Two teams that are coming off bye weeks and were blown out in the game prior to their bye face off in Green Bay on Sunday night. The Packers came into their last game on a four game winning streak that would come to an end at the hands of a Saints team that appeared determined to get their season back on track. The Packers success will always likely be tied to quarterback Aaron Rogers as he is the face of the franchise. He was only intercepted once through the seasons first 7 games and was picked off twice against the Saints on passes that were tipped and he was also sacked 3 times. It wasn’t all bad as Rogers still passed for 418 yards including a 70 yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb. Rogers complained about a sore hamstring after the game so it is likely he rested that hamstring throughout the time off. The team compensated for Rogers hamstring by putting him in the shotgun more often. Eddie Lacy continued to improve and had 181 total yards from scrimmage. The Packers defense was nowhere to be found as the Saints did whatever they wanted for the entire game. This game was only the third time in NFL history that neither team even attempted a punt. The Bears went into the bye week the loser of two straight, including an embarrassing 5-23 beating at the hands of the Patriots that included 38 first half points allowed with 31 of those coming in the first quarter. Quarterback Jay Cutler was statistically efficient going 20-30 for 227 yards and three touchdowns but the majority of that damage happened when the game was well out of hand. Matt Forte continued this fantastic season with 19 carries for 114 yards but it was an otherwise dismal performance by the offense and an all out embarrassing performance by the defense.
The Bears have been disappointing thus far but can take a big step in the right direction with a division win on Sunday night. Quarterback Jay Cutler will have to improve his awful 1-9 career record against the Packers that features 19 interceptions and 13 touchdowns. The teams defense has allowed a league high 32 points per game over its last 5 but could be boosted by the return of veteran linebacker Lance Briggs who could return after missing 3 games with a rib injury. First round draft pick Kyle Fuller could also return after recovering from a broken hand.
The Packers will hope that Rogers hamstring has fully healed because last season taught them that they are dependent on him for success. His success also largely depends on the health of offensive lineman Josh Sitton and T.J Lang. Sitton has so far played through a torn ligament in his big toe while Lang injured his ankle last week and his status is to be determined. Rogers has traditionally owned the Bears with 18 touchdowns and 4 interceptions over the last 7 matchups.
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