Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) meet at midfield after the game at Soldier Field. The Green Bay Packers win 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

How the Chicago Bears Can Finally Conquer Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers own the NFC North as of last season.  What must the Chicago Bears do to overcome their longtime nemesis?

Ride Matt Forte

Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery get all the attention these days for the Bears offense, but it doesn’t change the fact that everything begins and ends with running back Matt Forte.  The Green Bay Packers know that better than most teams.  In two games last year the Pro Bowl running back posted 235 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards and four touchdowns.  He is the catalyst of the offense and he plays his best against the Packers.

Trust Marc Trestman to his work with Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears fans only wish that were true for quarterback Jay Cutler, who has endured an ugly 1-9 record against Green Bay since joining the team in 2009.  Not all of it is his fault, but there is no doubt his inability to even modestly effective against the Packers is a primary reason so many people still doubt him.  However, last season offered signs of a breakthrough when Cutler posted 226 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season finale, good for a 103.8 QB rating, easily his best against the Packers as a Bear.  It was a clear sign that the work head coach Marc Trestman put in on him is having an effect.  Could more time yield further results?

Get to halftime with the lead

Since 2009, Chicago is a dismal 2-9 against the Packers.  Such streaks typically reveal trends in the chaos and there certainly is a big one.  Out of those nine losses, the Bears trailed at halftime in eight of them.  It’s a fairly simple stat that sends a clear message.  Green Bay is exceptional at protecting a lead in the second half.  If the Bears want to overcome this hurdle they keep stumbling on, then they have to start taking advantage of opportunities earlier in ball games and getting into the locker room ahead.  In fact Jay Cutler’s sole victory over them in 2010 was a game where the Bears were up 17-10 at the break.  It’s a very simple but difficult feat to accomplish.

Attack Aaron Rodgers

More than ever the success of the Green Bay Packers goes through Aaron Rodgers.  People will talk about running back Eddie Lacy but the fact is without Rodgers starting and finishing a game the Packers were 2-5-1.  When he is neutralized or at least contained, Green Bay struggles to function.  That is why the Chicago Bears need their pass rush to wake up in 2014.  Jared Allen and his new teammates up front have to generate pressure consistently, even if they don’t sack Rodgers.  If he’s allow to survey the field, like any elite quarterback he will make the play.  Yet also like any quarterback, constantly getting hit and having hands in his face will disrupt everything he does.

The Bears won’t earn any respect until they prove they can beat the Packers when it counts.  To do that will take supreme effort and keen understanding of their situation.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Aaron Rodgers Chicago Bears Jay Cutler Marc Trestman Matt Forte

  • Ricky Widmer

    And cut Chris Conte?

    • Nevin Paustian

      Don’t worry, they picked up the only safety in the division that was worse than chris conte. Mr. MD Jennings…take a bow. Lol

      • Erik Lambert

        Jennings is special teams help. Nothing more. Brock Vereen is going to start. Book it.

        • Nevin Paustian

          I know. I knew that when they signed him. Just making a joke. Lol

          • Erik Lambert

            His play as a safety is a joke.

          • Nevin Paustian

            For once Erik, i whole heartedly agree with you. Lol

  • Michael Covey

    And pick up loose balls?

  • Jeff

    Da’Bears will go 0-2 again this year against the Pack! If you think Allen will impact the pass rush think again he could not do it with the Queens and he won’t do it with Da’Bears :) The only thing they got is Forte and he will be shut down by the Pack this year. Besides Mrs.Cutler is on the Pack’s side he throws more passes to our DB’s than he does to his WR’s :)

    • Erik Lambert

      Same old arguments I’ve heard. Got anything new besides the assumption that your team is somehow infallible? The only interception Cutler threw them last year was on a desperation heave at the end of the game. Marshall and Jeffery put up a combined 321 yards and 3 touchdowns on that vaunted defense last year. So to think only Forte will be a factor is…well…wrong.

      • Jeff

        The Packers were playing with 60% of their starting defense on the injury list and still beat Da’Bears so what makes you think they can beat us with everyone healthy? Get a grip on life and realize Da’Bears are gonna be rated 2nd or even 3rd behind the Lions in the North for many years to come :)

        • Erik Lambert

          And the Bears put up 27 points on that defense with their backup quarterback months earlier. Still not seeing the argument.

          • Jeff

            There is no argument let the games do the talking and when the Pack beats them AGAIN both times this year you can come tell me more excuses okay :)

          • Erik Lambert

            Whatever you say, sunshine.

  • Tom

    Hey Jeffy, we went 1-1 against you last year you idiot. We were decimated with injuries as well, but you know why we will be taking the NFC North this year? Because unlike your GM, ours isn’t afraid to rotool with free agents. Our defense will be top 10 this year, and you’ll still have Capers.

  • Tom

    And all we have is Forte? You Packer fans really do live in the past. Watch out, the Bears have a new GM and Coach that are finally worth a damn, and realize that J’marcus Web is not even a good 3rd string left tackle. They’ve made some solid pickups on defense, and our offense spoke for itself last year. Can’t wait for it to begin.