The marquee game of Thanksgiving Thursday’s line up brings us a NFC North battle between the last place Chicago Bears and the first place Green Bay Packers. While the Packers have fallen on hard times in the last few weeks, they’ve righted the ship just in time to play their oldest rivals. The point spread is currently favoring Green Bay at -9.0. Despite the odds, the Bears always seem to give the Packers all they can handle.
Thanksgiving Thursday Night Football: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Point Spread: Packers -9 Over/under: 47 Date: Thursday, November 26, 8:30pm ET Location:Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Many will look at the +9 underdog Bears and see a team that’s struggled to score, putting up just 21 points per game. The bigger story is in the injuries to Chicago’s skill players. Alshon Jeffery has missed five games and may not be ready to go Thursday night, while Matt Forte may return although his effectiveness fresh of an injury is not a sure thing. The one ray of hope for the Bears may be in having tight end Martellus Bennett healthy. The Packers’ defense has not figured out how to cover tight ends, which may be big reason to expect Jay Cutler to give Bennett several opportunities to torch the inconsistent Green Bay defense.
After suffering through historically bad defenses the last few seasons, the young and retooled Bears defense is starting to gel and find some footing. This comes at a good time, as they face a Packers offense that has been uncharacteristically out of sync. If Chicago can find a way to take advantage of poor offensive line play, they may have enough to prevent Aaron Rodgers from finding a rhythm. Couple that with a Bears secondary ranked 4th in the league in pass defense and there’s reason to believe Chicago could pull this one off.
Green Bay Packers
You never know what defense is going to show up for the -9 favored Green Bay. One week they’re allowing record passing numbers, the next they’re totaling six sacks and stuffing one of the best running backs in the league for under 50 yards. The biggest key for the Packers will be managing Jeremy Langford, who has filled in wonderfully for the injured Forte. Green Bay has always allowed Chicago’s running backs to gain big yardage through the air and on the ground, making Langford a big threat. They’ll need a big game from the defensive line in order to take Cutler out of game manager mode and into throwing interceptions downfield mode.
Playing the Bears at Lambeau Field might be just what Aaron Rodgers needs to get out of his funk. James Jones, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams also need to find a way to get on the same page as their quarterback, as several drops, poorly ran routes and miscommunication have been the story for the Packers offense as of late. If they can’t get it done through the air, they can at least take comfort in Chicago allowing an average of 123 yards rushing per game. Eddie Lacy should see quite a few carries.
Thanksgiving Thursday Night Football Prediction
The Bears are an improving team and are playing the Packers at a time when this game isn’t guaranteed for Green Bay. While it will be hard for Chicago to knock the Packers off at home, it’s not impossible. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine the Packers reverting to the poor play that plagued them during their recent three game skid.
Green Bay, 27-23
Check out the rest of our best picks against the spread in NFL Week 12 action!