Football is the ultimate team sport. One player cannot carry a team to victory like we often see in other sports. All eleven men on the field need to pull together, even if they’re facing the very best of the best.
This week, as the Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers for the 205th time, there are four key match-ups to watch. Let’s break each one down.
WR Darnell Mooney vs CB Jaire Alexander
This is the match-up that will probably garner the most attention. The Bears’ promising young wide receiver versus one of the best cornerbacks in the league. If the Bears want to win this game, Mooney will need to be a big reason why. He needs to get open often and early in his routes to take pressure off of quarterback Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears’ unproven offensive line.
DE Dominique Robinson vs the Packers OL
The Packers’ offensive line is in trouble right now, with starters David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins still recovering from injuries. It’s uncertain whether or not they’ll play on Sunday. Either way, this match-up is an opportunity for Robinson to prove that his seven tackle, 1.5 sack performance last week wasn’t a fluke. He will have to take advantage of his match-ups, apply consistent pressure on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and not let him pull off any of his trademark ‘Hail Mary’ touchdown passes.
QB Justin Fields vs QB Aaron Rodgers
No, quarterbacks don’t actually play against each other, but in primetime games with two exciting quarterbacks, their performances will inevitably be compared.
Rodgers is, unfortunately, one of the greatest of all time. Even if you don’t respect his receivers, you have to respect his ability to fit a football into a mailbox-sized window. It’s extremely rare to hold Rodgers to zero passing touchdowns as the Vikings did last week, and rarer still for it to happen twice in a row, so you have to expect him to have a good game on Sunday night.
That means Justin Fields will need to have a career game. Multiple touchdowns, no turnovers, and at least 60% of his passes should be completed. If Fields can finish with a better-looking stat sheet than Rodgers, there’s not only a good chance that the Bears won the game but also that the rivalry is finally tilting back in Chicago’s favor.