The Green Bay Packers are coming to Chicago, and it is time to look at the game from an evaluation standpoint.
For that evaluation, I went to the Chicago Bears’ website and found two excellent media commentaries on the Bears and Packers. One is titled “The Rivalry” and stories the history of the Bears and Packers, and the other one is “Joniak’s Keys to the Game,” which gives the commentator’s views on how the Bears can beat the Packers.
What the Packers bring to Soldier Field on Sunday will be the greatest rivalry in pro football. They have played since 1921. The rivalry became most intense in the 1960s, when George Halas was coaching the Bears and Vince Lombardi was coaching Green Bay. Both of these coaches are Hall of Famers. In fact, the years between the two teams have produced 48 Hall of Famers and 23 championship teams. During that time,(the 1960s), the Bears struggled with the Packers, going 4-14.
So how do the Bears beat the Packers? Jeff Joniak has some great points.
First he notes that, when the Bears have been successful against the Packers, the Pack often played their first game in Chicago and so it is this year. On offense, Joniak notes that they need to convert more third-down plays. They were miserable against the Cowboys. More third-down conversions give the team more plays.
On defense, the suggestion is to “keep on keepin’ on.” It’s hard to beat a number one ranking in the NFL against the run; that is something Green Bay will have to establish.
Special Teams need to kick things up a notch. (Where’s Emeril?) Against the Cowboys, the Bears gave up a touchdown return, and they haven’t done that in a long time.
It should be considered that Lovie Smith has been somewhat hard on the Packers; at least he has held his own. In the Bears’ two modern-day championship seasons, 1963 and 1985, they were able to beat Green Bay both times.
The fact that the Bears are 2-0 puts them in a position to make this a championship year. Beating the Packers would be a big step in that direction.
Chicago Bears Website, Jeff Joniak, “Joniak’s Keys to the Game”
Chicago Bears Website, “The Rivalry”