In all the previews that we can talk about I think this match up sums up the game more than any others....which is a rare thing for this particular rivalry. Packers-Bears is supposed to be about legendary QB's against HOF MLB's, or Pro Bowl LT's against elite DE's, or how two top head coaches scheme against each other right?
No, this week it will probably boil down to how well Tramon Williams is able to contain Brandon Marshall. The reason behind this is simple, Marshall is what makes the Bears explosive this year. Jay Cutler is one of the better QB's in the league, and Matt Forte is the most rounded back in the NFL right now. No argument there from me. The thing is though, as bad as the Packers defense can be, they have handled a Bears offense with only those guys....that's manageable. A Bears offense with top WR like Marshall is a Bears offense that may be able to hang on in a shoot out. That's trouble.
It's hard to say exactly how well Williams did last week to be honest. Williams was stuck playing off coverage for most of the game with the rest of the defense which meant lots of completions underneath. As a result I don't know how many of the passes he allowed were a result of the conservative scheme or him having an off game. To the untrained eye it didn't look like Williams was really exploited in coverage, nor did he seem to blow his coverage to allow for a big play (those honors were reserved for M.D. Jennings and Jarrett Bush). On the other hand he didn't exactly shut down Michael Crabtree or Randy Moss either. This week I'm sure I am one of many Packer fans hoping that we get to see Williams mix it up with Marshall at the line and try and bump him off his route early and often.
As for Marshall, he had a good game last week. It's hard to deny the chemistry he has with Cutler going all the way back to their Denver days. Once Cutler had time in the pocket last Sunday he looked to Marshall early and often, which generally paid off. If the Packers are able to neutralize Marshall than most of the high octane Bears passing offense (I know it's probably as weird for me to type that as it is for you to read it) should be curtailed. I know Bears fans will tell you about Alshon Jeffery and Devin Hester as well....but let's be honest with each other for a moment. Hester and Jeffery are right now very fine complementary pieces, but they aren't defense busters on their own. They need Brandon Marshall as much as Scottie Pippen needed Michael Jordan.
Bottom line, stop Marshall and the Bears offense becomes the inconsistent mess of old. Here's hoping that Dom Capers finds enough trust in the safeties and Williams in order to let Willams do what he does best...shut down guys like Marshall at the line with bump and run.
Previous Packers vs. Bears Coverage:
Best Rivalry In Football | Preview, TV Schedule and Radio Info | Week 2 Fantasy Star 'Em / Sit 'Em | Week 2 Fantasy Preview: Big Day For Finley | Key Match Up #2: Cedric Benson vs. His Old Team | Key Match Up #1: Gabe Carimi vs. Nick Perry | Injury Report
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