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Preview: Green Bay at Chicago

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I couldn't preview this game without knowing who Chicago will start at quarterback. QB Kyle Orton will get his 2nd start of the season.

If QB Brian Griese got the start then Chicago would have a chance to win. He's got a mediocre 75.6 passer rating this season, but in his six starts, he's had two bad games against Detroit while his passer rating never fell below 89.2 in his other four starts. In sixteen career starts, Orton has had a passer rating above 89.2 in two of them, and has a career passer rating of 59.7. They have no chance to win with Orton as their starter.

Chicago has kept the score within eight points in their last four losses, although they were blown out last week at Minnesota and only kept the final score within seven points because Minnesota's QB Tavaris Jackson was a turnover machine. Turnovers and special teams might keep this game close and I'll guess the Packers win 20-12.

Teams FO Ranking NFL Ranking
Packers Rushing Offense 11 28
Chicago Rushing Defense 4 25
It was no fluke that they held Minnesota's RB Adrian Peterson to under four yards a carry last week. The Packers run offense had an off week at St. Louis, but RB Ryan Grant ran for a career high in yardage the week before. The Packers run offense against Chicago's run defense should be a good matchup.
Teams FO Ranking NFL Ranking
Chicago Rushing Offense 32 32
Packers Rushing Defense 8 15
The Packers run defense was playing great until they struggled in the first half at St. Louis. Chicago and the other RB Adrian Peterson is barely averaging over 3 yards per carry and can't run against anyone. Chicago won't run the ball anywhere.
Teams FO Ranking NFL Ranking
Packers Passing Offense 5 2
Chicago Passing Defense 21 26
Statistically the Packers pass offense should roll on Sunday, but there are some signs that this might be a close battle. The pass offense has been slowed since QB Brett Favre's injury at Dallas, plus it will be cold, and possibly wet, in Chicago. Also, Chicago finally got starting CB Nathan Vasher back after he missed most of the season, and he had an interception against Minnesota last week. CB Charles Tillman had a monster game the last time they played and forced two fumbles. Favre will rack up yards and move the ball, but they could have trouble with turnovers.
Teams FO Ranking NFL Ranking
Chicago Passing Offense 26 14
Packers Passing Defense 15 14
Ignore Chicago's pass offense rankings with Orton at QB. He isn't mobile and isn't accurate. He completed a lot of passes in college because Purdue ran a spread offense with a lot of short passes which boosted his completion percentage and kept his turnovers low, but Chicago expects him to complete passes further downfield. The Packers pass defense was better early in the season, but has been trending towards average in recent weeks. Also, DE Aaron Kampman has to be looking forward to abusing RT Fred Miller. That should be more than adequate to shut down Orton.
Teams FO Ranking
Packers Special Teams 5
Chicago Special Teams 1
The special teams have carried the Packers the last two weeks, but Oakland and St. Louis have awful special teams units. Chicago has the best special teams in the NFL. KR Devin Hester is dangerous and K Robbie Gould has probably never missed a field goal against the Packers. This should be another good battle.