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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL

Prediction: GB 31, CHI 34 (Line: CHI by 7)

Update: Aaron Rodgers was named the starter this week. Hard to imagine they would make a quarterback a decoy so Rodgers will reassume his role as starter.

Update #2: Earl Bennett is listed as questionable but is not expected to play due to a family issue. Eddie Lacy was held out of practices until Friday when he had limited work but he is still expected to start without limitation against the Bears. He just needs to not re-aggravate his ankle during the game.

This is a replay of week nine when the Bears won 27-20 in Green Bay. The Packers without Aaron Rodgers went 2-5-1 and that was both wins coming by a single point. In Dallas it was nothing short of a miracle. The Bears have been inconsistent as well thanks to rampant injuries to the defense. The winner goes on to the first round where they lose to a wild card team. The loser just goes home.

This will be a cold game with possible snow.

1 @SF 28-34 10 PHI 13-27
2 WAS 38-20 11 @NYG 13-27
3 @CIN 30-34 12 MIN 26-26
4 BYE WEEK 13 @DET 10-40
5 DET 22-9 14 ATL 22-21
6 @BAL 19-17 15 @DAL 37-36
7 CLE 31-13 16 PIT 31-38
8 @MIN 44-31 17 @CHI -
9 CHI 20-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 10 270,3
RB Eddie Lacy 120,1 2-10
RB James Starks 30
WR Jarrett Boykin 3-50,1
WR Jordy Nelson 7-100,1
TE Andrew Quarless 3-20
PK Mason Crosby 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Each week it sounds better that Aaron Rodgers can return and each week it doesn't happen. His broken collarbone was expected to take longer than this to heal but there is still a chance that Rodgers might play. The decision will be made on Thursday after another round of scans and tests on his shoulder is made. Until and unless that happens, Matt Flynn continues to be the starter who has been ineffective in all games except for the second half in Dallas when he apparently channeled Brett Favre.

Eddie Lacy is in the running for rookie of the year and rightfully so as the most productive rookie back. He already ran for 1112 yards and ten touchdowns and could face the worst rushing defense in the world if he can play. Lacy reaggravated his ankle sprain against the Steelers after already scoring twice and racking up 84 yards on 15 runs. Back in week week nine, Lacy ran for 150 yards and one score on these Bears.

If he cannot play, James Starks is a must start. I will assume that Lacy can play and update based on what happens this week.

The passing stats have been much lower without Rodgers playing. Jordy Nelson scored only once in the last eight weeks and usually ends up around 60 yards per week. Jarrett Boykin just scored last week but also turned in no catches in week 13's road game in Detroit. James Jones scored once in Dallas and usually ends up with around 80 yards but also turned in one bad game in the last month as well.

Andrew Quarless scored once and gained exactly 66 yards against the Falcons and Cowboys but then only managed one catch last week for 19 yards. A healthy Rodgers makes this all easier to forecast. Matt Flynn not so much.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Start Lacy or Starks depending on which one is active. The Bears are horrible against the run and allow over five yards per carry to everyone. What to expect in the cold and probable snow is less appealing. Flynn is stuck at single touchdown efforts outside of Dallas though the Bears hardly have the top secondary. Nelson and James are plays for moderate yardage and Quarless carries too much risk as seen last week in his single catch game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 11 14 4 16 5 18
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 7 28 13 25 26 27

 

1 CIN 24-21 10 DET 19-21
2 MIN 31-30 11 BAL 23-20
3 @PIT 40-23 12 @STL 21-42
4 @DET 32-40 13 @MIN 20-23
5 NO 18-26 14 DAL 45-28
6 NYG 27-21 15 @CLE 38-31
7 @WAS 41-45 16 @PHI 11-54
8 BYE WEEK 17 GB -
9 @GB 27-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 260,2
RB Matt Forte 80,1 5-30
WR Santonio Holmes 2-20
WR Alshon Jeffery 5-80,1
WR Brandon Marshall 5-70,1
TE Martellus Bennett 3-40
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Amazingly the Bears have a chance to win the division and host a playoff game but the defense has not been able to whether the injuries and lost players well enough to make this any sort of a championship team. The offense was formidable until it all unraveled last week in the painful beatdown by the Eagles. It was so bad that HC Marc Trestman had to confirm that Jay Cutler would still be the starter this week.

Cutler was out injured in the first meeting with the Packers and Josh McCown passed for 272 yards and two scores in that game. McCown posted three very nice games while Cutler was out but all went against bad defenses and would have been nice efforts by Cutler had he been healthy.

Matt Forte turned in his best game of the year back in week nine when he ran 24 times for 125 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay and added 54 yards on five catches. Discounting last week's fiasco, Forte is usually good for over 100 total yards and and scores in home games. Michael Bush steals a touchdown on a rare occasion but Forte is one of the elite, heavy-use running backs this season.

Martellus Bennett is a nice addition to the offense and scored five times so far but has just one touchdown over the most recent eight games. As Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall continue to shine, Bennett plays a secondary role in most games now. His only notable efforts in the last eight weeks came only on the road against the better defenses of Cleveland, St. Louis and Philadelphia who were better covering the wideouts. Bennett only caught four passes for 36 yards in the last meeting with the Packers.

The duo of Jeffery and Marshall provide the best 1-2 punch in the NFL this year. Jeffery's break out season already gained 1341 yards and seven touchdowns including two games over 200 yards. Marshall currently stands at 1221 yards and 11 touchdowns with his second fine season in Chicago. Back in week nine, Jeffery caught five passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Marshall reeled in seven passes for 107 yards and one score as well.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bears catch a break with Clay Matthews likely to miss this week when he broke his thumb again in the loss to the Steelers. The Packers are bottom ten in all positional categories and already gave up 27 points in Green Bay. In the last month, the Packers never allow fewer than two passing scores and high yardage in every road game. Cutler, Forte, Jeffery and Marshall are all must starts. Bennett is less likely to be relevant this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 4 10 3 21 9 4
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 22 20 24 22 16 20

WEEK 17 BAL at CIN DEN at OAK JAC at IND STL at SEA
BUF at NE DET at MIN KC at SD TB at NO
CAR at ATL GB at CHI NYJ at MIA WAS at NYG
*UPDATED CLE at PIT HOU at TEN SF at ARI PHI at DAL


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