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Why are NFL ratings declining?
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Why are NFL ratings declining?
Wednesday October 19th, 2016

Despite losing two of their previous three home meetings with the struggling Bears (1–5) and sputtering on offense themselves, the Packers (3–2) are 7.5-point home betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for the Week 7 Thursday night game.

The Packers are coming off a 30–16 home loss to the Cowboys last week as 5.5-point home favorites, and they added reinforcements to their depleted running back corps on Tuesday by acquiring Knile Davis in a trade with the Chiefs.

Whether or not Davis will even suit up for Green Bay during the short week remains to be seen, but there shouldn’t be any concern about how fresh he is: He only carried the ball one time and caught two passes over four games this season for the Chiefs.

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The Packers are desperate for some offensive balance, with Eddie Lacy still dealing with an ankle injury and James Starks undergoing knee surgery on Sunday. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers clearly needs more help, as he has yet to surpass 300 yards in a game this year. Rodgers threw for 294 yards against the Cowboys, but that was mainly because his team trailed by double digits from halftime on.

Rodgers may get a bit of a break against the Bears, who are coming off a loss in which they surrendered 17 fourth-quarter points to the Jaguars.

Chicago has dropped 10 of the past 12 meetings with the Packers straight up, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, but the two wins both came at Lambeau Field. That includes a surprising 17–13 victory last year on Thanksgiving as 7.5-point underdogs.

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The Bears do not have much to play for the rest of the season, so this is their Super Bowl of sorts, and they should be very motivated to pull off another upset. However, Green Bay has dominated the series overall dating back to the 2011 NFC Championship Game, going 9–2 straight up and against the spread in the past 11 meetings. The big difference this time is that Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler will not be under center due to a thumb injury.

Cutler has played terribly against the Packers during his career, with 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. In his absence this year, backup Brian Hoyer has thrown six touchdown passes with no picks and ranks third in completion percentage (.688).

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