8:30 PM ET, November 4, 2013
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
No Spain, No Game: Green Bay Packers
Considering the way the Packers have played of late, doing so minus both would appear to present an even greater challenge this year.
Prepared to play without two of their leaders, the Bears try to end a six-game losing streak to their archrivals and deny the Packers a fifth consecutive victory Monday night at Lambeau Field.
Including the NFC championship game during the 2010 season, Green Bay (5-2) has won six in a row against Chicago (4-3) and five straight meetings at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers is 9-2 against the Bears and has completed 69.6 percent of his passes while throwing 12 touchdowns and two interceptions in the last four matchups.
The Packers have also won 11 straight home games including playoffs. During that streak, they've allowed an average of 14.7 points, and in the last five of those contests have yielded three field goals and no touchdowns in the first half.
None of that would seem to bode well for Chicago, which has lost three of four and comes off its bye set to play without Cutler due to a groin injury suffered during a 45-41 loss at Washington on Oct. 20. Though originally expected to be sidelined at least four weeks, Cutler hopes to return sooner but is unlikely for Monday.
Briggs will miss more than a month with a shoulder injury suffered in the same game.
"We really have to play together more than ever now," coach Marc Trestman said. "And I think that's something that we're capable of doing."
Despite those injuries and Chicago's recent struggles this season and in the series, the Packers won't take anything for granted.
"We need to prepare and stay focused on our opponent and the changes they've made," coach Mike McCarthy told the Packers' official website. "At the end of the week, we want to make sure we're focused on winning and that our quality of play is as high as possible."
Veteran backup Josh McCown is set to make his first start since going 1-1 in Chicago's final two games of 2011. His first start that year came in a 35-21 loss at Green Bay on Christmas Day, during which he threw for 242 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Coming in for Cutler at Washington, McCown was impressive in going 14 of 20 for 204 yards and a touchdown while running for 33 yards.
"Josh is going to do the job," Cutler told the Bears' official website. "We've got a good game plan coming in. Josh fared well against (Washington). He'll play well again this week."
While McCown has running back Matt Forte, receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett to lean on, a banged-up and underachieving defense faces an even tougher task trying to stop Rodgers and Co. with rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene starting at linebacker.
The Bears have lost defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins along with linebacker D.J. Williams to season-ending injuries, and cornerback Charles Tillman is nursing a sore knee. Chicago ranks 27th in the NFL with 391.0 yards allowed per contest going into a matchup with a Green Bay team that's scored 75 points the last two weeks.
Despite missing receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones along with tight end Jermichael Finley due to injuries, Rodgers went 24 of 29 for 285 yards and two TDs in a 44-31 win over Minnesota on Sunday. He's thrown five touchdowns and no interceptions the last two games.
Jordy Nelson posted his second 100-yard receiving effort in three games with 123 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches against the Vikings.
Second-year receiver Jarrett Boykin has stepped in nicely with 13 receptions for 192 yards and a TD in the past two contests.
"We've got a great team, very well-coached," Rodgers said. "Guys are ready to play."
It's been a powerful ground attack, however, that's allowed Green Bay to overcome the rash of injuries to the passing attack.
After ranking 20th with 106.4 rushing yards per game in 2012, the Packers are near the top of the league with 141.4 a contest this season. They're averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
Rookie Eddie Lacy rushed for 94 yards last week and has averaged 98.8 in the past four games. James Starks returned from missing three games with a knee injury to run seven times for 57 yards and a TD at Minnesota.
"They're statistics," McCarthy said. "There's one statistic that counts (winning the Super Bowl) and we're working our way toward it, and we're a long way from that.
"Running the ball's part of it."
Despite Green Bay's recent dominance over the Bears, it's averaged 80.8 rushing yards in the last four meetings at Lambeau. However, Chicago ranks 25th with 117.3 yards allowed on the ground and gave up a season-high 209 to the Redskins.
Marshall leads the Bears with 46 receptions for 540 yards and has five TDs, but he was held to eight catches for 80 yards and a score against the Packers in 2012.
Green Bay has won 11 straight and 20 of its last 22 regular-season and playoff home games against NFC North opponents.
More from ESPN.com
Bears QB Cutler returns, has two TD passes
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who has been hampered by a hamstring injury, was active and started Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
Source: Bears optimistic QB Cutler will play
Quarterback Jay Cutler will test his injured hamstring prior to Sunday's game, and the Bears are optimistic he'll play against Oakland, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Recent Blog Posts
- Jay Cutler exceeds expectations in return from hamstring injury
- Breaking down this week's inactive players
- Bears QB Jay Cutler tests hamstring, starts vs. Raiders
Green Bay Packers
|Avg Points Allowed||28.3||23.1|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||CHI|
|Rush Yds Allowed||CHI|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Green Bay leads 18-9|
|Dec 16, 2012||CHI 13, GB 21|
|Sep 13, 2012||CHI 10, @GB 23|
|Dec 25, 2011||CHI 21, @GB 35|
|Sep 25, 2011||CHI 17, GB 27|
|Jan 23, 2011||CHI 14, GB 21|
|Jan 2, 2011||CHI 3, @GB 10|
|Sep 27, 2010||CHI 20, GB 17|
|Dec 13, 2009||CHI 14, GB 21|
|Sep 13, 2009||CHI 15, @GB 21|
|Dec 22, 2008||CHI 20, GB 17|
|Nov 16, 2008||CHI 3, @GB 37|
|Dec 23, 2007||CHI 35, GB 7|
|Oct 7, 2007||CHI 27, @GB 20|
|Dec 31, 2006||CHI 7, GB 26|
|Sep 10, 2006||CHI 26, @GB 0|
|Dec 25, 2005||CHI 24, @GB 17|
|Dec 4, 2005||CHI 19, GB 7|
|Jan 2, 2005||CHI 14, GB 31|
|Sep 19, 2004||CHI 21, @GB 10|
|Dec 7, 2003||CHI 21, @GB 34|
|Sep 29, 2003||CHI 23, GB 38|
|Dec 1, 2002||CHI 20, @GB 30|
|Oct 7, 2002||CHI 21, GB 34|
|Dec 9, 2001||CHI 7, @GB 17|
|Nov 11, 2001||CHI 12, GB 20|
Aaron Rodgers has completed 12 of 13 attempts to Jordy Nelson the last two weeks even without Randall Cobb, James Jones or Jermichael Finley. Rodgers and Nelson have completed 76.5% of their attempts this season, second best in the NFL among any QB-WR duo with 40 attempts. Jarrett Boykin has been the Packers most targeted receiver the last two weeks (15 targets). Rodgers has completed 13 of his 15 attempts to Boykin in those games.
The Packers have found success running the ball this season after struggling on the ground last season. Green Bay was 20th in the NFL in rushing yards per game last season (106.4) and 22nd in yards per rush (3.9). This season, the Packers are 7th in the league in rushing yards per game (141.4) and 5th in yards per rush (4.8). Meanwhile, they already have 6 rushing touchdowns after having 9 all of last season.[+]
PACKERS RUSHING GAME - LAST 2 SEASONS
In 9 career games against the Packers, Matt Forte only has 1 touchdown (rushing or receiving). The lone score came in 2008, his rookie season, in a 20-17 win in Week 16.
Aaron Rodgers has started eight games on Monday Night Football in his career and has been much better at home than on the road. Rodgers is 3-0 at home on Monday night and his Total QBR of 86.4 in those games is 3rd in the NFL since 2008.[+]
Aaron Rodgers Career Starts - Monday Night Football
The Bears have allowed the second highest completion percentage (56.7%) on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield this season. Aaron Rodgers has completed 50.0% of those passes this season, second best in the NFL.[+]
Bears' Pass Defense 20+ Yards Downfield - Last 2 Seasons
Aaron Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdowns against the Bears in his last four games against them, all against four or fewer pass rushers. Rodgers had only one touchdown pass against such pressure in his five games against them from 2009 to 2010.[+]
Aaron Rodgers Facing 4 or Fewer Pass Rushers - Last 4 Seasons vs Bears
Aaron Rodgers runs a very efficient offense in Green Bay. Consider this ... Rodgers' team AVERAGES 28.2 points per game in his starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that figure is the highest in the NFL since 1950 for any QB who's made at least 50 starts.[+]
Green Bay's running game has come alive. Of its top-5 rushing performances over the last 5 seasons, 4 of them have come in its last 6 games. Green Bay has had an 80-yard rusher in each of the last 7 games. That is the longest streak in a single season in franchise history.[+]
Packers Rushing Offense Last 2 Seasons
The Packers blocked punt their 2nd punt in as many seasons (Week 8 vs Jags last season), after having 0 blocked punts in their previous 8 seasons.
Josh McCown completed eight passes traveling more than 10 yards downfield Monday. Brandon Marshall caught seven of those passes, his most in a game this season and the second-most in his career. Last season, Marshall had two such catches in two games against the Packers. --McCown's 13 passes when targeting Marshall traveled an average of 15.9 yards downfield. His 28 other passes traveled an average of 5.2 yards.[+]
Josh McCown Passing More Than 10 Yds by Target, Monday
The Packers are 57-29 (.663) with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback since his first career start in 2008 (Week 1). That is the 6th-best win percentage among qualified NFL quarterbacks during that span. Rodgers ranks 2nd in the NFL in touchdown passes and Total QBR during that span. He also has the best touchdown-to-interception differential in that span.[+]
Aaron Rodgers Passing Since 2008
Matt Forte ran for 80 yards before contact Monday, his most since Week 4 of 2011 against the Panthers (147). The Bears' 113 rushing yards before contact are the most the Packers have allowed in a game this season, and the most the Bears have gained against them in their last 12 meetings (136 - Week 16 of 2007). --Forte ran for nine first downs, including five on the Bears' 18-play, 80-yard final drive. His six fourth-quarter rushing first downs are the most by a player in a game in the last three seasons.
Eddie Lacy has scored a TD in 3 straight games.
Eddie Lacy set career highs in rushing yards, yards after contact and yards between the tackles Monday. ¿ Lacy's 150 rushing yards are the most by a Packers running back since Week 14 of 2007 (Ryan Grant - 156). ¿ His 97 yards after contact are the most by any running back in a game this season, and the most by a Packers running back since Week 7 of 2009 (Ryan Grant - 102). ¿ His 110 yards between the tackles are the most by a Packers running back since Week 5 of 2010 (Brandon Jackson - 115). The Packers' 156 rushing yards between the tackles are the most the Bears have allowed since Week 11 of 2008 (157, also against the Packers).
Forced to compete without Aaron Rodgers for the majority of the game Monday, the Packers ran designed rushes on 28 of 55 (50.9%) offensive plays. Coming into the game, the Packers had a 33-2 record since 2008 when calling designed rushes at least 40% of the time.
From Elias: The Bears' 442 total yards were their most ever in a win at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers' joins a laundry list of notable injured Packers this season.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information