|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.4||1-2||2-1||30.0||9.0||379.0||(5.7)||1.7||31.7||19.0||364.7||(6)||2.0|
|Offense (All Games)||25.6||11.3||21.7||30:36||28-132||(4.6)||23-35||64.2%||264||(7.4)||64-395||(6.2)||(15.4)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||25.5||12.4||20.5||31:31||27-113||(4.2)||23-37||61.6%||248||(6.8)||64-361||(5.7)||(14.2)|
|Offense Road Games||25.9||11.3||20.0||28:19||26-114||(4.3)||21-33||63.2%||263||(7.9)||60-377||(6.3)||(14.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||26.7||11.7||20.9||30:24||27-125||(4.6)||21-34||61.6%||249||(7.2)||62-374||(6.1)||(14)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24.2||11.8||20.2||30:09||26-111||(4.2)||22-37||60.6%||246||(6.7)||63-357||(5.7)||(14.7)|
|Defense Road Games||31.3||14.0||21.1||31:41||26-112||(4.3)||22-34||65.4%||282||(8.2)||61-394||(6.5)||(12.6)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.9||0.6||1.5||-0.2||13-5||40.4%||1-0||60.0%||2-50||(20.3)||2-23||(11.7)||6-52|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.9||14-5||39.0%||1-1||54.3%||3-60||(23.2)||21-2||(9.9)||6-53|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.3||0.9||2.1||-0.4||13-5||42.7%||1-0||40.0%||2-32||(17.2)||2-35||(17.6)||5-57|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.7||0.7||1.3|| ||13-5||37.6%||1-1||58.8%||4-96||(26.8)||1-14||(11.2)||6-56|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.7||1.8|| ||14-5||38.8%||1-0||49.6%||3-67||(23.6)||21-2||(10.6)||6-53|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.9||0.9||1.7|| ||12-5||37.2%||1-1||80.0%||3-96||(29.2)||1-19||(13.1)||6-53|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1||2-1||3-0||31.3||12.3||395.7||(6.3)||1.7||37.7||16.0||402.7||(7.1)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||27.8||14.2||21.8||31:27||25-114||(4.5)||24-37||64.6%||270||(7.3)||62-384||(6.2)||(13.8)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||25.1||12.2||20.5||30:28||27-110||(4.1)||23-37||61.7%||248||(6.8)||63-358||(5.7)||(14.3)|
|Offense Home Games||26.7||15.6||22.4||31:08||26-101||(3.9)||24-37||66.1%||283||(7.7)||62-384||(6.2)||(14.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||29.7||16.4||21.9||29:52||30-162||(5.4)||19-31||62.0%||228||(7.3)||61-389||(6.4)||(13.1)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24||11.6||20.3||30:10||26-111||(4.2)||22-37||60.7%||249||(6.8)||63-360||(5.7)||(15)|
|Defense Home Games||23.9||15.3||20.4||29:46||29-127||(4.4)||19-31||62.3%||216||(7)||60-343||(5.7)||(14.4)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.8||0.6||1.4||0.3||12-5||41.7%||1-1||61.5%||4-99||(23.2)||1-14||(12.2)||5-45|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0.9||0.6||1.5||1.9||14-5||38.4%||1-1||53.9%||3-62||(24.1)||20-2||(9.7)||6-54|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.6||0.4||1.0||0.7||13-6||47.7%||1-0||40.0%||3-89||(27.1)||1-8||(7.6)||6-50|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.1||0.6||1.7|| ||12-5||40.7%||1-1||69.2%||3-56||(18.7)||1-7||(7.9)||5-42|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1.1||0.7||1.8|| ||14-5||38.7%||1-0||47.7%||3-63||(23.4)||22-2||(10.5)||6-54|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.3||0.4||1.7|| ||13-6||47.9%||1-1||62.5%||3-73||(21.4)||1-3||(5.5)||4-42|
|Average power rating of opponents played: GREEN BAY 19.9, CHICAGO 20.1|
|11/17/2013||@ NY GIANTS||13-27||L||3||L||40.5||U||20-55||24-34-339||3||24-78||25-35-256||1|
|12/29/2013||@ CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/4/2013||@ GREEN BAY||27-20||W||10||W||50.5||U||33-171||22-41-271||0||29-199||12-21-113||1|
|11/24/2013||@ ST LOUIS||21-42||L||2.5||L||45.5||O||26-80||36-47-344||3||29-258||10-22-148||0|
|12/29/2013||GREEN BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|GREEN BAY: The Packers are still trying to figure out the running game, a one-cut system that plays off the passing game. They run out of all their looks, whether it's with a fullback, two tight ends or a three- or four-receiver look. Rookie Eddie Lacy enters this year as the favorite for early-down carries, though they'll rotate three backs most weeks and simply ride the hot hand. Lacy and fullback John Kuhn will work in short yardage situations, and they'll even have WR Randall Cobb take some hand-offs out of a shotgun formation.
