The second Sunday Night Football of the NFL 2022 season comes from Lambeau Field where the latest staging of the longest rivalry in the league takes place when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears in an NFC North clash.
These two teams got off to very different starts to the season last week. The Packers struggled in Minnesota while Chicago played host to the San Francisco 49ers and came out on top. This could be a key match for both teams as a result.
Green Bay Packers
The concerns over the Green Bay Packers heading into the season were certainly not put to bed in Minnesota last week. While we shouldn’t go overboard with how ordinary the Packers’ offense looked, it is pretty clear that there are problems in that area and even the great Aaron Rodgers might not be able to do anything when he has nobody to pass the ball to. That means offensively the Packers will have to ride their run game a lot more than before.
The positive for the Packers in that first game in Minnesota was that despite the struggles on offense and they fact they were up against a competent offense, the Green Bay defence stood up and was counted to keep them in the game for as long as they could. If that defence can be as solid here then it would both take the pressure off their offense a little and would also give that side of the ball a little bit more time to find their feet.
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The Chicago Bears won’t need reminding that their record against the Green Bay Packers is worse than terrible in the Aaron Rodgers era but they should be sensing that they’ll never get a better chance to end their drought against their rivals than this. The Bears picked up a decent win to open their season last week but there was a feeling that Trey Lance was a good opponent to face and Chicago took advantage of that.
If you look at the statistics of the Bears’ win last week they don’t really look much but we shouldn’t forget the horrendous weather conditions that match was played in so it is hard to make too much of a judgement of the match as a whole really let alone Justin Fields and his offense. The one thing we could determine is that their pass defence got the job done but in those conditions there would have been question marks over their run D.
I think we would expect the Green Bay offense to look much better this week than it did last week, particularly in the passing game, but I don’t think there is any guarantee of that so I wouldn’t really want to bet on anything that involves the offense as a whole, particularly as we couldn’t exactly judge the Chicago Bears defence or indeed their offense on a game where the pitch turned into a lake by the time the final quarter had arrived.
There is one part of the Green Bay offense that I am happy to trust, especially if we go on the assumption they will be leading this game as they usually do against Chicago. That is Aaron Jones who incredibly touched the ball just eight times in the loss to Minnesota last week. Clearly that isn’t enough opportunity for the reliable running back to affect the game and we can expect him to get more action here, whether it is in the run game or the passing one. Jones has gone well against Chicago in the past and although we can’t judge the Bears too much on last week in just 37 carries they coughed up 176 rushing yards in terrible conditions which makes me think Green Bay might lean on the run game here. If they do then Jones is going to see much more of the ball and he can rush and receive for more than 91.5 yards.
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