Nobody is giving the Chicago Bears a chance to win on Sunday. That isn’t surprising. The Green Bay Packers have owned the rivalry for the better part of 30 years, aside from a brief reprieve in the mid-2000s when the transition between Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers began. Now the two teams are in a strangely similar state. Chicago is 3-9 and Green Bay is 4-8. That said, the Packers already beat the Bears 27-10 earlier this season. If that weren’t enough, Chicago is banged up at several positions. Their defense hasn’t been able to stop anybody for almost two months.
That said, this is the NFL. Crazy things happen all the time. This rivalry is no exception. The Bears have pulled off unexpected upsets of Green Bay a few times in the past three decades. In 1999. the Packers were 4-3 and at home against a 3-5 Bears team. Chicago pulled off a 14-13 stunner in honor of Walter Payton, who’d just died. A year later, it happened again as Cade McNown, of all people, threw two touchdowns and ran for another in a 27-24 victory at Soldier Field.
Of course, everybody remembers the infamous Thanksgiving in 2015 when the Bears went into Lambeau Field and stunned the Packers on Brett Favre Appreciation Night.
The Chicago Bears have nothing to lose at this point.
They aren’t competing for a playoff spot. Another loss won’t mean much to their season. So they might as well go out and see if they can ruin Green Bay’s year. They have way more at stake in this game. A loss would drop them to 4-9 and kill what remaining hope they have to make the post-season. This team was expected to compete for the Super Bowl. Rodgers turned 39 this month. His window of opportunity shrinks more and more by the day. Nothing would feel better than robbing them of a precious year to achieve that goal.
For that to happen, it’s clear what they need. That is a big game from the offense. Justin Fields is back from his shoulder injury. That should invigorate the running game. Green Bay has the second-worst run defense in the NFL. If the Chicago Bears can control the game on the ground and keep Rodgers on the sideline, they might be able to keep it close. From there, anything can happen. Maybe they steal a possession with an unlikely turnover. All it takes is one or two key bounces to go their way. Granted, that rarely happens against the Packers. Still, nothing about this game is impossible.