Longtime rivals Green Bay and Chicago squared off just over six weeks ago, but circumstances have changed dramatically since the Packers rolled to a 21-point victory over the Bears. Green Bay is reeling since starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone and carries a three-game losing streak into Chicago on Sunday.
Rodgers threw four touchdown passes in the 35-14 win over the Bears in Week 4 but the Packers have scored only 44 points during their three-game skid, including 17 each in consecutive home losses to New Orleans and Detroit. ”It is a quarterback-driven league,“ Green Bay wideout Randall Cobb said. ”Obviously, when you have one of the greatest, if not the greatest, to ever play the game, it’s definitely going to be a lot of chatter about him not being out there.” Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon committed four turnovers in that loss to Green Bay, costing him his job and leading to the promotion of rookie Mitchell Trubisky to the starting gig. The Bears have won two of four under the No. 2 overall draft pick, but dropped a 20-12 decision at New Orleans prior to last week’s bye.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bears -5.5. O/U: 38
ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-4): Brett Hundley is in the unenviable position of stepping in for Rodgers and he has struggled mightily in two-plus games, throwing for one touchdown versus four interceptions, but coach Mike McCarthy said the issues go beyond his young quarterback. “We all need to do better,” McCarthy said. “We had an injury to Aaron Rodgers, and nobody has stepped up. You know? No group has stepped up yet.” Top wide receiver Jordy Nelson hauled in six scoring passes through the team’s first four games but has managed only five receptions for a paltry 48 yards in Hundley’s two starts. Green Bay’s defense also has buckled since Rodgers was hurt, surrendering a staggering 902 total yards in the past two games.
ABOUT THE BEARS (3-5): Trubisky is not wowing anyone with his numbers -- he’s completed 47.5 percent of his passes and averaged 128.0 yards through the air while throwing for a pair of TDs and two interceptions. Yet he also is working with a injury-ravaged wide receiving corps that could be bolstered this week by the return of Markus Wheaton and Dontrelle Inman, who is expected to make his debut with Chicago after he was acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bears will likely ride the legs of running back Jordan Howard, who went over 100 yards for the third time in six games at New Orleans on Oct. 29. Chicago’s defense ranks eighth with 312 yards allowed, but leading tackler Danny Trevathan is dealing with a calf strain.
1. Green Bay has won its last six in Chicago, scoring at least 31 points in each of the last four matchups at Soldier Field.
2. Howard has rushed for 333 yards and four scores in his last four home games.
3. Packers TE Martellus Bennett was released Wednesday for failing to disclose an injury.
PREDICTION: Bears 20, Packers 19