The Green Bay Packers (9-3) return from their bye looking to complete another sweep of the Chicago Bears (4-8) on Sunday Night Football. The Packers won 24-14 in Chicago back in Week 6. This is the 16th season in a row that these teams will meet in prime time and the Packers are 10-5 in those games. But what about the NFL odds?
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday, December 12, 2021 – 08:20 PM EST at Lambeau Field
The Packers (10-2 ATS) have the best spread record this season and they are a 12.5-point favorite over the Bears (4-8 ATS), who have the second-worst spread record, at many of BMR’s top sportsbooks. Green Bay has won the last three meetings by double digits, but head coach Matt LaFleur is 1-4 ATS as a double-digit favorite in his career.
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Revisiting Week 6
In the Week 6 matchup, rookie quarterback Justin Fields was able to lead the Bears’ poor offense on two 80-yard touchdown drives, including one to open the game with the lead. That was the good part of the game, but four untimely sacks killed Chicago drives, especially in Green Bay territory.
While Fields had his lowest pressure rate of the season (19.4%) according to Pro Football Reference, the Packers were very effective with the sacks.
The Bears were able to get running back Khalil Herbert going for 97 yards on the ground. David Montgomery is still the team’s best running back and he was inactive for that game. Montgomery rushed for 90 yards on the Cardinals on Sunday, but his status for this game is questionable after not practicing with an assortment of injuries.
The Bears need as many healthy skill players as they can get with top wide receiver Allen Robinson trying to come back from his hamstring injury.
For the Packers, 24 points and 195 passing yards for Aaron Rodgers in Week 6 may sound a bit low, but the offense only had eight drives, and they were in kill-the-clock mode for the last one with the win in the bank. It was a slow start for Rodgers and company, but they turned it on in the second quarter and never really let up.
After the Bears drew to within a field goal in the fourth quarter, Rodgers put the game away with a 41-yard pass to Davante Adams and a 6-yard touchdown run that saw the quarterback taunt “I own you!” to the Chicago crowd.
It is hard to argue with the facts. Rodgers is 22-4 as a starter in games he’s finished against the Bears. Chicago’s only way of beating Rodgers has been to intercept him once and not allow more than 17 points.
Green Bay also rushed for a season-high 154 yards in Week 6 with the two-headed monster of Aaron Jones (76 yards) and A.J. Dillon (59) both doing damage. This is not your typical sound Chicago defense. The Bears rank 20th in yards per drive and 27th in points per drive allowed this year.
Rodgers has been battling a fractured toe, but he had a bye week to rest it. He already played well against the Vikings and Rams with this injury, so it should not be a big concern in this matchup.
We have not seen Justin Fields complete a game since the Week 9 effort in Pittsburgh, which was his best performance of the year. He did not carry that over into the Baltimore game where he played poorly before leaving with a rib injury. Fields has missed the last couple of games and the offense has continued to struggle with Andy Dalton.
However, Dalton has been better at generating big plays down the field this year. Fields has no touchdown passes longer than 16 yards this season. Dalton had three such plays in five days during Thanksgiving week.
Fields is healthy enough to return this week, and he is the present and future (at least short-term) for Chicago. But he is not good enough yet for a matchup like this with Rodgers and the Packers.
In his career against teams that rank in the bottom eight on offense and defense in points per drive, Rodgers is 15-1 with an average scoring differential of 15.2 points per game. This is the kind of opponent he dominates. Or in Chicago’s case, a team he owns.
The Packers are 5-0 at home this season and held a 17-point lead in every game. However, they still went on to win two of those games by no more than 10 points. But with the potential for another No. 1 seed and MVP award in sight, I like Rodgers and the Packers to take care of the Bears in this one.
End your Sunday NFL picks with the Packers to cover in another boring game between these rivals that you wish was buried in the early afternoon slate where it belongs.
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