Green Bay Defense
Week 6 Statistics: 30 Points Allowed, 2 Sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble Recovery; 5.00 fantasy points
With the issues on offense holding back their potential, the burden of securing victory has continued to fall heavily on the defense of Green Bay. Through the first few weeks they undoubtedly held up their end of the bargain, holding teams to historically low rushing totals while rushing the passer with aplomb to keep scores low.
That didn’t happen in Dallas.
The run defense was ground into dust and the unit gave up key plays at terrible times to allow the Cowboys to turn the game into a blowout. Of course, their offense did them no favors, but the unit must perform better than what we saw this past weekend or they’ll be giving away games even when the offense is performing well.
Lucky for them, they have an excellent opportunity to wash away the awful taste left in their mouths with a quick turnaround in this Thursday night contest.
Chicago comes in with the #24 Rush Offense DVOA, so the run defense should be able to get back on track immediately. The Bears are more threatening in the passing game (#13 Pass Offense DVOA), but even with the weapons at their disposal (Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, Zach Miller), taking away the balance of a team’s attack can sink their ability to be efficient.
Also, their quarterback is Brian Hoyer. He seems to be playing pretty well right now (four straight 300+ yard games and 6 TD passes since taking over for an injured Jay Cutler in Week 2), but those numbers are fool’s gold. In those four games, the Bears have scored 17,23,17, and 16 against the Dallas (#20 in Pass Defense DVOA), Detroit (#31), Indianapolis (#29), and Jacksonville (#8) while going 1-3. So far he’s avoided mistakes, but his previous two stints as a starter are litter with examples of awful play.
As a 14-game starter for Cleveland in 2014, he threw more INTS (13) that TDs (12). With Houston last season, he managed a 19-7 TD-INT split in the regular season, but fumbled six times; he also managed to get benched for a month following a poor showing in Week 1 and then in the playoffs threw 4 INTs during one of the worst quarterbacking performances in recent memory against Kansas City.
Hoyer may look good in the box score, but against a productive hydra of a pass rush — 16 sacks in five games, led by Nick Perry’s 4.5 sacks and having 3 other players (Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and Kyler Fackrell) with at least 2 — that will be able to pin its ears back without fear of the run again, he’s probably in for a long night.
Green Bay has been pretty steady in terms of fantasy production (5, 7, 5, 7, and 5 points in their five games); this could be their breakout performance.
The final score may appear better for the Bears than we might expect due to garbage-time production, but this should be a mauling that can boost your fantasy team in a major way.
Week 7 Prediction: