Thursday Night Football Preview: Chicago at Green Bay

Thursday Night Football Preview

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Packers (-7); O/U 45.5

Green Bay Packers

Thursday Night Football Preview

The Packers had a very near miss last week against a Cincinnati team that had not scored a touchdown through two weeks. Aaron Rodgers has started slowly, his statistics for the first halves of games has been a sad 340 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. He is completing just 57.9% of his passes and has a rating of 59.1. However, he turns this around in the second halves. Rodgers has completed 72.7% of his second-half passes for 927 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions.  That is a 118.3 rating. Rodgers needs to start avoiding the slow starts soon.

Ty MontgomeryTy Montgomery has been a very valuable asset. When the run game is slow going, Montgomery has been a valuable pass catcher. He is actually tied for first on the Packers in targets with Davante Adams. Montgomery’s first big-time run was against the Bears last year. The Bears have a decent defense, but not great. The Packers should find some room to make a run game work. Even when things are going slowly, the Packers continue to feed Montgomery.

The Packers passing game should work. The Bears have been giving up fantasy points to receivers so far and the Packers receiving corps is fairly match-up proof. Adams will still get good targets and there is no reason to think Jordy Nelson will not be right there with him. Geronimo Allison was the hero last week, but Randall Cobb is off the injury report as of Tuesday and should play. Allison should be used sparingly and Cobb will get back to his role as third in the target progression.

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Chicago Bears

Thursday Night Football Preview

The Bears also faced an overtime match-up last week in a home victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Glennon was less than spectacular. He threw for just 101 yards, one touchdown, and one pick. He has not been stellar, but the Bears are purposefully keeping the offense simple. Glennon has a respectable completion percentage and has not hurt the team. In fantasy football, he is just not a viable starter.

The Bears finally saw Jordan Howard show up. Howard has 197 yards rushing on the season, he gained 138 of them against the Steelers. The Packers have been very good against the run recently, but if Jake Ryan, Mike Daniels, and Nick Perry are not back on the field, the Bears running game could have some life this week. Tarik Cohen is the hot name in Chicago football. Cohen leads the team in yards from scrimmage, targets, and receptions. In a PPR format, he is very valuable. Since he has multiple ways of expressing value, expect him to be the more valuable fantasy play this week.

The Bears receiving corps is a mess. Cohen leads the team in targets and catches and tight end Zach Miller is second in both. The Bears leading wide receiver is Kendall Wright with just ten catches and 103 yards. Deonte Thompson and rookie Adam Shaheen are the only two receivers with touchdown catches. The only two pass catchers worth starting in fantasy are Cohen and Miller.

The Game

The Packers are touchdown favorites. This is reasonable. The Bears have lacked explosion on offense and the Packers have played some rather impressive second halves. The Packers should be able to put up another big second half this week. If they could put up a first half, this could be a victory by a couple scores. Short week tends to hurt offenses more than defenses (though last week did not follow that script). Expect the talent of the Packers offense to be the difference in this game. The Bears have been deceptively good. They should have beaten the Atlanta Falcons. The Tampa Bay game turned into a season opener that saw the Buccaneers ready to go. Still, the Bears are much tougher at home where their slow surface plays as an advantage. The turf at Lambeau Field is faster and the Packers should win this game.

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Enjoy the Game!

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