Aaron Rodgers is as good as anyone in the NFL throwing on the run, and they'll keep moving the pocket behind a shaky offensive line that allowed Rodgers to be sacked 51 times last year, well up from 36 sacks in 2011. Cobb should emerge as the most consistently targeted player because he works underneath so often. Healthy again, Jordy Nelson should be the big-play receiver again, with James Jones getting more consistent playing time with Greg Jennings gone. And flex TE Jermichael Finley is up for a bigger role as Cobb gets more attention from defenses. The backs are not used often as receivers. The Packers are a pass-heavy team in the red zone. Rodgers led the team in rushes inside the 10. Lacy and Kuhn figure to battle for the goal line role.
The Packers defense has certainly improved, especially at home where they allowed just 17.5 PPG last year. The D-Line doesn't possess great pass rushers, but OLB Clay Matthews (13 sacks) takes care of that. Even without Charles Woodson, this secondary still shines brightly with SS Morgan Burnett (123 tackles) and CBs Tramon Williams (16 PD) and Casey Hayward (6 INT). LB Brad Jones is coming off a career year (77 tackles) and will take over for Desmond Bishop, who was released after not taking a pay cut. |
|CHICAGO: New offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer coached the line and running backs during his tenure in New Orleans (he'll also coach the O-Line this season), and the Saints ran a sophisticated and versatile running scheme. Expect both man and zone blocking from the Bears, and they'll likely be running out of spread looks much more often than last year. Matt Forte is still the lead rusher, and he'll stay on the field on third downs as one of the league's best passing down backs. Michael Bush will spell him and take a third of the workload, including the majority of short-yardage runs and goal-line carries.
New head coach Marc Trestman will run an offense more like what Jay Cutler ran in Denver. They'll use a lot of spread looks with more quick-hitters, short hitches and slants. Brandon Marshall is the primary target, a possession receiver who does most of his work facing the line of scrimmage. Alshon Jeffery will likely work underneath a little bit more in his second season. Slot receiver Earl Bennett should see an uptick in reps, though he's been marginalized by Marshall. TE Martellus Bennett will likely get the chance to flex out more, and Forte will catch plenty of screens. The Bears figure to lean heavily on the backs in the red zone, and when they do throw, Cutler usually force-feeds Marshall.
New defensive coordinator Mel Tucker won't tinker much with this defense that led the NFL with 44 takeaways, including eight pick-sixes. DE Julius Peppers (111.5 career sacks) is still a menace, CBs Tim Jennings (NFL-high 9 INT) and Charles Tillman (10 FF, 3 TD) are outstanding, and 24-year-old SS Major Wright (4 INT) is a rising star in this league. New MLB D.J. Williams is a suitable replacement for the retired Brian Urlacher, working alongside accomplished WLB Lance Briggs and new SLB James Anderson.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (GREEN BAY-CHICAGO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(UPDATES Cobb's status)
*Packers-Bears Preview* =======================
The day after Christmas provided the Green Bay Packers with a huge present.
