With the NFL making Thursday night football games a season long event, this means there will be a blog post every Thursday to preview that night's game. It beings tonight with the Chicago Bears going to Green Bay to take on their archrival Packers. The Bears are coming off a win over the Colts, which saw the Bears offense show everything that they are capable of doing this year. Jay Cutler was 21/35 for 333 yards with two touchdowns. He found Brandon Marshall a lot, in the tune of nine catches and 119 yards and one touchdown. And they utilized a two-headed running attack with Matt Forte and Michael Bush, combining for 122 yards and three touchdowns. As for the defense, they had more of a bend, but don't break mentality; yet they still forced five turnovers in the decisive win.
The Packers, on the other hand, had a rude wakeup call to begin their 2012 campaign. San Francisco came into Lambeau and ran all over Green Bay with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Last year, the Packers had the worst defense in the league, and the Niners took advantage of that. Alex Smith was superb, going 20-26 for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers didn't play bad, but the Packers were frustrated all day by the San Francisco defense. And let's not talk about the Packers running game, because they didn't have one.
So what to make of these two teams tonight? One thing, the Bears have to be licking their chops when watching video of the Green Bay defense. We all know the Packers fans are known as cheeseheads, but cheese you think of after last week was Swiss and the Bears suddenly potent offense should be able to put some points on them. However, instead of playing a rookie QB like last week, the Bears will be facing the best QB in football and a desperate Packers team who will try to avoid an 0-2 start, especially with both games at home. I'm expecting a shootout, but a very good game Clay Matthews (one of the rare Packers to show up on defense last week) and a better performance by the Green Bay defensive line to make the difference. And if they don't, then the Packers are in real trouble.
GREEN BAY (-5) over Chicago: 38-31