Why Lance Briggs thinks Bears have legit shot to beat Packers originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Everyone knows what’s at stake when the Bears take on the Packers this weekend. But do the Bears actually have a chance to overcome their archrivals, bucking recent history, to punch their ticket to the postseason? On Thursday’s episode of the Under Center Podcast, Lance Briggs said he thinks the Bears can pull it off. They just have to keep doing what they’ve been doing over their three-game win streak.
“For the Bears now, I think they have a legitimate shot of beating this Green Bay team— Aaron Rodgers or not— if they commit to running the ball,” Briggs said on the Under Center Podcast. “Over these last three or four weeks, the Bears are ranked in the top-three in points made by the offense in the NFL. We’ve kind of all been raving about the need to run the ball, and that’s what they’ve been committing to more and more over these last three or four weeks.”
But the Bears will have to do more than keep up their offensive resurgence to win. They’ll also have to find a way to slow down Aaron Rodgers. To do that, Briggs keyed back in on the run game, and the Bears’ emerging star inside linebacker.
“For Roquan Smith, he’s got to have the kind of effort where you get 14, 15, 16 tackles. When you do stuff like that, you start taking the game into your own hands. You’re running, you’re flying around, you’re always in on plays, you’re causing frustration for the other team. So for him, he needs to get 14, 15, 16 tackles, solo.”
Download MyTeams Today!
If the Bears manage to stop the run, the next step is getting pressure on the quarterback. For that, Briggs noticed one thing that may be preventing Robert Quinn from creating pressures. He also had a tip that may help Quinn get to Rodgers.
“When they get their one-on-ones, Robert Quinn has a habit of running past the quarterback,” Briggs said. “It’s just one of those things. He’s coming up against one of the best tackles in the NFL, with the Packers, so he’s going to have to find a way to throttle down when he gets past the block point and get over and get some pressure on Aaron. Anybody knows, if you get pressure on Aaron that’s the best way to stop him, or slow him down.”
All of that said, Briggs said he had a few keys he would be tracking throughout the game to determine whether the Bears had a chance to win, or whether the Packers would control the game themselves.
“I would say control of the clock,” Briggs said. “Are the Bears able to control the clock with their offense? Can they run the ball? Will they commit to running the ball? Can they move the chains with running the ball? Is running the ball able to set up the pass? Is Mitch going to be able to run to extend a first down?
“Defensively, the guys who get paid the most in this organization, you have to show up. You have to be effective, period. Roquan, are you in on every tackle? If Roquan’s not in on every tackle, or nearby on every tackle, then I don’t see the Bears being able to win this game. The guys, the core guys, the guys who are the biggest playmakers have to be just that. They have to be playmakers.”
No matter what, it’s important to keep perspective heading into Week 17. After a six-game skid, no one expected the Bears to be in this position. Yet here they are.
“The Bears have a chance to get into the playoffs, and beat the Packers,” Briggs said. “So there’s a lot to be thankful for.”