The Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers in a divisional match-up that means a lot for both teams. Green Bay has been slipping, and Chicago is still fighting and clawing to get into the playoffs. This game may tilt the balance for both teams as far as whether or not they will end the season on a high note or not.
However, since it’s Thanksgiving week here’s a list of what I’m Thankful for this season.
I’m Thankful For…
Da Bears New Coaching Staff
Wow, what an improvement since last year! Heck…even since week one. John Fox, Adam Gase, and Vic Fangio have all taken the young guys on this roster and started to form them into solid players.
On defense, Adrian Amos is a solid safety. He can lay the boom and he has a knack for getting to the ball carrier. Amos has yet to force a turnover, but I’ve noticed he likes to try and strip the ball if he can stand up the ball carrier. Good things are coming his way in the near future!
Congrats Amos on your first career sack against Denver!
Adam Gase has done a good job of replacing Matt Forte in his injury stint. He has a good two-back system going with the speedy Jeremy Langford and the power back Ka’Deem Carey. Langford has had two really strong games, against San Diego and St. Louis, and Carey was the most effective back against a tough Denver defense before he went out with a concussion.
This is just a small example of the young players the Bears have brought along quickly. Furthermore, I’m excited to see how they shape Kevin White in the future!
Your efforts aren’t going unnoticed Gould! He started off the year as the most reliable offensive weapon. He went 15 of 15 to start the season. Then he had a rough two-week stretch where he went 2 of 5. Since then he’s back to his “Goulden” ways going 6 of 6 and has returned to being one of the most reliable weapons the Bears have. Gould passed Kevin Butler earlier this season for the organization leader in points scored and currently has 1155 points to his name. Keep grinding Gould!
The Team Effort
After a disappointing start to the season, which could have been more due to the difficult schedule, the Bears have been giving a lot of effort and it has shown. Since Week 4 against Oakland, the average margin of victory has been a just over 5 points. With a 24 point victory over St. Louis that brings the average up a little. Aside from that blowout, three games have been decided by three points, two games by two points, and one game by one point.
While the roster is not exactly packed with talent, the coaching staff has sold a system and the players bought in. As a result, the players are playing hard to satisfy coach Fox, and the organization as well. To make a point, the Bears had zero penalties against Denver. None.
Remember in week two against Arizona when they committed 14 penalties for 170 yards? Surely, the Bears are putting out a solid effort to learn from their past mistakes.
An Improved Jay Cutler
For those of you that don’t know, I’m not the biggest Cutler supporter. I have no problem giving my opinion when he’s not playing well, but I also have no issue giving him praise when he deserves it.
He was off to a rocky start this season, at first I thought, “Oh boy, it’s going to be this kind of year.” Then he went out with the hamstring injury and did not finish playing against Arizona and did not see the field at Seattle.
Since he returned, here is his stat line: On average he’s completed 65.1% of his passes for a total of 1,965 yards. He has only 4 interceptions, to go along with 9 touchdown passes, and has brought the Bears back multiple times when being down late in the game.
Against Denver, Jay was not on top of his game. He was throwing behind a lot of receivers and ultimately it cost him an interception. Even with his struggles early in the game, he was able to bring the Bears back to within two points in the final drive. With a little better decision making, and hopefully with either, (or both) Alshon Jeffery and Forte back in the lineup that will relieve Cutler of some pressure he might put on himself to make a play.
Let’s Get Fired Up!
Get Out Your Cheesegraters
I’m going to just go ahead and say it. The Bears WILL beat Green Bay on Thanksgiving. The Packers have been on the downward trend, even though they beat Minnesota on Sunday to reach a tie at the top of the NFC North.
As long as the Bears defense can play a solid game from the first whistle and keep Eddie Lacy in front of them, I don’t see why the Bears can’t pull out a W. The Bears played them relatively close in Week 1 when they were still trying to find their identity as a team. Now that the Bears know the system and what is expected of them, this game should sway more to the Bears side.
The Final Score Will Be…
Chicago wins this game in Green Bay to ruin Brett Favre’s homecoming by the score of 18-15.