Free Sports Game Preview and Prediction: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Sunday, December 16, 2018 1:00 PM
Play: Total: 45.5/-100 Under
There is a big reason why you can't take the Packers in this game. It is the same reason why Under the total is the best way to get involved in this matchup. That reason goes by the name of Jason Spriggs. He's an offensive right tackle, who is expected to start for injured Bryan Bulaga. That puts him up against Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks. It's a mismatch of biblical proportions. Spriggs is a second-round bust. A wasted high draft pick courtesy of now demoted former general manager Ted Thompson, who may have been suffering from senility when he made the pick. Seriously. Thompson is an ill man. I'm not a fan of Mitchell Trubisky either. He's probaby not 100 percent back from a shoulder injury that cost him two games. Trubisky returned this past Sunday night against the Rams. The Bears won in spite of Trubisky, who missed open receivers while compiling a miserable 33.3 passer rating. The Bears held the Rams to six points. LA entered that matchup averaging nearly 35 points a game. Mack has lived up to his lofty reputation. He's in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. Hicks is well above average. The Bears rank No. 3 in fewest points and fewest yards allowed. They lead the NFL in interceptions with 25. The next closest team has 19. Chicago has forced 34 turnovers, six more than the second-place team. Vic Fangio is in the discussion for best defensive coordinator in the league. So it's not a stretch to state this might be the Bears' best defense since their 1985 Super Bowl team. December games in the Midwest favor defense not offense. Teams often run more because of cold weather, which is another plus for an Under. The Packers were pumped in beating a sinking and demoralized Falcons team at home last Sunday, 34-20. That was their first game since Mike McCarthy was fired. Aaron Rodgers and Co. wanted to prove a point. They did. I'm not sure they are ready to move on, though. Firing McCarthy before the season was finished after getting upset at home by the Cardinals was a knee-jerk punk move by Green Bay president Mark Murphy and not in keeping with the Packers' tradition of class. Interim coach Joe Philbin is popular with the Packers players. But he's not head coach material. The Packers have to know their season is finished. The Packers should actually hold Rodgers out rather than risk him to a sure-fire pounding like the Eagles are doing with Carson Wentz in order to preserve their franchise quarterback for next year. Rodgers beat the Bears in Week 1 coming back from injury to do it. He's going to be hard-pressed to repeat that performance because of a battered offensive line, being on the road and facing a dominant defense that wants to beat him more than any other quarterback. Green Bay's defense held a strong Falcons offense to two touchdowns. The Packers actually have as many sacks as the Bears do with 40. That ties them for fourth-best in the NFL. They are fortunate to draw Trubisky. So I see defense - not offense - ruling this matchup.
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