Ryan Bukowiecki is a student at the Illinois Media School and a contributor to The D & Davis Show
Well that was some fun!
The Bears pulled out an unlikely victory against the heavily favored Steelers down on the lake front last Sunday. A lot of positives (as well as negatives) could be taken away from this game. And not to be minimized is the confidence a win brings, and boy do they need it as they travel on a short week to play those hated Packers up at Lambeau Field.
This game will not be easy regardless of the fact that the Packers have been struggling and are banged up. Thursday is a huge opportunity for the Bears to continue to build and perhaps show that they are closer to the end of the rebuild rather than the usual mess. Not to mention that this is a huge game for Mike Glennon to prove that he deserves to keep the starting job as more and more rumblings for Trubisky to start keep coming up.
Here are the four goals for the Bears this week to try and steal a victory from their oldest rival.
Defense and special teams need a repeat performance — Part of the Bears’ failure last season was their inability to create turnovers. Through their first two games it looked like a lot of the same. But suddenly against the Steelers things changed.
The Bears defense and special teams was able to create two turnovers as well as a blocked field goal that should have been a touchdown. The Bears offense just does not have the weapons to go out and score on long drives consistently.
If the defense and special teams can make it easier on the Bears offense by giving them extra possessions and shorter fields then maybe the Bears can score enough to win. The first goal this week is for the defense and special teams to help the Bears offense with shorter fields and extra possessions.
Bookends meeting in the middle — The Bears got good pressure on Ben Roethlisberger in Sundays game and even got a big time sack from the forgotten Pernell McPhee, late in the fourth quarter with the game in flux. Willie Young also registered a sack and Bryce Callahan forced a fumble on his sack. Leonard Floyd also had a very active game even though he did not get a sack.
The Packers offensive line is currently beat up and may be without their two best offensive tackles as both were limited after Tuesdays practice. The Bears pass rush has the potential to make Aaron Rodgers day tough especially if their tackles don’t play. Rodgers is also a QB that won’t hold onto the ball. Rodgers is also a QB that extends plays to gash defenses down field and he uses his hard count so well to get free plays. An over anxious and over pursuing defense will get burned by Rodgers.
They will have to be disciplined and take advantage of the opportunities they get. A pass rush will help the secondary also from being as vulnerable to the deep throws that Rodgers is so great at. The goal this week is to keep Rodgers off balanced and force the ball out of his hands early to underneath receivers.
Run, Baby, Run — The Bears offense looks very dysfunctional unless their drives produce big time run plays. Overall, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for a very very strong 216 yards on the ground.
The other advantage of being able to run the ball effectively means time of possession and Aaron Rodgers watching on the sideline. It will be hard to repeat that rushing performance and teams are going to be more likely to stack the box to force Glennon to beat them.
But the Bears do have a good offensive line and will be have opportunities to run the ball especially if Josh Sitton can play, he was limited in practice on Tuesday. Therefore the goal this week is to run the ball and have a run heavy gameplay so that they are in a position to control the game.
Mike Glennon needs to make a few throws — Lets face it, good defense, special teams, and a run game will not be enough to beat Aaron Rodgers. Now there is no way Mike Glennon can be better than Rodgers but all he has to do is be good enough.
Chicago will have to control the ball so his play on third down will be especially important. The Bears will also need to make a big play through the air at some point. Glennon will need to be able to make that throw or create an opportunity for one of his receivers, whether it be a tight end or running back. Glennon has been at best okay this year but the Packer’s secondary hasn’t played well so far this season.
It is going to take every bit of a team effort for the Bears to pull off this upset. The goal this week is for Glennon to contribute in a positive way and get the Bears a victory over the hated Packers.
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