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Bears looks for 4th win today against the Packers

GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-4) AT CHICAGO BEARS (3-5)
KICKOFF:  Noon at Soldier Field.


SERIES HISTORY: 194th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series,
94-93-6. This is the old series in NFL history. At Soldier Field,
the Packers have beaten the Bears six straight times and seven of
the last eight. The Bears' last regular-season win over Green Bay
at Soldier Field was 20-17 in 2010, when Chicago won the NFC North
and went to the NFC Championship Game before losing to the Packers.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Since Aaron Rodgers went down with a shoulder
injury in Week 7, the Packers' high-flying offense has pretty much
been grounded. Rodgers' replacement, Brett Hundley, has yet to
develop solid chemistry with any of his receivers. That has to
change if the Packers have any hopes of salvaging the season until
Rodgers' possible return.
Without Rodgers, Green Bay is averaging just under 15 points per
game. Packers coach Mike McCarthy has played it close to the vest
with Hundley. In two-plus games, the Packers have taken very few
shots downfield. The conservative approach has allowed opponents to
jam the box and slow down Green Bay's run game. McCarthy and the
Packers need to open up the offense against Chicago.
And if there wasn't enough drama surrounding the Packers, they
released TE Martellus Bennett on Wednesday. Bennett signed a
lucrative three-year contract in the offseason but was released for
failing to disclose a medical condition. He seemed healthy before
the bye week but came back injured and was inactive last week.
The Bears have a golden opportunity with Rodgers hurt. Rookie QB
Mitchell Trubisky will be tested by Green Bay defensive coordinator
Dom Capers, who probably will throw the book with different looks
and blitzes. Trubisky will miss his safety valve and best receiver
Zach Miller. Tight end Daniel Brown is a player who could step up
in the passing game with Miller out. He's 6-feet-6 and is not
afraid of contact.
Trubisky will want to get rid of the ball quickly or swing it out
to Tarik Cohen. Quick hitters should slow the Packers' rush and
open up sizable holes for the rushing game. Running back Jordan
Howard has been relatively quiet in three games against the
Packers. He played the first half of the season with a bad
shoulder, but was able to heal during the bye week.
The Packers' defense is at a vulnerable point and not as strong
against the run as in the past, partly due to injuries. Green Bay's
three-man line ranks 23rd in yardage allowed. The outside zone play
Howard runs so well hasn't hurt the Packers in the past because
Green Bay's interior three linemen broke up the slow-developing
blocking scheme, but that could change.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

--Bears RB Jordan Howard vs. Packers run defense. The Packers are
23rd in rushing yards allowed per game (118.0) and 14th in yards
per carry (3.9). Howard averages 20.3 carries and 82.8 yards per
game.
--Packers WR Randall Cobb vs. Bears DB Cre'von LeBlanc. Bears slot
defender Bryce Callahan struggled against New Orleans early two
weeks ago, and suffered a knee injury, so LeBlanc likely will see
most of the action against Green Bay. It's hard to see how he could
do worse than Callahan did last time. The Packers lined up almost
any receiver they wanted to see get open against Callahan in the
first game and picked on him.

FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
GREEN BAY PACKERS
--Out: T Bryan Bulaga (knee), S Morgan Burnett (groin), DT Quinton
Dial (chest)
--Questionable: LB Ahmad Brooks (back), G Justin McCray (ankle), LB
Joe Thomas (ankle)

CHICAGO BEARS
--Questionable: CB Bryce Callahan (knee), T Tom Compton (ankle), G
Kyle Long (finger), CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), DE Roy
Robertson-Harris (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (illness), LB Danny
Trevathan (calf)

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Bears WR Dontrelle Inman. It's the first game for
Inman in a Bears uniform after he was traded by San Diego, and
there is every reason to anticipate he'll have trouble making much
of an impact. He's never played in this offense or with quarterback
Mitchell Trubisky, and was limited by a hamstring injury earlier
this season. But the Bears need the 6-foot-3, 198-pounder to help
take pressure off the running game and open up the middle of the
field. With a 13.7-yard career average, Inman has shown he can be
an effective downfield threat.

FAST FACTS: Green Bay has lost three straight games by more than
one score for the first time since 2006. ... Packers QB Brett
Hundley passed for a career-high 245 yards last week. He has had
two straight games with a rushing touchdown. ... RB Aaron Jones has
166 rushing yards and one touchdown in two career road games. ...
RB Ty Montgomery had a career-high 162 yards on the ground and two
touchdowns the last time the teams met. ... WR Jordy Nelson has 55
receptions for 629 yards (104.8 per game) and six touchdowns in the
past six games against Chicago. He is tied for the NFC lead with
six touchdown receptions. ... LB Clay Matthews had a sack and
forced fumble the last time the Packers played the Bears. ... LB
Blake Martinez leads Green Bay and ranks fourth in the NFL with 73
tackles. ... The Bears have lost five straight divisional games;
they've had one longer streak since divisional realignment in 2002
(six games in 2014-15). ... In Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky's four
NFL starts, he has completed just 38 passes, but he has rushed for
110 yards. The last QB with fewer than 40 completions and at least
100 rushing yards in his first four starts was Randall Cunningham
in 1985 (30, 197). ... RB Jordan Howard has 333 rushing yards (83.3
per game) and three TDs in his past four home games. With 25
rushing yards against Green Bay, he would surpass Walter Payton (26
games) as the fastest Bears player to 2,000. ... DE Akiem Hicks had
a sack in Week 8 and now has recorded five sacks in the past four
games.


Todays's game can be heard on Good Time Oldies 1060 with the Pre-Game Show at 11:30.

 

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