The Chicago Bears are preparing for a big clash with their most bitter rival on Thursday as they’ll take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
The two teams are both coming off of dramatic overtime wins in their last games, as the Bears stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers at Soldier Field and the Packers knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals in an epic comeback win at Lambeau Field just four days ago.
Now, the two teams will do battle for the 195th time in their storied rivalry, and both teams will be looking to continue building momentum as the first quarter of their schedule comes to a close.
So which players will be key for the Bears as they look to win their second straight game and to even their record at 2-2?
With Quintin Demps out of the lineup with a broken forearm, the task of helping to contain Aaron Rodgers’ vertical passing game is going to fall largely on Amos at the safety position.
Amos was the starter at the position through much of last season, but has yet to crack the stat sheet in three games this season. He has 111 career tackles and a sack, and he’ll be needing to make a big impact if the Bears are going to win on Thursday.
Marcus Cooper Sr.
After botching a blocked field goal return last week against the Steelers, Cooper made up for it in a big way, allowing just one catch against him on nine targeted throws in the Bears’ victory over Pittsburgh.
The corner has three defended passes so far this season, and will look to keep Rodgers’ primary pass catchers contained when the two teams do battle on Thursday. He likely will get some tough assignments against Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and he’ll have to be on top of his game against the crafty Rodgers.
Last season, Floyd had his big coming out party against the Packers in a loss at Lambeau Field. He scored a touchdown in the game and picked up a pair of sacks in the contest, giving Rodgers fits all night long.
On Thursday, the Bears will be going up against a Packers team missing several of its key offensive linemen, and that could be just the opportunity Floyd needs to jump start a season that has largely been lackluster to this point.
Despite dealing with a shoulder injury, Howard showed some serious mettle last week as he racked up 138 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Bears’ win over the Steelers.
This week however Howard will be dealing with a short week to recover from the injury, which could mean more snaps and playing time for Tarik Cohen. The duo worked well together a week ago, but it will be interesting to see whether or not Howard is limited in any way.
With the injuries on the Bears’ offensive line, Whitehair has had to move around quite a bit so far this season, and it appears that he’ll be headed back to center unless Hroniss Grasu is healthy enough to play center against the Packers on Thursday.
To put things simply, Whitehair has got to do an effective job of getting the ball to Mike Glennon in this game. Too often this season Glennon has found himself scooping balls off the ground or grabbing them from above his head as the snaps have been inconsistent, and Whitehair has to be more precise in order to help Glennon get into his read progression faster.