Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers: Essential matchups

Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Aaron Rodgers versus Chicago’s Secondary

Rodgers’ road to redemption begins Thursday night in Lambeau Field where he was last seen getting showered with boos in a dismal performance in which he not only missed open throws from the pocket, but also showcased deficiencies in his field vision skills, as evidenced by his interception to Cowboys’ safety Barry Church.

To put things in perspective from a numerical standpoint, Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked Rodgers 25th among quarterbacks in Week 6 with a grade of 37.8. None of his fellow teammates on offense scored worse.

The two-time MVP isn’t benefitting from the fact that his line protection is affording him the second-highest average time to throw (3.01 seconds) since Rodgers is one of those rare specimens that operates better against the blitz.

With that being the case, can the Bears afford to keep their blitzes to a minimum in order let No. 12 throw from the pocket?

That certainly sounds reasonable except for the fact that Vic Fangio’s defense gave up pass plays of 13 and 14 yards to Blake Bortles on the Jags’ game-winning drive when they opted not to send an extra rusher.

The Bears are simply not getting enough production from their edge players outside of Willie Young who remains the only threat to sack the quarterback in light of injuries to Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston and Leonard Floyd.

As for how Rodgers matches up against a young Bears’ secondary, Fangio’s group of backfield defenders have given up their share of big plays and are especially weak at strong safety where Harold Jones-Quartey and Chris Prosinski have been exchanging reps.

Their cornerbacks, including Jacoby Glenn, Diondre Hall and elder statesmen Tracy Porter, have been beaten by a variety of receivers on big plays. In their Week 5 loss to the Colts, this secondary saw four different pass catchers make plays of 20 yards plus.

Last week, their most experienced corner man (Porter) badly blew his coverage of Arrelious Benn on a 55-yard game-winning touchdown catch. The last time the seventh-year veteran scored a touchdown was 2011.

Anticipate Rodgers building on his newfound chemistry with Ty Montgomery this week, as Chicago will be more heavily focused on keeping Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb under wraps.

Advantage: Packers