Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 52.5 o/u)
Though they lost their last game and now trail Detroit in the NFC North, there is good news for the Green Bay Packers (5-3, 3-0 home), as guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton will return to the lineup after a bye week. Their return is a welcome sight for the Packers ahead of their division clash with the Chicago Bears (3-5, 3-2 away) on Sunday Night Football.
McCarthy said, “The best offensive lines in my opinion are the ones that play week in and week out. The timing, the communication, particularly the non-verbal communication, happens so fast at the line of scrimmage, so it’s definitely a big part of the flow of your offense.”
The returning linemen should help the Packers not only run the ball but protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The star QB, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, was sacked four times in the Packers’ week 8 loss to New Orleans.
As for the Bears, a 2-1 start has swiftly turned into a 3-5 hole. The team has lost two straight, including a 51-23 blowout at the hands of the Patriots prior to their week 9 bye. At the heart of Chicago’s issues is quarterback Jay Cutler, who continues to throw interceptions at a high rate. Though all the blame can’t be heaped on the Vanderbilt product, as the Bears defense is giving up almost 28 points per game, fourth worst in the league.
One has to wonder whether longer second-year coach Marc Trestman is on the hot seat considering his team’s underwhelming performance.
Said Bears General Manager Phil Emery, “We will not quit on the season. We will not quit on ourselves. We’re not going to quit on each other. We feel, without question, we built a work ethic, a system of doing things in this building is in place to have the consistency we need to win. We’re disappointed because we haven’t done that.”
With a hampered Rodgers and a healthy O-line, expect the Packers to return to the run on Sunday, while the Bears offense continues to sputter. With that in mind, the best bet is the under (52.5).
(Photo credit: Mike Morbeck (Flickr: Jay Cutler) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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