Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers Preview
Where: Lambeau Field – Green Bay, Wisconsin
When: Thursday, September 28, 2017, 8:25 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NFL Network
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Betting on the Chicago Bears (1-2)
If you watched the Bears-Steelers game last week, you saw the second coming of Leon Lett. Marcus Cooper Sr fumbled the ball on the one-yard line trying to look cool, but magically the team still mustered a field goal out of the boneheadedness. Had he crossed the goal line, the Bears likely could’ve won in regulation, but they needed overtime instead to seal the deal. Now, let’s not take anything away from Chicago though, they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and almost took out the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in week 1. These guys may not be as bad as we think they are.
They could easily be 2-1 at the present time heading into Thursday night and if that were the case, they could even be favored in this game because the Pack have limped way to their 2-1 record. Before we get into Green Bay’s struggles and the ugliest 2-1 record in the league, though, let’s talk about how the Bears can win this game.
Chicago is a team that is built with offense. Their D is averaging 2.3 sacks this season and has zero interceptions through three games, so let’s focus on the team’s strengths. Somehow Mike Glennon has kept his offense churning without Cameron Meredith and through Jordan Howard’s struggles.
A few weeks ago it looked like Howard’s time as starting running back may be through with Tarik Cohen tilling up the turf, but all he needed was a couple more weeks to ease in. In week 3, Howard went off against a tough Pittsburgh D. He posted 128 yards on 23 carries, caught a team-high five targets for another 25 yards and posted two touchdowns in the win. Chicago is going to need Howard to continue his hot streak against a Green Bay defense that is currently ranked 21st against the run giving up 341 yards thus far. They’ve also given up two touchdowns and forced zero fumbles.
If Chicago can dominate the ground, they can win this game.
Betting on the Green Bay Packers (2-1)
The Pack just can’t seem to stop serving up jammers for their fans. It took them half a season to wake up in 2016, they’ve now won two games on the year in 2017, but have the ugliest winning record in football. Their first win was a total snooze fest against Seattle in week 1. Luckily for the Packers, the Seahawks were also asleep at the wheel as the game went into the half with a 3-0 scoreboard. The Pack pulled it off and then got off to an extremely slow start again against the Falcons the following week. They’d drop that decision with the 34-23 final score really not telling the whole story. And finally, in week 3, they narrowly beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime on a field goal. It was a game where, yet again, they had a slow start and needed a fourth quarter come back.
The Pack haven’t put together a four-quarter effort just yet that’d make you think they could contend for the NFL’s holy grail. They’ve been getting off to lacklustre starts and we’ve only seen glimpses of the classic dual threat Aaron Rodgers that we all know and love.
For the Packers to win this game, they’ll need to take full advantage of Chicago’s lacking pass defense. They Bears are ranked 7th against the run, but 22nd through the air. Rodgers will need to find his targets early and often for the green and gold to walk away with some more NFC North separation. He may have to try and win another without Randall Cobb as well, who is still dealing with a chest injury, but with Geronimo Allison stepping up and Jordy Nelson looking his old self, they’re in a very good position heading into Thursday night.
Green Bay doesn’t cover the -7.5 point spread, but take the win.
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