Week 17 Preview: Packers-Bears

Week 17 Preview: Packers-Bears

We have everything you need for Sunday's NFC North championship game at Soldier Field, from team stats to notes, plus our prediction

GREEN BAY (7-7-1) At CHICAGO (8-7)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 3:25 p.m.

TV: Fox

LINE: Green Bay by 4

RECORD VS. SPREAD: Green Bay 5-10, Chicago 4-9-2

SERIES RECORD: Bears lead 93-88-6

LAST MEETING: Bears beat Packers 27-20, Nov. 4, 2013

LAST WEEK: Packers lost to Steelers 38-31; Bears lost to Eagles 54-11

AP PRO32 RANKING: Packers No. 17, Bears No. 14

STREAK, STATS AND NOTES: Winner captures NFC North, Chicago also clinches with tie. Loser misses postseason. ... Green Bay seeking third straight NFC North crown, fifth consecutive playoff berth. Bears trying to make playoffs for first time since 2010 team won division. ... Packers have won six of seven against Bears, including NFC title game three years ago. ... QB Aaron Rodgers will return to lineup after missing seven games because of broken left collarbone. Green Bay 2-5-1 since he went down on sack by Shea McClellin in loss to Bears on Nov. 4. Packers used three different starters at QB in Rodgers' absence. ... LB Clay Matthews out with right thumb injury. ... RB Eddie Lacy eighth in league with 1,112 yards rushing, tops over last 11 games with 1,061. ... K Mason Crosby with at least one field goal in 14 straight games, stands one shy of Ryan Longwell's club record in 2004-05. ... Chicago has club-record 5,840 yards allowed. ... Bears, with 2,423 yards rushing allowed, closing in on franchise record (2,509 in 1973). Giving up league-high and franchise-worst 5.4 yards per carry. ... Fifty-four points allowed last week one shy of club record at Detroit on Nov. 27, 1997. ... 2013 Bears third on club list with 417 points scored, trailing 1985 champions (456) and 2006 team (427) that made Super Bowl. ... Chicago has team-record 30 touchdown passes. ... QB Jay Cutler 1-8 against Packers, including loss with Denver in 2007 and NFC title game loss three years ago. ... Cutler is Bears' all-time leader with 14,687 yards passing, eclipsing Sid Luckman (14,686). ... RB Matt Forte has 19 100-yard rushing games, needs one to tie Gale Sayers for second on Bears list. Walter Payton holds franchise record with 77. ... WR Alshon Jeffery sixth in league with 1,341 yards receiving, Brandon Marshall 11th with 1,221. ... Marshall has career-high-tying 11 TD catches, two shy of team season record.

PACKER REPORT PREDICTION (12-2-1): With Aaron Rodgers back in the lineup, the Packers instantly went from three-point underdogs to four-point favorites. He'll have Randall Cobb back, too, giving the Packers a starkly different passing attack after riding Matt Flynn, Jordy Nelson and a hobbled James Jones for the last several weeks. Green Bay's defense is bad but Chicago's defense is worse. The X-factors that could swing this game Chicago's way is its special teams, which is highly rated in just about every area, and turnovers, where the Bears always excel. Still, a rusty Rodgers is better than Jay Cutler. If the Packers can score 31 without Rodgers against Pittsburgh, it should be able to put up a winning number with Rodgers against the Bears. PACKERS 31, BEARS 24

GREEN BAY NFC NFL
TEAM STATS
Turnover Margin (-3)11 18T
Points Scored (25.6)5 9
Points Allowed (26.7)11 24
Total Offense (395.4)3 4
Rushing (131.7)5 7
Passing (263.7)4 7
Total Defense (374.1)11 26
vs. Rush (125.3)13 26
vs. Pass (248.8)10 21
Third-Down Offense (40.4%)7 10
Third-Down Defense (37.6%)8 15
Red-Zone Offense (50.8%)15 27
Red-Zone Defense (58.5%)12T 20T
INDIVIDUAL STATS
Passing: Rodgers (108.0)3 4
Rushing: Lacy (1,112)6 7
Receptions: Nelson (75)10 18T
Rec. Yds.: Nelson (1,153)7 13
Interceptions: Williams/Shields (3)14T 27T
Sacks: Matthews (7.5)20T 37T
CHICAGO NFC NFL
TEAM STATS
Turnover Margin (+5)8 11
Points Scored (27.8)2T 3T
Points Allowed (29.7)8 30
Total Offense (384.3)5 8
Rushing (113.8)10 18
Passing (270.5)3 5
Total Defense (389.3)13 29
vs. Rush (161.5)16 32
vs. Pass (227.8)6 14
Third-Down Offense (41.7%)6 9
Third-Down Defense (40.7%)11 23
Red-Zone Offense (55.4%)6 14
Red-Zone Defense (58.5%)12T 20T
INDIVIDUAL STATS
Passing: Cutler (88.1)1116
Rushing: Forté (1,229)3 4
Receptions: Marshall (94)25T
Rec. Yds.: Jeffery (1,341)2 6
Interceptions: 3 players (3)14T 27T
Sacks: Peppers (6.5)25T 47T

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