Bears vs. Packers — What to Watch 4
Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn vs. Packers third-string LT Yosh Nijman — advantage Bears? Aaron Rodgers has 10 TDs and no INTs in his last three games vs. the Bears — advantage Packers.
Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn has helped fill the void left by the absence of Khalil Mack with a stellar season. He leads the Bears with 12 sacks, 13 tackles-for-loss and 13 quarterback pressures and has two forced fumbles. Quinn has 6 1/2 sacks and seven quarterback pressures in the last four games.
With All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari out with a knee injury, Quinn figures to have a favorable matchup — on paper, anyway — against Packers third-string left tackle Yosh Nijman, a 2019 undrafted free agent who is playing for Elgton Jenkins, a converted guard who replaced Bakhtiari before suffering an injury himself.
The Packers, though, have had a knack for making do with whatever’s available on their offensive line. In the last two seasons they’ve lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga and Pro Bowl center Cory Linsley to free agency and Bakhtiari — the best left tackle in the NFL — to injury and still manage to run efficiently and protect Aaron Rodgers.
In Week 6 against the Bears at Soldier Field — with rookie Ryan Newman at right guard, backup Jon Runyan at left guard and Jenkins filling in for Bakhtiari at left tackle — Packers running backs Aaron Jones (13-76) and A.J. Dillon (11-59) combined to rush 24 times for 135 yards (5.6 avg.) in a 24-14 Packers victory.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had passer ratings of 128.0, 147.9 and 132.3 in his last three games against the Bears — winning 24-14, 35-16 and 41-25 — with 10 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Rodgers, who is 22-4 lifetime against the Bears in games that he has started and finished, hasn’t thrown an interception against the Bears in his last five games — with a current streak of 146 consecutive passes.
The Bears player to intercept Rodgers was Eddie Jackson in a 24-17 Bears victory in 2018. Jackson suffered an ankle injury on the return and missed the rest of that season, including the playoff game against the Eagles.
The last Bears player to intercept Rodgers without getting hurt was Tracy Porter in a 17-13 victory in 2015 — the last time the Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau Field.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields returns after missing two games with broken ribs. Fields was making progress against the 49ers (10 carries for 103 yards one touchdown) and the Steelers (291 passing yards), but struggled against the Ravens (4-of-11, 79 yards, 62.3 passer rating) before suffering the injury.
Fields and wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) are returning from injuries and likely will not be playing at 100%, which could be problematic against the Packers’ seventh-ranked defense. The Packers are 0-2 off the bye under Matt LaFleur — losing 37-8 to the 49ers on the road in 2019 and 38-10 to the Buccaneers on the road in 2020.