Packers vs. Bears: Five key matchups

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12). Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

1. Aaron Rodgers vs. Jay Cutler

This seems like an odd matchup to kickoff this post, granted Rodgers and Cutler won’t actually see the field at the same time, but I’m a strong believer in giving the edge to the team that consistently wins the quarterback rating battle.

In the past, the Packers defense has had Cutler’s number, forcing 21 interceptions in the six seasons he’s been with Chicago. In fact, the Packers are 7-0 when they pick Cutler off at least once in a game.

Over the past eight contests against the Packers, Cutler has averaged just under two interceptions (1.75) per game, which bodes well for Green Bay going into this week.

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Cutler’s career passer rating against the Packers is an abysmal 68.7, and he’s only exceeded the 100 passer rating mark once in his career against Green Bay–which came on their 28-33 loss on the 2013 season finale. In fact, the last time Cutler beat the Packers was on week three of the 2010 season–a near five-year drought.

The Packers one loss in the series over the past five seasons was in Week 9 of the 2013 season, and the Bears’ starting quarterback was Josh McCown.

Consequently, this one loss was also the game Aaron Rodgers left the first quarter with a broken collarbone, making the last time Rodgers has lost to the Bears when he’s played an entire game also Week 3 of the 2010 season.

For almost his entire career as a starter, Rodgers has dominated the Bears defense. He may get a new look Sunday with former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio now trying to make his mark in Chicago.

However, Rodgers’ 106.7 career average passer rating against the Bears is hard to ignore. This game may also come down to protecting the ball and not committing turnovers.

Last season alone, Cutler finished near the top in the league with 18 interceptions, while Rodgers had the fewest picks among starting quarterbacks, finishing with only five.

It’s pretty clear Green Bay has the advantage here.

Next: Stopping Forte