With a question and answer about this coming Monday night’s prime time match-up between these two storied franchises, Praser gives us an honest inside look at how he sees this 187th meeting between Green Bay and Chicago.
Spoiler alert: If you’re a fan of the Chicago Bears, you might want to close your eyes when Praser gets to his prediction. For Packers fans, you might want to start smiling now.
But in between, Praser provides us with an interesting perspective into this weekend’s game.
1) The Bears were off to a good start this season, but they’ve suffered some significant injuries. What are your expectations of this team with Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs out the next few weeks? What are your expectations of them when Cutler and Briggs return?
My expectations are for the Bears to be terrible on defense and manage on offense. When Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs return, I expect the defense to be terrible and the offense to be a lot better. I am a big believer in Jay Cutler and so far this season, he has been playing lights out. The defense has been generating turnovers, but they have allowed a lot of touchdowns. I think Lance Briggs is one of the best players for the Bears, but he alone can’t solve the problems on defense.
2) How do you feel Josh McCown is playing in Cutler’s absence? How do you feel he’ll play this week against Green Bay?
I think Josh McCown did a great job moving the ball against the Redskins. Green Bay is much better than Washington on defense. I don’t expect McCown to play as well as he did two weeks ago. The Packers are going to double team Brandon Marshall and he doesn’t have a very strong arm. The only way McCown will do well is if the offensive line can keep him upright.
3) Matt Forte is one of the top backs in the league in total yards. Chicago also has a dangerous receiving duo in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. If your Green Bay’s defense how would you stop Chicago’s offense Monday night?
I would stop the Bears with ball control. Keep the ball out of the hands of the Chicago offense and score lots of points. I believe that is what the Packers plan on doing, and should have no problem against the Bears defense Monday night. Matt Forte is also deadly in the short passing game, so if the Packers send extra rushers, Forte will have to stay in and block. That will prevent the run and keep him from getting open.
4) The Bears defense is ranked near the bottom of the league in yards and points allowed, but they’re one of the top groups in forcing turnovers. How would you characterize this group, and what has been the main reason of this recent decline on defense?
The decline on defense has everything to do with losing key players on the Bears defensive line. Henry Melton and Nate Collins were both lost for the season and the Bears have been trying to piece together something of a defensive line since. Julius Peppers is a great player, but he is only one guy. He can’t do it all, but he could do a little more. It’s not like he is double-teamed on every play – just 99 percent of them.
5) What are your thoughts on the job Marc Trestman is doing in his first year as head coach?
I think that Marc Trestman is doing a great job in his first year as head coach. He has really turned around the Bears offense and the players seem to like him. I really enjoy his transparency in the media. It is nice to hear the coach talk about what he is doing and to be honest. The fans really enjoy that kind of interaction. Every time the cameras point to him during games, he is usually looking at the play calling sheet instead of looking up at the scoreboard.
6) The Packers/Bears rivalry is one of oldest in professional sports. In your opinion, what makes this rivalry so great?
I personally think it is because it is one of the oldest and the fans make it great. Bears fans don’t like Packers fans, and vice versa. The fans keep the rivalry alive. The players, not so much. Marc Trestman didn’t even put any emphasis on beating the Packers when he was hired. I think his message was that every game is as important as beating the Packers.
7) Give us your game prediction with a final score and any other closing thoughts about this week’s matchup.
The Packers will win this one, and I really don’t think it is going to be a close game. If it is close, it will be because the Packers allow the Bears to score during garbage time. Or, it’s because there are a couple of takeaways by the Bears. Or, possibly a return by Devin Hester.
Packers 48 Bears 24