Bear(s are) Down (again)

Current Standing~ the Packers can clinch the NFC North Divisional title with a Vikings loss tonight vs. Pittsburgh AND a win vs. Chicago on Sunday Night.  There are other scenarios for clinching a playoff berth, but with 5 games left, meh.  Winning out is the object as that’s likely what’s needed to obtain the #1 seed, for the second consecutive season. 

While Green Bay squandered that opportunity last year, if you keep getting a Bye in the postseason, the odds swing in your favor, eventually – unless your QB is a choke artist…

So, for that 1st seed (which is the only BYE for the 2nd year in a row), you should be rooting for the:

  • Steelers (tonight @ Minnesota)
  • Washington (v. Dallas)
  • Buffalo (@ Tampa Bay)
  • LA Rams (@ Arizona, on Monday night)

If that all occurs, the Packers will have the best record in the NFL, tied with Arizona at 10-3, but obviously everyone remembers beating Arizona, so the tiebreaker will be held by Green Bay.  The Packers would also clinch the division and they’d Control Their Destiny

Preview~ I recently heard the Packers, under LaFleur, are 0-2 coming off their BYE week (in the regular season), and 2-2 if you include the postseason.  I’m not sure what that means, but both regular season games, off their BYE, they were obliterated and didn’t seem like they should’ve been on the field:

  1. 2019, week 12, blasted by San Francisco 37-8
  2. 2020, week 6, smoked by Tampa Bay 38-10, after going up 10-0 and driving before a pick-6, then another (almost) pick-6 derailed that. 

The differences (and similarities) were the Packers eventually lost in the playoffs to each team, both in the NFC title game.  That won’t happen this year as the Bears aren’t making the playoffs.  Also, in the regular season, both of those games were on the road, and this is a night game at Lambeau, where LaFleur is badass.

Matchup~

 Chi-off(rank)vs.GB-def(rank)
Rush125.18102.58
Pass173.832219.29
Total298.830321.77
Pts16.830 20.25
 Chi-defGB-off
Rush120.123 106.721
Pass207.86248.39
Total327.99355.015
Pts23.922 23.615
 
T/O     
Takeaways11T-28th19T-9th
Giveaways19T-23rd10T-2nd
Diff.(8)T-9th 9T-4th

The stats/rankings show a relatively real look at the true matchup between these two franchises.  The Packers are arguably the best team in the NFL, while the Bears are about as bad as one can be with 4 wins.  They turn the ball over far too often to really compete, and don’t take it away enough to help their awful offense. 

As for the “True Strength,”:

  • Packers: +41 (11th)
  • Bears: -86 (27th)

Again, another telling ranking, and fairly accurate.  The Packers haven’t really blown anyone out, and have one blowout loss.  They have, however, won solidly a few times, with one of those games coming in Week 6 @ Chicago, winning 24-14.  Look for the Bears to pull out all of the stops as they must win out and get a bunch of help to make the playoffs…plus Nagy is will overthink everything, per usual and hand you games when you’re playing awfully. 

Bears 13
Packers 27

Season: 8-4
Overall: 77-40

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