A Bears win and a Packer loss in week 1, make their week 2 encounter on a Thursday night very interesting. The Bears have an opportunity to build a two-game lead on the Packers and make a statement in the NFC.
The Bears played well against Indianapolis, but the Colts are not at the level of a top team in the NFL. Jay Cutler recovered from a disastrous start and started to find Brandon Marshall and Earl Bennett. Cutler got rookie Alshon Jeffery and Devin Hester into the mix. The running game with Matt Forte and Michael Bush was effective, and all of a sudden Bears fans realized there are offensive weapons in the fold. It was something that fans didn’t know was possible, especially after former GM Jerry Angelo pushed for Hester to be the No.1 wide receiver for years. Now Hester is now the number four receiving choice and can focus more on special team duties.
The defense made a lot of big plays, but it wasn’t a perfect performance against rookie Andrew Luck. It was promising to see Brian Urlacher on the field and get some game time after missing the preseason. Julius Peppers had a solid game and is a dangerous pass rusher when he is healthy. Other Bears that stood out were Henry Melton, Kelvin Hayden and Tim Jennings.
The Packers lost at home to the 49ers in their opener. They lost one game in the 2011 regular season. The Bears must game plan to prevent an early surge from the mad and determined Packers. You have to figure that Green Bay will come out strong and the Bears can’t make early mistakes. Cutler can get away with a shaky start at home against the Colts, but he has to be sharp at Lambeau Field.
The Packers are currently a six-point favorite, which is expected because they are playing at home. If the game was at Solider Field it would likely be an even line.
I think the Bears will establish the running game early with Matt Forte. An early dose of Forte will wear down the Packers defense and give Jay Cutler time to find his receivers. The Bears defense is very familiar with Aaron Rodgers and their defensive line must get pressure on him. I think the Packers offense will start well, but the Bears will figure out Rodgers as the game goes on.
I think the Bears will win 27-24 on the road.
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