The Chicago Bears will look to get their second half of the season off to a strong start on Sunday when they welcome a depleted Green Bay Packers team to Soldier Field.
The Bears, who are favored to beat the Packers for the first time in nearly a decade, won’t have to deal with Aaron Rodgers or Morgan Burnett in the game, and they’ll be looking to inch closer to the .500 mark if they can secure a victory.
Here are our Three Keys to Victory as the Bears look for their fourth win of the year.
Keep Hundley Off Balance
Brett Hundley had a rough night against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, turning the ball over frequently and making some questionable throws as he tries to master the offense that Rodgers left in his hands when he suffered a collarbone injury earlier this year.
The Bears need to make sure that Hundley continues to struggle with his form, and that’s where disguising their blitzes and maintaining strong coverage come into play. The Bears have shown some great strides in their secondary, especially with Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, and Kyle Fuller, and strong play will be required from them in this game.
Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks will also need to be in top form on the defensive line, as a porous Green Bay offensive line should provide some opportunities for that dynamic duo to get some shots in on the quarterback.
Let Trubisky Work in the Passing Game
After two weeks to prepare, it won’t be surprising if the Bears want to turn Mitchell Trubisky loose against the Packers, and this might finally be the time to do it.
After all, the Green Bay secondary, already battered with the loss of Burnett, has been an easily beatable opponent this season, and Trubisky is getting a couple of solid weapons for this week’s game in the form of Markus Wheaton and Dontrelle Inman.
With those two in the mix, look for Trubisky to get more play-action plays called, and he may even get a chance to throw the ball downfield for the first time in his Bears tenure.
Balance on Offense, Despite Temptations
Even with the possibility of massive passing gains in the forecast, the Bears still need to make sure that they maintain their balance on offense.
Jordan Howard has continued to thrive as the featured back, but it will be very interesting to see if Tarik Cohen gets more touches, or if his drop in production will continue. He has been on the field for fewer and fewer snaps with each passing week, and one has to wonder if perhaps a bye week will rejuvenate him.