Bears Face Testy Design Issues Against Packers

The scheming of Matt LaFleur and Mike Pettine can put the Bears on ther heels immediately in Sunday night's game
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The Bears have had so much problem matching up with Green Bay Packers players like Davante Adams over the years since Aaron Rodgers became their quarterback that the scheme the Packers play often gets ignored.

On both sides of the football, the Bears are faced with problems of design in Sunday night's game with the Packers as they try to end a four-game losing streak.

The Packers defense of Mike Pettine poses a unique situation with plenty of dime coverage, or using six defensive backs even on downs when most teams would play four. They don't seem to care about being run on, and plenty of teams take this approach.

"He's coverages on the back end, he's very comfortable, obviously, in dime personnel," Bears coach Matt Nagy said. "I don't think he really cares. He leads the league in that. But they’re good at it. He trusts in his players.

"That's the philosophical way of him, to make you run the football and not give up big plays, and it works. And that's what he’s going to do. I think schematically he does a lot of really great stuff."

It doesn't always work against good running teams. The Bears have been anything but this, ranking last in the league in rushinig.

"They've thrown a lot of different stuff over the years, and that's kinda what we're expecting," quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. "They're gonna try to confuse us on the back end, get after us up front with their rush and just try to confuse the quarterback and us on offense, play predominantly zone and make us find those windows and throw on time and just be very disciplined in our route running. And we’ve gotta be on the same page.

"So we're expecting to see a lot of different (coverage) looks. We've got a lot of respect for this defense and coach Pettine and what he's done over the years, but when we get our opportunities, we've gotta take advantage and find ways to score points."

Aaron Rodgers so dominates the Packer landscape but their offensive system under coach Matt LaFleur now has taken hold more than it had last year when they beat the Bears 10-3 and 21-13.

"You watch them this year, you can see a little bit of the schemartic change from last year to this year," Nagy said. "They're playing at such a high level. I think you see an identity. You see Aaron back there. The ball is out quick. Offensive line is really firing off the ball and the play makers at the skill positions, and there's a bunch of them.

"Coach LaFleur is going a great job of matching stuff up and having things fit," Nagy said. "When you have that, you have one of the best offenses in the NFL. We know that no matter, any way you look at it, when you start throwing in some motions and shifts and bunch formations, etc. no matters who the defense if you're playing, that challenges you in a lot of different ways.

"And then on top of that, when you throw in great players, that makes it even more challenging."

Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano sees the influence of LaFleur's one year under Rams coach Sean McVay, as well as the Titans background LaFleur had.

"I think more of just an identity, that system, we know the tree that LaFleur comes from and it feels and looks a lot like when we played the Rams a few weeks back, all the jet motion stuff, the misdirection things, the boots, they run it really well obviously with (Aaron Jones) and (Jamaal Williams)."

The Bears didn't handle the Rams offense well. It was the last poor game they played defensively. They gave up 26 in overtime to the Saints, but only after they wore down from being on the field the entire second half.

Ultimately against Green Bay it always seems to come down to Rodgers and handling him.

"Right now the level that he's playing at is really second to none," Nagy said. "We have to make sure, there's going to be times when we get beat, that's just a simple fact. You have to limit how many of those happen. And then how do you respond to it?

"And so, a lot of respect to them. They're having a hell of a year, cooach LaFleur is doing a great job there."

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