, and scored three TDs. They have 23 sacks, four INTs, and 32 PD. DE Akiem Hicks, who has seven sacks and two TFL, could be a difference-maker today.
- Not much offense
- Defense can score points
- Can Trubisky break out today?
Three Top Takeaways
Our Packers play Bears 2017 NFL free pick top three takeaways for today’s game are:
- Packer D vs, Bear D, edge to Bears
- O-line readiness goes to Chicago
- QB edge, neither team
Green Bay at Chicago – Point Spread and Totals
We are looking at rain today and temperatures in the low 40s and high 30s. That could affect play and scoring. I’m not expecting a lot of points today. I’m taking the under. In terms of our Packers play Bears 2017 NFL free pick with the spread, I’m taking the Bears and their D at -4.0. I like them by seven today despite their injuries.