Week 17 features a matchup of NFC North rivals as the Green Bay Packers (12-3) take on the Chicago Bears (8-7). With playoff implications on the line for both teams, this should be a good one. Chicago will host this game at Soldier Field with kickoff scheduled for 4:25 pm ET.
For Green Bay, they have already solidified a spot in the playoffs, but a win over the Bears could ensure that they were the number one seed in the NFC. With the top seed would come a bye in the first round of the playoffs, so Green Bay will be looking to beat their archrivals.
The Chicago Bears are fighting for their playoff lives. They control their own destiny with a win, and they are in. They have some work to do, though, as the first time these two squared off, it was Green Bay coming out as an easy victor with a 41-25 win.
Despite playing on the road, Green Bay is the favorite in this one. They are -230 to win while the Bears’ moneyline sits at +190. The spread features Chicago +4.5 while the over/under for total points is 50.5.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Green Bay has been the best scoring team in the league. They rank atop the list averaging 31.6 points per game. The Bears rank 18th, averaging 23.7 points per game. It is worth noting that Chicago’s offense has played better over their last three games averaging 36.7 points in that time.
Defensively, it is the Bears who hold the edge. They rank 9th in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 22.3 points per game. The Packers rank 16th, allowing 23.5 points per game.
Green Bay Looks To Secure Bye
With a bye on the line, Green Bay will come out ready to take down their division foes on Sunday. With the added bonus of potentially eliminating their biggest rivals, it would be all the sweeter for Packers’ fans.
To do so, they will rely on future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers to get the job done. Rodgers has played at an MVP-caliber this season as he has thrown for 4,059 yards, 44 touchdowns, and just 5 interceptions.
Through the air, he has one of the best in the game to throw to in Davante Adams. Adams has 109 receptions this season for 1,328 yards and 17 touchdowns.
It is worth noting that Rodgers’ protection took a hit this week as left tackle David Bakhtiari suffered a season-ending injury at practice.
Bears Fight To Play Another Day
While the Bears can technically get into the playoffs with a Los Angeles Rams’ win, the Bears want to take care of business themselves with a win on Sunday. To do so, the offense will need to continue to play well, and the defense will need to step up against the Packers’ offense.
On offense, Mitch Trubisky has played well since returning to the starting role. On the season, he has thrown for 1,803 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.
Probably the most significant boost the Bears’ offense has gotten has been from running back David Montgomery. He has now rushed for 1,001 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season.
Defensively, the stat leaders for the team include Roquan Smith (97 tackles), Khalil Mack (8 sacks), and two players (Tashaun Gipson and Roquan Smith) with two interceptions apiece.
The Bears have their own injury concerns, given that both their shining rookie cover man, Jaylon Johnson and nickel corner, Buster Skrine, were ruled out for this one. That makes for a much weaker secondary against one of the best passing offenses in the league.
Hard To Bet Against Rodgers
While I don’t think this one will be a blowout, I have a hard time betting against Aaron Rodgers. Don’t get me wrong, the injury to David Bakhtiari could loom large if the Bears’ pass rush can use it as an advantage, but the Packers’ offense is just too good to be slowed down.
Again, I could see this being close throughout, but I eventually think the Packers do enough to not only win but to cover the 4.5-point spread as well.