Waitin’ all day for Monday night?
You got that right!
These are two teams that appear to be headed in opposite directions, the Packers are incrementally moving toward Super Bowl XLVIII, while the Bears are marching towards their twenty-seventh quarterback since the beginning of the Brett Favre era.
Green Bay is steadily building confidence, as the team’s depth demonstrates “In Ted We Trust” is more than just a fan slogan. Conversely the Bears, as usual, are looking for their next quick fix.
Each week, a player buried on the Packers’ depth chart has been pressed into service because of injury and each week a new contributor emerges.
Jarrett Boykin has made the most of his opportunity to step in for Randall Cobb and James Jones. The same goes for Jamari Lattimore who subbed for Brad Jones while he was out with a hamstring injury. Micah Hyde is making it difficult to keep him off the field as Casey Hayward also returns from a hamstring injury.
The Bears, on the other hand, are missing arguably their most impactful defensive player in linebacker Lance Briggs. The result, at least in part, is a once proud Bears defense that gets shredded on a weekly basis.
Green Bay’s recipe for victory over the course of the last six matchups with Chicago has been to put pressure on the quarterback. This game is no different. Clay Matthews is still sidelined, but that has not slowed down the Packers’ pass rush. The success is part of the effort of players like Lattimore making the best of the opportunity as well as the creativity of defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
On paper the Packers should easily handle the Bears at Lambeau Field. The Bears, however, are not simply going to roll over. They know the Packers have had their number the past few years.
Despite this rivalry probably meaning more to the fans than it does the players, it’s Monday Night Football and on both sides of the field the players are pros. The Bears want a win and would love to beat the Packers in front of the nation on the Packers’ home field. If nothing else, it could be the highlight of their season.
Monday is going to be a long one knowing that there is a Packers-Bears game on the other end of the work day. My guess is it will be worth the wait. The Bears will come out with a lot of intensity, but the Packers will simply outlast them with a roster deep with talent – a roster that makes one wonder week-to-week which young Packer might be the next to step into the limelight.
The Bears, on the other hand, are hoping to escape Green Bay with their dignity, because a victory would be a tall order.