The Green Bay Packers are heading into Week 10 in as close to a must-win situation as a team can be at this point in the season. They have lost their last three games to drop to 4-4 on the season and Aaron Rodgers is still weeks away from a potential return. Brett Hundley has struggled since taking over the starting job, but the Chicago Bears offer the Packers a great opportunity to get back on track.
Mike McCarthy and the Packers’ coaching staff have struggled to get the offense going without Rodgers. They have been passive with Hundley and have not opened up their full playbook with the young quarterback.
Looking ahead to this week’s game, the Packers should be confident about their chances to knock off a struggling Bears’ team.
Even though the Packers have struggled without Rodgers, they still have plenty of talent to work with. Green Bay still has one of the most talented offenses in the NFL with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams all being star receivers. They also have a deadly backfield with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery leading the way.
All of that being said, what reasons can be given to support the statement that the Packers will improve to 5-4 with a win over the Bears this week?
Brett Hundley Will Have More Freedom
After struggling through his first three starts, the Packers are going to give Hundley more freedom within the offense. He has shown a strong arm, although he has struggled with accuracy and turnovers. McCarthy knows that continuing to “babysit” Hundley will not get the Packers wins and will allow his young quarterback to attempt more playmaking opportunities against a weak Bears’ secondary.
Aaron Jones and the Ground Game Should Produce
One of the bright spots for the Packers this season has been rookie running back Aaron Jones. He has shown the potential to be a workhorse running back and will have the opportunity against a Bears’ defense that gives up over 100 rushing yards per game to have another big performance. Jones will be asked to carry a large workload this week once again to help relieve pressure from Hundley and the passing game.
Green Bay’s Defense Can Focus on the Bears’ Running Backs
John Fox has had the same issues with Mitchell Trubisky that the Packers have had with Hundley. They have not allowed the rookie quarterback to have freedom within their offense and have focused on their ground game. Trubisky may come through with some big plays, but the Packers can focus on slowing down Jordan Howard and the Bears’ running backs.
Chicago Can’t Match Green Bay’s Receivers
Further hope for Hundley comes in the form of the Chicago defense not being able to match up with the Packers’ receivers. Chicago cannot stick with Nelson, Cobb, and Adams. Green Bay will have quite a few mismatches this week and assuming they do give Hundley the green light to make aggressive throws, should have the opportunity for big plays through the air.
The Packers Have Pass Rushing, Playmaking Potential
Dom Capers and the Packers have not been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but that will change this week. There is no reason that Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, and Mike Daniels can’t get to Trubisky. Green Bay will do everything they can to put pressure on the young quarterback this week, which should result in mistakes that the Packers can take advantage of and force turnovers.
Last time the Packers played the Bears, they were able to force four turnovers. That was against Mike Glennon, but they should find defensive success again this week.
Expect to see Green Bay come out aggressively for the first time since Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone. If they want to remain in postseason contention, this is a must-win game. Chicago has a lot of young talent on their roster, but the Packers are still the better team even without Rodgers leading the way.
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will come out with a win this week? What other reasons would you add to this list? Let us know your thoughts!
[Featured Image by Bruce Kluckhohn/AP Images]