Green Bay Packers: Predicting 2016 regular season record

Aug 18, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; The Green Bay Packers take the field prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; The Green Bay Packers take the field prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) makes a touchdown reception over Chicago Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Green Bay won 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) makes a touchdown reception over Chicago Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Green Bay won 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 15

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

This game kicks off the final stretch of the schedule, the first of three division games to end the year, and one the team should not be looking past even though the Bears are (at least in my estimation) looking like the team most likely to fall into the NFC North basement.

Still, this team was able to take a game from the Packers in 2015 in a season where they only won 6 in total, and behind coach John Fox they have shown a tendency to play above the sum of their parts and compete even if their talent level suggests they shouldn’t even be in some games. In 2015, they were in 12 games that were decided by one score (5-7 record), with six of those games coming against playoff teams (2-4).

This team should continue doing that, and may be able to even turn a few of those close games into victories this time around with better talents on both sides of the ball.

Green Bay could have some struggles here, but if the Packers are as good as I believe their record will be, they likely will be able to take advantage of the weaknesses that still exist on the Chicago defense (particularly in the secondary) with a revived passing offense that has rebirthed the ability to attack deep — or at least to a level that forces the opposition to adjust for it.

With the offense (probably) being exactly that for an 11-2 team led by Rodgers, expect those weaknesses to be attacked without fear.

With the passing game firing on all cylinders, the run game should be freed up to attack a defense that cannot risk loading up against it and run clock in the second half.

On the other side of the ball, the Chicago offensive line has the pieces to be much improved, but the litany of pass rushers combined with some of the usual excellent play on the line from Mike Daniels will be too much even with guys like Kyle Long and Josh Sitton expected to be stalwart options to put up against the rush.

Putting pressure on Cutler has proven to be the quickest way to knock his team out of a game, and if his line can’t help him it won’t matter how good his receivers are. I can easily see him become the turnover-tossing Cutler Packers fans have grown to love in that environment, and those turnovers will help Green Bay rout their rivals and officially tie up the overall series between the franchises.

Green Bay 34
Chicago 13

Green Bay Record: 12-2

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