This Sunday, the Bears and the Packers will write the 198th chapter in the story of this historic rivalry as Chicago will travel up north to take on Green Bay at Lambeau Field, otherwise known as the Frozen Tundra. The Tundra will indeed be frozen this Sunday as the National Weather Service is projecting temperatures between 17-19 degrees. With the wind chill factored in, temperatures could reach as low as 8 degrees. In layman’s terms, we’ve got ourselves some good old fashioned Bear weather.

Since the last time these two teams met back in the first game of the 2019 season, the Bears have fallen from a potential Super Bowl contender to a team that is scratching and clawing in a last ditch effort to earn a wildcard spot in the NFC. Meanwhile, all seems to be well for Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur and the rest of Packer land as they sit atop the NFC North, with only the Minnesota Vikings trailing by a game. While the Bears aren’t quite mathematically eliminated just yet, they will need to continue their recent winning ways by defeating Green Bay this week and and then defeating Kansas City and Minnesota. They also need the Rams to lose 2 of their next 3 games (Week 15: vs. Dallas, Week 16: @ Arizona, Week 17: @ San Francisco). 

Over the past couple weeks, the Bears offense has seemingly turned a corner and a large part of that success can be attributed to quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. While the entire context of this season must be kept in mind when evaluating the former 2nd overall pick, another big time performance on the road against their division rival would go a long way in solidifying Trubisky’s future with the Bears.

The Packers defense came hot out of the gates in 2019, but have largely fallen off since then. Coming into week 15, the Packers currently hold the 21st ranked pass defense and the 25th ranked run defense. However, marquee free agent pass rushers Preston (11.5 sacks) and Za’Darius Smith (10.0 sacks) have terrorized enemy quarterbacks all season long. 

Back in week 1, Bears coach Matt Nagy was criticized for mishandling the running game. The Bears ran the ball just 15 times in that one despite only trailing by one score for a majority of the game. If their offense is to continue taking steps forward, Nagy will have to commit to getting the ball inside to rookie running back David Montgomery.

Defensively, the Bears suffered a massive blow when ILB Roquan Smith tore his pectoral early on in the first half against the Cowboys. With Smith being placed on injured reserve this week, the team will be forced to start Kevin Pierre-Louis alongside Nick Kwiatkoski. 

While the loss of Roquan is brutal, the Bears are likely looking at the return of star defensive linemen, Akiem Hicks.

Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) gestures during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Hicks went down with a dislocated elbow all the way back in week 5 against the Oakland Raiders. While Roy Robertson-Harris and Nick Williams have held down the fort, the return of Hicks brings back a vocal team leader and an all-pro caliber player to the field. 

The Packers hold a plethora of weapons on offense that include wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones. Despite having these two and Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have still found a way to drop some stinkers this season, specifically against the Chargers and the 49ers. Rodgers can never be taken lightly just because of what he has done to the Bears in the past, but this is an offense who is as middle of the road as it gets (16th ranked pass offense, 17th ranked rush offense).

Prediction: It doesn’t matter what either team’s record are in any season when these two squads matchup. If you’re not feeling the electricity during Bears/Packers week then you’re looking on the wrong site. I know the Bears playoff chances are slim but a win here coupled with a loss from both the Vikings and the Rams puts the team right back in the mix down the stretch. Last week, I had my doubts about the type of success the Bears could achieve against what seemed to be a competent opponent and they thankfully threw that back in my face. The way the team performed in week 14 against the Cowboys was the team fans expected prior to the week 1. With Trubisky’s confidence trending upwards and the impending return of Akiem Hicks, the Bears have a legitimate chance to steal this one from Green Bay. Call it intuition or believing in the dream (Get your Brawl Network ‘Believe in the Dream’ shirt here: dsgntree.com/brawlnetwork/believe-in-the-dream),

but I have a a good feeling that the Bears can pull this one out. The only particular matchup I’m worried about is Nick Kwiatkowski and Kevin Pierre-Louis on Packers’ running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on routes out of the backfield. On the offensive side of the football, I will defer to Packers cornerback Tramon Williams who said that if their defense could make Trubisky play quarterback, then they would have a chance to win. For the rematch, the same thing holds true. If Mitchell Trubisky can play the same way he has the past few weeks, the Bears should be able to win this game. It’s going to be a close one, but on this week’s edition of the Halas Hall Brawl, Danny Corken told me to go with my heart. Final Score: Bears 21, Packers 20.

 

The Bears (7-6) will play the Packers (9-3) at 12:00PM CST at Lambeau Field this Sunday. The Packers currently lead the all-time series, 97-94-6.