The Christmas Day battle with the Bears couldn’t come at a better time for the Packers. Here are three reasons why Green Bay will emerge triumphant.
1) These teams know each other. This is the fourth time in 2011 that the Packers and Bears will play, and the Packers have won the other three.
Unlike the Chiefs, who last faced the Packers in 2007 with coach Herm Edwards, QB Damon Huard, and DE Jared Allen, the Bears have schemes and personnel familiar to Green Bay.
2) The Packers defense will finally face a quarterback and receiving corps ill-equipped to keep up with the Packers offense.
Bears coach Lovie Smith has named Josh McCown starter at quarterback for the game, in place of the ineffective Caleb Hanie. This will work in the Packers’ favor, as McCown has attempted two passes all season. His last NFL start was in December 2007 with the Oakland Raiders.
Green Bay’s secondary should also have a good game. Chicago’s best receiver, WR Johnny Knox, is on injured reserve (back injury), and WR/PR Devin Hester is dealing with a sprained ankle that has hobbled him since early November. If Green Bay can get any pressure on McCown, then he may force some throws that could be intercepted.
3) The Packers have become unstoppable at home, winning their last 11, and 17 of their last 18, at Lambeau Field. Their last loss in Green Bay was a 23-20 overtime defeat to the Miami Dolphins on October 17th, 2010. QB Aaron Rodgers has never lost to the Bears in Green Bay.
With Chicago’s inability to score since the injury to RB Matt Forte – 20 offensive points in three games – this game has the makings of a blowout. (Of course, the Chiefs scored only 29 offensive points in their previous three games leading up to their upset of the Packers.)