Happy Week 17!
Part of me is simply happy to be here, as there were times I was unsure if we’d make it. But here I am, geeked up about a meaningful Week 17 for the Chicago Bears. And it has nothing to do with draft positioning.
The Bears control their own destiny, and thus, their playoff lives. A win and they’re in. Losing means we have to care about what transpires in the Rams-Cardinals game. But for me, what’s most important of all is that we, as a Bears community, are in this moment together.
This is our fourth year together as BN’s Bears wing. We’ve been through a lot since coming onto the scene. Going from Jay Cutler to Mike Glennon, then to Mitchell Trubisky, followed by Nick Foles, and then going back to Trubisky has been a rollercoaster. There has been a coaching change from John Fox to Matt Nagy, and enough whispers about Pat Fitzgerald and/or Jim Harbaugh eyeing the job than you can shake a stick at. Countless transactions and even more rumors about who the Bears are connected to in the draft, free agency, and trade market. And in the end, our hope as fans was that all of that stuff would bring us to meaningful football. So I’m glad that’s what we’re getting this afternoon.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the hesitance to dive back in with this group. Believe me when I say that I see what you see. A frustrating and flawed team. An organizational structure that isn’t conducive to building sustained success. A defense that is aging quicker than anyone would’ve hoped. An offense that hasn’t shined on the biggest stage. These are all real things. And for what it’s worth, I’m certain we’ll have plenty of time to tackle all those issues in due time. I provide myself on being thorough with my writing on the Bears, and I don’t see this offseason being any different.
But today is about that old Herm Edwards adage: You play to win the game. Winning the game in front of us is the only thing that matters in this specific moment. In a sports landscape where it’s easy to obsess over the future, here’s a shining reminder of why we’re drawn to the games in the first place. The most storied rivalry in professional football has playoff implications for both teams. There will be drama, anticipation, couch noises, and the overall beauty of football. These moments don’t happen often enough, so I say we enjoy what we have now and deal with the rest when we get there. Cool? Cool. Go Bears.
Chicago Bears (8-7) vs. Green Bay Packers (12-3), 3:25 p.m. CT on FOX Texans (4-8), noon CT on FOX (Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), Sports USA (Larry Kahn, Mark Carrier)
Odds: Bears (+4.5, -109), Over/Under 48.5, via the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Week 17 Game Thread (Preview)
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun. May the Force be with us all.
Matt Nagy (28-19) vs Matt LaFleur (25-6)
Bears: Mitchell Trubisky
Last week at Jaguars: 24/35 (68.6%), 265 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 97.9 rating
Packers: Aaron Rodgers
Last week vs. Titans: 21/25 (84%), 231 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 128.1 rating
Bears Expected Starters
• QB Mitchell Trubisky
• RB David Montgomery
• WRs Allen Robinson II, Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller
• TE Jimmy Graham
• LT Charles Leno Jr., LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG Alex Bars, RT Germain Ifedi
• DT Akiem Hicks, NT Bilal Nichols, DE Brent Urban
• OLBs Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn
• ILBs Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan
• CBs Kyle Fuller, Kindle Vildor
• FS Eddie Jackson
• SS Tashaun Gipson Sr.
• Cairo Santos (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), DeAndre Carter (punt returns), Cordarrelle Patterson (kick returns)
Packers Expected Starters
• QB Aaron Rodgers
• RB Aaron Jones
• WRs Davante Adams, Allen Lazard
• TE Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan
• LT Billy Turner, LG Elgton Jenkins, C Corey Linsley, RG Lucas Patrick, RT Ricky Wagner
• DE Dean Lowry, NT Kenny Clark, DE Tyler Lancaster
• OLB Preston Smith, ILB Krys Barnes, ILB Christian Kirksey, ROLB Za’Darius Smith
• CBs Jaire Alexander, Kevin King
• Ss Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage Jr.
• Mason Crosby (kicker), JK Scott (punter, holder), Hunter Bradley (long snapper), Jamaal Williams (kick returns), Tavon Austin (punt returns)
Inactives for #GBvsCHI: pic.twitter.com/xJfGNu8h6M
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 3, 2021
QB Jordan Love
CB Josh Jackson
LB Jonathan Garvin
OG Simon Stepaniak
TE Jace Sternberger
DL Kingsley Keke
And star LT David Bakhtiari (torn ACL) is on IR.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 3, 2021