The snow is falling, the Bears are losing and the Green Bay Packers are licking their chops as they host Chicago on Thanksgiving Day. The Bears are coming off a 17 – 15 loss to the Brock Osweiler-led Denver Broncos last Sunday at home… while, the Packers reclaim the division lead after dismantling the Minnesota Vikings on the road in Minneapolis, 30 – 13.
With Turkey Day on the horizon, it is time for the much anticipated, never duplicated and always entertaining …Thanksgiving menu!
The Turkey: QB Aaron Rodgers
Whether it is a Butterball, Honeysuckle or Norbest, the most important item of any meal of the year is the turkey. Everyone basis the success of Thanksgiving on how the Turkey turns out and how long it takes Uncle Randy to pass out after his 5th helping. The Packers go as Rodgers goes and many believe that he is having a “down season”. If a “down season” means throwing 23 touchdowns to 3 interceptions thru 11 weeks, then what do you call Peyton Manning’s season this year? Expect Rodgers to throw for 275+ yards and 3 TD’s as he is deservingly always the center of attention.
The Mashed Potatoes: The Bears Offensive Line
The mashed potatoes seem to be that one side that everyone takes too much of but always gets eaten. The masked potatoes also have a tendency to crowd the turkey territory which can limit the amount of space the turkey has to operate. The Bears will need a strong showing by their offensive line in the run game to prevent Rodgers from getting more possessions then necessary. With center Hroniss Grasu back last week, the Bears were able to move Matt Slason back to his left guard position to help sure up the Bears line.
The Stuffing: RB Eddie Lacy
I am not sure if Lacy is the stuffing or ate all of the stuffing but he is coming off his best game of the season as he rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries. Lacy has been nursing a groin injury throughout the season which led to James Starks stealing some of Lacy’s carries the past couple game, but if healthy, Lacy will be asked to “stuff” the stat sheet against the Bears again in week 12.
The Gravy: WR Pernell McPhee
The added bonus. The bee’s knees. The savory nectar of the gods, which helps wash down Aunt Margie’s green bean casserole and any other undercooked/burnt side that appears on your plate. This is McPhee to this Bears defense, which ranked 30th in total defense last season and now is up 14 spots to number 16, thanks to the defensive mentality McPhee has brought to the locker room. Another added bonus has been 5th round draft pick out of Penn State, Adrian Amos at the safety position, who appears to be a big part of this team going forward.
The Rolls: WR Randall Cobb and WR James Jones
An essential part of the Thanksgiving meal but goes unnoticed thanks to the turkey and stuffing. The rolls are always were they are supposed to be but don’t seem to need much attention. Cobb and Jones have played with Rodgers for years now and their presence is negligible but their impact on the game is great. Whether they are your safety blanket (in Jordy Nelson absence) or your go to in crunch time, the rolls don’t make or break the meal but they play their part.
Yams: WHAT THE HECK IS A YAM?
The Cranberries: QB Jay Cutler
Love them or hate them, they are on the table year after year and there is no end in sight… You have tasted them year after year but just when you decide you like them, the next bite is sour and icky. Cutler has had a nice year under OC Adam Gase… but with Gase’s departure in the upcoming offseason, will Cutler be able to build off of this year success?
Pumpkin Pie: A Bears win
Bears Packers Notes & Predictions
Key Matchup: The Turkey vs. The Gravy
Key Injuries: RB Matt Forte (Day-to-day), WR Eddie Royal (Questionable)
Fact: Brett Favre beat Chicago 23 times during his NFL career
Fantasy Spotlight: WR James Jones
Spread: Packers -9
Prediction: Bears 20, Packers 31