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James Jones (89) turns to run with the football as Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor (24) defends during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

NFC North Division Crown: Five key Packers vs. Bears matchups

Eddie Lacy will be one of the keys to a Packers win against the Bears. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Eddie Lacy will be one of the keys to a Packers win against the Bears. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph


In the final week of the season, the Green Bay Packers will head to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears in hopes of gaining their third straight NFC North Division title and fifth straight playoff appearance. With a slew of injures, this will be no easy task.

Here’s a look at some of the key matchups that will determine the outcome of this game.

5) Sam Shields and Tramon Williams versus Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery – The Bears large targets at wideout are the most deadly 1-2 punch in the NFL. The Packers porous secondary needs to step up if they want to win, starting with their outside cornerbacks.

4) Special Teams versus Devin Hester – Last week, the Packers Achilles heel was their special teams. This week, they face another daunting challenge in stopping the game’s most dangerous returner in Hester. This unit must be very disciplined.

3) Eddie Lacy versus Lance Briggs – Barring any setbacks from an ankle injury, Eddie Lacy should be on the field. If so, look for the Packers to run him off tackle like they love to do. Lance Briggs is fresh off a shoulder injury and still getting up to game speed. It defiantly showed against the Eagles. The Packers will test him.

2) James Jones versus Zach Bowman – With All-Pro Charles Tillman on injured reserve the Bears must start inexperienced Zach Bowman. With other All-Pro Tim Jennings most likely shadowing Jordy Nelson, look for the Packers to pick on Bowman with Jones.

1) A.J. Hawk versus Matt Forte – Look for the Bears to get their running game going early to set up the play-action for their talented wide-outs. If they can, it will be a long day for Green Bay’s defense. A.J. Hawk has been phenomenal at sniffing out runs up the middle, where the Bears like to go with Forte. If the Bears become one-dimensional like they did against the Eagles, the Packers have a good chance at winning.

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