Chicago at Green Bay Preview: Bears' Strengths/Weaknesses and Matchup Analysis
Out of all these great games, there is one that you can’t miss: the matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
The Bears-Packers rivalry is the longest in NFL history, and it’s also one of the greatest. These two teams have played in 177 regular and post-season match-ups with the Bears currently holding the all-time series lead with a 91-80-6 record.
Before looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the Chicago Bears that will have the most bearing on Sunday night’s game, here is all of the info you need to be ready for kickoff:
Chicago Bears (0-0) at Green Bay Packers (0-0)
- Bears-Packers Date: Sunday, September 13th
- Bears-Packers TV & Kickoff Time: 8:30 ET on NBC
- Bears-Packers Location: Lambeau Field in Green Bay
- Bears-Packers Announcers: Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth
- Bears-Packers Point Spread: GB -3.5
- Bears-Packers Over-Under: 46.5
- Ronald Clements, MSF: Bears-Packers Preview and Analysis
- StubHub: Bears @ Packers Tickets | Packers @ Bears tickets 12/13/09 as low as $79
- StubHub: 2009 Green Bay Packers tickets
- StubHub: 2009 Chicago Bears tickets
- StubHub: great deals on all NFL tickets
And now let’s take a lot at the strengths and weakness of the 2009 Chicago Bears, and how they will impact Sunday night’s game against Packers, as well as the rest of the season.
Chicago Bears’ Weaknesses That Could Lead to a Packer Beatdown
Sunday’s matchup will be a test for how well these teams’ defenses will play in 2009. The Packers, with no doubt, were the best team this preseason. Their new 3-4 defense worked flawlessly and Aaron Rodgers looked sharp, just as he always does. That tandem — an improving defense and an emerging star at QB — could be a nightmare for the Bears.
The Bears had a modest preseason, with neither the defense nor offense really blowing any team away. What worries me the most is the Bears defense. It is a toss-up as to how well they will perform Sunday night because it’s really up to the defense to stop the pass. If they can’t do that, Rodgers and top WR Greg Jennings may make the Bears defense look like an intramural football team.
The receiving positon also makes me worry.
While I believe the Bears have a good enough receiving corps to make the offense work, I still, in the back of my mind, feel like the Bears need a proven go-to receiver. Devin Hester hasn’t shown enough talent as a route runner to show me that he deserves the #1 spot. In fact, no receiver has shown me that, and it worries me the most.
The Bears are going to need every receiver to chip in a little for this team to be successful.
Now that we’ve discussed the Bears’ weaknesses, let’s take a look at this team’s strengths.
Bears’ Strengths That Could Lead to a Victory Over the Packers
Every team has their weaknesses and strengths. It’s just a question of which category will shine through on game day.
As a team, the Bears have a lot of reasons to be optimistic about their chances of winning Sunday night’s game against rival Green Bay.
First of all, there is Matt Forte.
Forte was just breathtaking last season. A steal in the 2nd round, Forte has the talent to be a Pro Bowler for many years to come. A strong, yet agile running back, Forte can run, block, and catch. Is there anything else you could ask for from a back?
I think not.
Jay Cutler also has to perform like a Pro Bowler.
All eyes will be watching this guy after the Bears gave up a lot to get him. He could be the answer the Bears need at the QB position after failed attempts with the likes of Jim Miller, Chris Chandler, Rex Grossman, Kordell Stewart, Chad Hutchinson, Kyle Orton, and many more.
Most Chicagoans are optimistic about the 2009 season and the future with Cutler taking the snaps, but the truth is that it could be a hit or a miss for the Bears. If Cutler doesn’t perform it could be really bad. When you give away that many draft picks for one player, you better 100% believe he can drive your team victory. If not, there are going to be lots and lots of formerly optimistic Chicagoans who become angry and frustrated.
Probably the most underrated part of any football team is the O-line. In the Bears’ case, the O-line has to play well or, like with any other team, the whole season will be lost. If there is no protection, neither Forte’s nor Cutler’s talents will be worth anything.
The Bears’ O-line is significantly younger this year, and that’s actually a positive thing. It seemed that every year in the recent past the old O-line would be bullied around by the defensive tackles. It wasn’t a pretty sight to see the Bears suffer so much on offense. With the offense not killing time so the defense can rest, both parts of the team suffered.
This aspect of the Bears’ attack should be improved this season.
All strengths don’t have to be 100% percent perfect this Sunday, but they darn well better be close, or I sense a beat down by the Packers.
In reality, this game could be a spectacular coming-out party for the Bears, or it could be a nightmare. It can really go either way. That’s something you don’t want to think about as a fan.
No matter what the turnout of the game is, it’s still football season and that’s all I need to make me happy.
* – Jay Cutler / Matt Forte photo credit: Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune via ChicagoTribune.com
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