Dec 16, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) rushes the ball against Green Bay Packers free safety Morgan Burnett (42) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Bears at Packers preview, odds and prediction

I’d like to dedicate this preview to my Father, John P. Miniel Sr., The reason why I love this Chicago Bears team as much as I do.This one’s for you Pops.

Every season the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers along with their fans always circle two dates on their calendars.

Those games are the ones where they play each other. In one of the biggest and longest rivalries in all of sports, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will go head to head for the first time in 2013 on Monday Night Football. What better day to have the best rivalry in football, than on Monday Night? The passion of the fans is what helps make this rivalry stand out.

For as long as I can remember, this feud between the Bears and Packers has always been involved in my life. I’m a life long Chicago Bears fan, been watching ever since I can actually remember anything. It was either professional wrestling or football for me and it’s still the same. My love for this sport and the Chicago Bears is endless, to the moon and back, all that great stuff.

The amount of Hall of Fame players who have played in this rivalry is just ridiculous. I could list players on both sides, but we would be here for forever.

Most of my family on both sides are mainly Chicago Bears fans. We have a couple Cowboys fans and maybe one or two Packers fans in the mix, but it’s mainly Bears. I’ve had some friends who were hardcore Packers fans just like I am a hardcore Bears fan.

When we knew our two teams were going to be going up against each other, we went from friends to enemies. It was never anything that got out of control, but we always gave each other crap. Of course for a long time, they would be giving me a hard team because Green Bay dominated for awhile.

When this game is up on the schedule, it’s more than just a football game. It’s something special. It’s kind of hard to explain, but to Packers and Bears fans, at least the ones I know, this is almost like our Super Bowl.

PREVIEW

This season we’ll see different teams on both sidelines.

Chicago on one side, being the visitors, are the second highest scoring team in the National Football League behind the Denver Broncos. They’ve lost Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs for a couple weeks which could possibly be Chicago’s downfall in this game.

But the way this offensive line protected McCown during the second half of the game should give them enough confidence to ride into Green Bay and put up a good fight.

This team has already been counted out, even by Bears fans. Packers fans on the other hand can smell blood in the water and have to be licking their chops just like the players who will be suiting up come Monday night.

Chicago started their season off strong once again, creating turnovers but were able to put up more points on the board with their offense. Cutler was on a franchise record year until he suffered his torn groin against the Redskins.

Their defense has struggled this season even though they stand at 4-3, have a defense that should be playing like this team should be 2-5. This defense needs to buckle down and step up or Aaron Rodgers is going to tear them apart.

They’ve done a somewhat decent job against Rodgers over the last couple of years. Yeah the Packers have walked away with victories, but Rodgers passer rating is lower against the Bears than any other opponent.

Chicago has always done well when it comes to defending against Rodgers.

Rodgers on the other hand is currently 9-2 against the Bears in his career, which includes their NFC Championship showdown back in 2010.

Green Bay started off the season their season on a light note, going 1-2 in their first three games of the year. Right now they’re on a four game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 116-70 while Chicago has been outscored 111-91 in their previous three losses.

The Packers looked like they were going to be watching from the bottom of the division with the Minnesota Vikings, but things eventually turned around just like last season. Their running game last year isn’t as nearly as good as it is this season.

Going into this match up, Green Bay is ranked fifth in passing offense and third in rushing offense. Chicago’s defense struggles with both. What really shocks me is they’ve been having trouble stopping the run, which doesn’t really look like Chicago Bears football.

Defensively Green Bay ranks 21st against the pass and fourth against the run game.

Chicago ranks 11th in the league in passing and 14th in the league in rushing on the offensive side. On the defensive side, it’s a different story. Usually this team is ranked higher on defense than their offense, but things have completely switched this season.

The Bears rank 27th against the pass and 25th against the run. Losing Lance Briggs, who happens to lead this team in tackles with 64, will be a huge blow to this defense. Briggs was on pace to returning to the Pro Bowl since 2011.

TOP PERFORMERS

Aaron Rodgers – 167-249, 2191 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, one interception

Eddie Lacy – 112 carries, 446 rushing yards, three touchdowns

Jordy Nelson – 39 receptions, 649 receiving yards, seven touchdowns

Jay Cutler – 146-225, 1658 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, three interceptions

Matt Forte – 116 carries, 533 rushing yards, six touchdowns

Alshon Jeffery – 33 receptions, 561 receiving yards, two touchdowns

PREDICTION

As much as I would like to see Josh McCown and the Chicago Bears roll into Lambeau Field and defeat the Packers, I don’t see it happening tonight.

Green Bay is playing a lot better on offense than they were last season, balancing things out with their running game which has been opening up those long bombs down field with Nelson and Jones.

Chicago will find a way to turn the ball over, get it into McCowns hands and allow them to put up points against a defense that’ll be missing Clay Matthews who has been a one man nightmare for this offensive line whenever he’s played them.

McCown looked great in the second half against the Redskins, but this game is going to have a different feel too it. He’ll be able to find his targets down field in Jeffery, Bennett and Marshall, but the fact that this is his first actual start in awhile will more than likely get to him.

If the Chicago Bears had Jay Cutler under center, they would have a better shot at winning this game.

With that being said, Green Bay balances out their offense, running the ball against a banged up and Lance Briggs-less Bears defense which will allow Rodgers to go over the top to his receivers.

Chicago will put up a fight, but it won’t result in a win. Green Bay Packers win this game.

Green Bay Packers 27

Chicago Bears 16

ODDS

Green Bay Packers -10.5

Chicago Bears +10.5 O/U 49.5

VIDEO

I know this is a little outdated, but it’s always awesome to watch.

Tags: Aaron Rodgers Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers Josh McCown

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