Matchup Edges Bears Must Preserve to Handle Packers

The Green Bay Packers come in 7 1/2-point favorites but there are matchups the Bears need to win to give themselves a shot at the upset
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It's always a goal to find mismatches with opponents.

No matter where the Bears have succeeded in finding such advantages against Green Bay, it always seems the trump card is owned by the Packers with Aaron Rodgers.

The Bears have to make the Packers as one-dimensional as possible by stopping the run, and then take their chances that several matchup advantages can help them do enough to offset Rodgers when they face their primordial rivals. 

The big weakness Green Bay has displayed is a continued inabilty to stop the run, which is surprising considering how long it has continued. They ranked 24th in yards allowed per carry last year and this year are giving up more than 5 yards on first-down rushes.

Considering Rodgers is their deodorizer, and they've been able to run the ball themselves, the weakness has often been hidden.

The Bears seem like the last team likely to exploit it considering their own inability to run. They rank last in the league in rushing, a complete embarrassment considering  their proud history as a running team and how much they stressed the need to improve in this area.

There are ways they can take advantage of Packer problem areas and here are three possible mismatches.

Bears RB David Montgomery vs. Packers ILB Kamal Martin

Montgomery's absence against Minnesota due to a concussion was a huge problem for the Bears, although not as great as their own offensive line's struggles. Without the presence of Tarik Cohen as a counter punch, Montgomery has still put up some extremely impressive statistics. They're numbers which might go unnoticed because they're not mainstream statistics. Montgomery is third in the NFL in broken tackles and eighth in yards after contact. It's not easy to achieve either of these when the offensive line rarely supplies much daylight, but Montgomery makes his own and keeps fighting. Matt Nagy has several times indicated how much he appreciates this while the Bears do nothing to help. It might indicate a great deal a when a defense is looking at a rookie fifth-round draft pick to solidify their ability to stop the run, but this is the case with Martin. He is now over injury problems and the Packers had high hopes initially for him. Starting linebacker Christian Kirksey hasn't had a banner year, posting a Pro Football Focus grade of 49.9. So Martin has become sort of the last Packer hope to finally shut down the run after they lost tackling machine Blake Martinez due to free agency.

Bears WR Allen Robinson vs. Packers CB Kevin King

Robinson is coming off his worst overall game since facing the Giants in Week 2. The Bears offense as a whole had nothing going and he wasn't exempt from this. They seem to ignore him in the red zone, although opponents don't and this could explain his lack of use there. The opposition would rather deploy coverage to stop him than , say, Jimmy Graham, and this is part of the reason Robinson has been targeted only seven times in 60 red-zone snaps. They've targeted Graham 13 times. Robinson won't have his normal height and reach advantage in this game because King is 6-foot-3. Robinson's success, though, comes from a size and strength edge, as well as his hands and focus. In this regard, he can beat King for big catches. King is an injury-prone player who has just returned from another one. He's giving up 64.7% completions and a passer rating of 110.9 when targeted, according to NFL official stat partner Sportradar. Also, he's had a problem with making tackles as he has seven missed tackles in 30 attempts, a relatively high 23.3% miss rate. Robinson might by able to out-physical King to provide help to whichever Bears quarterback is healthy enough to start, most likely Mitchell Trubisky at this point considering he was at practice Monday and Nick Foles was not.

Bears OLB Khalil Mack vs. Packers RT Billy Turner

Mack hasn't had a sack the last two games but did make an interception when defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano pulled him off into coverage. The Bears need to get their pass rush from Mack in this one because Robert Quinn on the other side has been unable to do anything against even the most vulnerable tackles and this week faces one of the best in David Bakhtiari. Turner is actually a sort of the antithesis of Germain Ifedi with the Bears. While Ifedi was a lifetime tackle the Bears made into a guard, Turner is a lifetime guard the Packers moved out to right tackle and got some better play from than they'd been getting from other players at the position. He has a 65.9 Pro Football Focus grade for the season, not high but certainly average. By comparison, Charles Leno Jr. has been at 69.3 and Bobby Massie 72.6 for the Bears, so take it down a notch or so and this has been Turner's effectiveness. Mack won't have to worry about being overwhelmed by a massive mauler. Turner, at 6-foot-5, 310, is built more like a left tackle than a right tackle or guard. Turner is a former Dolphins third-round draft pick who has started 49 games in seven years and played right guard last year for Green Bay.

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