The Packers found out Aaron Rodgers will be back for Sunday's road matchup with the Chicago Bears that will decide the NFC North.
Rodgers missed his seventh straight game last Sunday as Green Bay (7-7-1) fell 38-31 at home to Pittsburgh. That put the Packers on the brink of elimination, but Chicago (8-7) failed miserably in its first attempt to clinch the division with a 54-11 loss at Philadelphia later that night.
It means that Sunday's winner will capture the North.
Green Bay is in search of a third straight division title and have Rodgers back under center after recovering from the broken collarbone he suffered in the first meeting with Chicago, a 27-20 home loss Nov. 4.
"We're talking about the best player in football. I feel good about it," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Rodgers' return.
Rodgers has 15 touchdowns to four interceptions and 2,218 yards passing. His replacements have eight TDs to 10 picks and 2,002 yards.
He also might be getting one of his top offensive weapons back for the first time since Oct. 13. Receiver Randall Cobb had what McCarthy, who has missed the past 10 games with a fracture right fibula, was activated from injured reserve Saturday and is listed as questionable.
One player who won't be available for Green Bay is linebacker Clay Matthews, who is out after aggravating a right thumb injury. He looked to be in extreme pain on the sideline Sunday after getting injured on a sack.
Linebacker Mike Neal will replace the Packers' top defensive playmaker.
"I'm not Clay Matthews, I've said that before," Neal said. "I'm not trying to fill Clay's shoes, I'm trying to fill Mike Neal's shoes."
Matthews' absence is good news for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who missed the first meeting with a groin injury. Cutler owns a 1-8 career record against the Packers, including a 21-14 home defeat in the NFC title game three seasons ago when he was forced to leave early with a knee injury.
Cutler's Bears enter off their worst performance. Chicago fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and finished with a season-low 257 yards in a game that was never competitive.
First-year coach Marc Trestman told the team immediately after the mismatch to forget about the blowout loss and says the Bears need to have "good amnesia."
"I've got to be the voice of reason," Trestman said. "I've got to see the big picture. Every coach handles themselves differently in these situations, and there's no right way to do it for coaches because they all handle them differently. This is the way we've done it, trying to maintain some practicality works in this case."
What works versus Chicago is running against a defense allowing a league-worst 161.5 yards per game on the ground - 25.6 yards more than the next-closest team. The Eagles gained 289 rushing yards for the second-highest total by a team all season.
Chicago is yielding 5.4 yards per carry - the NFL's worst mark since the 1961 Minnesota Vikings were at that figure.
Rodgers' injury has transformed the Packers into a better rushing team than it has been recently. Green Bay ranks seventh with 131.7 run yards per game, with rookie Eddie Lacy also seventh while averaging 79.4.
Lacy is averaging 96.7 yards over the last three games on 56 total carries with four touchdowns. He hurt his ankle against the Steelers, but McCarthy seemed optimistic about his chances of facing the Bears.
"I feel Eddie is in good place," McCarthy said. "I expect him to play."
If Lacy can't play, James Starks will start.
Chicago is hoping Lance Briggs will be better in his second game back in the lineup. Briggs returned last Sunday and saw action in 57 plays after missing seven games because of a fractured shoulder, getting credited with just one tackle.
"Lance is going to get better the more he plays," embattled defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said.
The Packers will be tasked with slowing down a high-powered Chicago passing attack in which Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have combined for 180 receptions, 2,562 yards and 18 touchdown catches.
The Bears ended a six-game slide in the series last month and seek to sweep the Packers for the first time since 2007.
This marks the first season since the NFL realigned into eight divisions in 2002 that the North champion will not win at least 10 games. Chicago wins the division if this contest ends in a tie.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 11:04:17 PM EST|