Green Bay at Chicago
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 16, 2018
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
The Green Bay Packers looked like a different team in their first week under interim coach Joe Philbin, but a date with a more impressive defense is looming. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will have its work cut out when they visit the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Bears can clinch the NFC North with a win on Sunday and are coming off a dominating defensive performance in which they held the high-powered Los Angeles Rams out of the end zone and intercepted Jared Goff four times in a 15-6 triumph. "Defensively, I thought our guys were relentless across the board," Chicago coach Matt Nagy told reporters. "We always talk about green grass on offense, being able to have a pocket to throw, and I felt our defensive line did a great job of collapsing the pocket and not giving Jared any green grass in there to step into his throws. That's where it all starts." Rodgers will try to scramble away from that defensive line and lead Green Bay to back-to-back wins after throwing a pair of touchdown passes without an interception in last week's 34-20 win over the Falcons. "I don't know if anything felt way different," Rodgers told reporters of his start under a head coach other than Mike McCarthy. "I just was trying to have fun out there and lead and inspire. Had a little maybe extra message this week for the guys on game day and just a couple more reminders on just how special the opportunities are and let’s not let this one slip away regardless of what our record is."
1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE:
Bears -6. O/U:
45ABOUT THE PACKERS (5-7-1):
Rodgers owns just one interception on the season and broke Tom Brady's NFL record for consecutive pass attempts (358)without an INT in last week's win, but Green Bay is going up against a Bears defense that leads the league with 25 interceptions. "Hopefully it stays that way," Philbin told reporters of Rodgers' 369 interception-free streak. "We talked today in the meeting. The reality is (the Bears) lead in the NFL in takeaways, and the other reality is we've been good at taking care of the football. We've got to avoid those things that happened to the Rams the other night." The Packers' defense only owns seven interceptions but is riding a streak of five consecutive games holding opponents under 25 points.ABOUT THE BEARS (9-4):
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) returned from a two-game absence last week and struggled while throwing three interceptions. "It has nothing to do with rust," Nagy told reporters of Trubisky. "Both defenses had their own unique ways of making things happen. You'd like to have pinpoint accuracy on every throw, and there were some that he was slightly off. But that's my job, too, to make sure that I'm putting him in good positions with the play calls that I have." Taking some of the pressure off Trubisky is running back Jordan Howard, who ran for 101 yards on 19 carries against Los Angeles.EXTRA POINTS
1. The Bears placed CB Bryce Callahan (broken foot) on IR.
2. The Packers placed G Byron Bell (knee) on IR and signed G Nico Siragusa off the Baltimore practice squad.
3. Green Bay is riding a five-game winning streak in the series, including a 24-23 home win in Week 1.PREDICTION:
Bears 20, Packers 17
Stats and Records