Looking at the stats in the Chicago Bears win over the Seattle Seahawks, I'm surprised at how they did all the little things wrong. They committed 8 penalties for 71 yards, had a minus one turnover margin, and WR Devin Hester only 30 yards total on punt returns, which was amazing considering the Seahawks punted nine times. In all three areas, the Bears did worse than usual as they only averaged 6 penalties per game and had a plus four turnover margin for the season, and Hester is one of the most dangerous returners in the NFL. But their offense still clobbered the overwhelmed Seahawks. Can the Bears do it again this week against the Packers?
Obviously the biggest difference is they'll have to play against the Packers defense, ranked No. 2 overall by Football Outsiders, instead of the Seahawks 29th ranked defense. The difference from their last game against the Packers to their playoff game against the Seahawks was striking. Here's how the Bears have played for the season, and over their last two games:
|Opponent||Total Yards||Jay Cutler's QB Rating||Team Yards Per Carry||Points Scored Per Game||Turnovers Allowed Per Game||Sacks Allowed Per Game|
|Packers (Week 17)||227||43.5||5.5||3||2||6|
The only thing that went right for the Bears against the Packers was that RB Matt Forte had a couple big runs. Otherwise, the Packers pass rush, led by LB Erik Walden (who had 3 sacks), got after Cutler all game. While the Bears had been protecting Cutler better than that, they still led the NFL with 56 sacks allowed this season.
The big playmaker for the Bears against the Seahawks was TE Greg Olsen. He had 3 receptions for 113 yards and 1 touchdown, but they also attempted 6 other passes to him that were incomplete. With all those big plays to Olsen came some added pressure on Cutler, who was sacked three times in the first half. The Bears may need to keep Olsen in and block more to slow down the Packers pass rush.
Soldier Field is clearly not in the best playing condition. WR Greg Jennings told JS Online that though he saw guys sliding around last Sunday, that's what happens this time of year, and you "have to be mindful of your footing." It's likely to slow the Packers offense down next Sunday, compared to what they did in Atlanta, but obviously it didn't hold back the Bears offense against Seattle.
I don't expect as dominant a performance by the Packers defense again this week, but they aren't going to be rolled like they were the Seahawks. Or will nothing from the Bears divisional win carry forward next week, and they'll be right back where they were in Week 17?