NFL Sunday Night Football: Packers/Bears Preview

by Alec McMordie

The Sunday night game on NBC is between the top two teams in the NFC North. Green Bay holds a two-game lead over Chicago for first place in the division with their 7-3 record. A victory would move them three games ahead of the Bears with their 5-5 current mark. However, if Chicago pulls the upset, then they would trail the Packers by just one game with them hosting the rematch in Week 17 at home in Soldier Field.

Green Bay opened the season with four straight victories, but they have split out their last six games. They saw the end of their two-game winning streak last Sunday in a 34-31 loss at Indianapolis as a 1.5-point underdog. The Packers went into halftime with a 28-14 lead but were outscored by a 20-3 margin the rest of the way. The Colts outgained Green Bay by 420-367 yards.

Aaron Rodgers completed 27 of 38 passes for 311 yards with three touchdown passes and an interception in the losing effort. Rodgers is completing 68.2% of his passes this season for 2889 passing yards, which are fifth-most in the NFL. Rodgers has 29 touchdown passes with only four interceptions. His 115.8 passer rating is tops in the league. He leads an offense that is third in the NFL by averaging 30.8 points-per-game.

Chicago opened the season with a 5-1 record but have since lost four straight games. They last played on Monday Night Football on November 16th, where they lost at home to Minnesota by a 19-13 score. The Bears’ managed to gain only 149 yards while being on the field for just over 24 minutes of that game. Nick Foles was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter with hip and glute injuries that leave him doubtful to play in this game.

Head coach Matt Nagy has named Mitchell Trubisky as the starting quarterback after he has been out with a shoulder injury. Trubisky started the first three games of the season before losing the quarterback job to Foles. The former number one pick in the draft has completed only 59.3% of his passes for 560 yards with six touchdown passes and three interceptions. He has also rushed for 90 yards on ten carries. This game will be his first start with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the plays. Nagy handed the play-calling over to Lazor two games ago, but it has not made a difference in the Bears’ productivity on offense. Chicago is scoring only 19.1 points-per-game this season while ranking second-to-last with a 300.9 yards-per-game average.

Trubisky will be getting some help in the backfield with the return of running back David Montgomery, who has been out going through the concussion protocol. Montgomery has rushed for 472 yards on 131 carries this season. Converted wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had 12 of the team’s 17 carries last week.

Chicago has five players listed as questionable for this game. Linebacker Akiem Hicks is dealing with a hamstring. Defensive backs Sherrick McManis and Buster Skrine have hand and ankle injuries. Offensive linemen Charles Leno, Jr. and Rashaad Coward are dealing with a toe and ankle.

Green Bay removed 15 players from their injury list on Friday, including wide receiver Davante Adams who participated in full practice that day. Wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown are questionable with an Achilles and a knee. Cornerback Kevin King and center Corey Linsley are also questionable with injuries.

lists Green Bay as a 9.5-point favorite with the total set at 44. Kickoff is shortly after 8:20 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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