Spiraling Chicago Bears face ‘must win’ against Green Bay Packers


It’s Monday, which means that coaching staffs from across the league, including the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, have begun gathering information and game planning for their upcoming opponent.

For da Bears, however … things are a little more serious.

It just so happens that both Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers and Marc Trestman of the Chicago Bears have had some extra time to deliberate.

Both NFC North foes are coming off a much-needed bye week; both, coming off a devastating loss.

The New England Patriots spanked the Bears while the New Orleans Saints rolled over the Packers in week eight. Both teams limped into the bye week nursing injuries to star players and a hope for the second half of the season.

For da Bears, however … things are a little more serious.

Sitting at 3-5, Chicago has become desperate at the bottom of the NFC North.

With what started out to be such a promising year at 2-1, the Bears have dropped four of their last five games, including a lopsided loss against the Green Bay Packers in week 4, at Soldier Field.

After that loss, the Bears went on to underachieve their way into the bye week.

Aaron Rodgers. Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Conversely, it was that win over the Bears that spurred a furious four-game win streak for the Packers. It was the loss to the Seahawks and the Lions (week 1 and 3, respectively) that had Packers’ fans in an uproar, leading to the famous R-E-L-A-X comment by Aaron Rodgers.

Immediately following that comment, Rodgers put Packers Nation at ease.

Jay Cutler and Marc Trestman have both said that they have faith in their team, that there is no confusion or combatants in the locker room (despite outbursts by Brandon Marshall) – but it is not having the same calming effect on Chicago fans. In fact, it is being said that this upcoming Sunday Night tilt with the Packers is a “must-win” for the Bears and a “make-or-break” for head coach Marc Trestman.

Trestman took over in Chicago last season, working with Cutler and providing an offensive spark for the Bears that was never felt under defensive-minded Lovie Smith. He seemed to be a real fit – at first. Cutler, however, has fallen back into some of his old habits and his ill-timed turnovers have killed late-game drives.

Trestman is receiving a lion’s share of the blame for Cutler’s up-and-down style of play and the offenses inability to stay with shootout teams.

Talk is spreading across the Bears’ fan base – the misery ends Sunday Night … or else.

Rodgers has been picking apart a young and injured Bears defense, which is primed to get star linebacker Lance Briggs back from a rib injury this week.

The talk around town is that his presence will provide the spark necessary for the defense to combat Aaron Rodgers and his aerial arsenal.

But will Briggs really make the difference in a game of outside matchups? While he will probably plug a large leak in the run game, corners and safeties will still need to be on red alert for the packed power of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

Not to mention, second-rounder Davante Adams has matured and gained Rodgers’ trust a lot since the first meeting in week four – and he’s been making an impact on the field.

Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman on the sidelines against the Miami Dolphins in the second half of their game at Soldier Field. Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Bears fans are already coming up with Plan B for filling the head coaching vacancy that … isn’t even vacant yet. They have numbered Trestman’s days before the season has even played itself out.

Another embarrassing prime time loss to the Packers will send the “fire everyone” troops out in full force in Chicago.

Though the fans don’t have the final say, they do drive sales and have a loud voice which will only get louder with every ensuing loss.

Until the Bears get back on track (which will be difficult, with five of their remaining division games coming in the latter eight games of the season), the cries for wholesale changes will not stop.

On the other side of the border – the Packers just announced an extension to Mike McCarthy’s coaching tenure in Green Bay, meaning stability for years to come. McCarthy and Rodgers have been an extremely successful tandem in the NFL since Rodgers took the helm in 2008, providing no reason to prepare for any Plan B, no matter the outcome on Sunday night.

With that being said, the Packers still can’t afford to take the week off – they need to put the nail in da Bears’ coffin while they have the lights, the cameras and the national attention to do so convincingly.