Packers: Five players key to victory in Week 12 vs. Bears

Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby
Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

5. Packers special teams

Outside of Mason Crosby, the Packers’ special teams have not been good. Like at all. And it’s been quite a while since they have been.

It took Tyler Ervin last year to get the Packers positive yardage in the return game. This year, punting problems have been added to the issues the Packers have had in the return game.

Over the past few games, the Packers have had a punt returned for a touchdown, a blocked punt, fumbled return and shanked kicks. Each and every one of those plays was a factor in the game. They either helped turn the tide of the Packers or kept a team in the game. That can’t continue.

The Bears have been known for just the opposite. Chicago has had good special teams play with Cordarrelle Patterson the latest in a line of good Bears return men.

If the Packers want to put it all together and go on a run, special teams will also have to get their act together. The weather is getting colder and the conditions will get more adverse, so flipping the field position in a game can become just as critical as a good offense or defense.

Now is the time for the Packers to figure it all out. The team is getting healthy and with four out of their next six games at Lambeau, the team has a chance to gain momentum and carry it into the playoffs.

This is the last game of November, the Packers are 7-3 and two games up in the division. If the Packers have grander plans than a trip to the playoffs, getting hot now and carrying that momentum through December and January is the way to do it.

Next up is the Bears. A classic rival who would love to close the gap in the North. On Sunday in primetime, the Packers can not only clinch their 100th win against the Bears, but put themselves firmly in the driver’s seat in the NFC North.

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