In consequential games, the Chicago Bears defense has struggled when defending the run.
Against the New York Giants three weeks ago, the Bears defensive allowed Giants running back Brandon Jacobs to revive his career. The struggle did not stop there. Against the Washington Redskins two weeks ago, the Bears offered no solution to the read option plays that were run by the Redskins offense.
Fortunately for the Bears, the Green Bay Packers offense does not run the read option. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Packers have one of the best ground attacks in the NFL this season.
Entering their game against the Bears, the Packers rushing offense is averaging 141.4 rushing yards per game. That mark is the third highest in the NFL.
The Packers rushing offense has been carried by rookie running back Eddie Lacy. This season with the Packers, Lacy is making a case to be the offensive rookie of the year. Lacy is averaging 4 yards per carry this season for a total of 446 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Lacy has given the Packers offense an element that the team has not had in recent seasons. That element is a solidified rushing game. Beyond Lacy, running back James Stark has returned to the Packers offense after missing nearly a month of games. Starks is averaging 6 yards per carry this season and creates a dynamic duo with Lacy that present a difficult task for opposing defenses.
Then, there still is that guy by the name of Aaron Rodgers.
Something is to be said for a quarterback’s ability to make household names out of players that no one has ever heard of. Rodgers has certainly done that this season. Despite the injuries to James Jones and Jermichael Finley, Rodgers is having another MVP-caliber season. Rodgers has passed for nearly 2,200 yards this season to go with 15 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
The recipient of the majority of Rodger’s passes this season has been Jordy Nelson. Nelson is in the midst of a breakout season as the wide receiver has nearly 650 receiving yards on the season to go along with 7 touchdowns. Beyond Nelson, Rodgers has turned Jarrett Boykin into a dependable receiver. Boykin, who has received increased playing time in light of the injuries, has caught 14 of his 22 targets for a total of 235 yards and 1 touchdown.
The Bears defense appears to be in trouble when the team faces the Packers on Monday. The Bears defense has struggled against the run and the safety play of Major Wright and Chris Conte has been less than stellar. Two areas that will almost certainly be exploited by the Packers offense.