Green Bay Packers (4-1, 4-1 ATS) at Chicago Bears (3-2, 3-2), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Packers Stats and Trends
Green Bay easily won and covered in both matchups against the Bears last season, with an ATS cover margin of 11.5 points. Both matchups also cruised over the total by an average margin of 12.5 points.
Green Bay is 9-3 ATS against the NFC North since 2019.
The Packers have won and covered in four straight games since their no-show in the season opener.
Green Bay is 6-2 toward unders in its last eight games as a road favorite.
Aaron Rodgers has reeled off multiple TD passes and 19+ FP in four straight games and he reached 300+ yards for the first time last week. A-Rod ripped the Bears for eight touchdowns on just 53 attempts for a TD rate of 15.1% last season, but Chicago hasn’t allowed a quarterback to reach 19+ FP since Matthew Stafford posted 321/3 passing in the season opener.
Davante Adams has seen an ungodly 12.2 targets per game for a 38% target share after seeing another 16 targets last week. He finished with 11/206/1 receiving which gives him 20+ FP in three of his last four games and 30+ FP in two of his last three contests. He finished with 6/46/1 and 6/61/1 receiving in his two games against the Bears last season, and he has 16+ FP in six of his last seven games against Chicago.
With Adams hogging all the work with 16 targets last week, Randall Cobb managed just 2/30 receiving on three targets and Allen Lazard posted just 1/8 receiving. Cobb has fallen below six FP in four of his five games and Lazard has yet to top that mark. The Bears are giving up the ninth-most FPG (40.4) to WRs this season.
Robert Tonyan has just 9/82 receiving on 17 targets this season, and it’s gotten so bad that Marcedes Lewis was more active than him with 2/34 receiving last week. The Bears limited Darren Waller to 4/45 receiving on eight targets last week.
Aaron Jones has topped 95+ scrimmage yards in four consecutive games since their Week 1 dud, but he’s failed to find the end zone in each of the last two weeks. The Bears limited D’Andre Swift to 49 scrimmage yards in Week 3. Jones had 175/1 scrimmage against the Bears last season.
The Packers have been putting more on A.J. Dillon’s plate the last two weeks after he totaled exactly 26 scrimmage yards in each of his first three games on a 29% snap share. He totaled 15/81 rushing with a 16-yard catch on a 40% snap share against the Steelers in Week 4 before posting 8/30 rushing and 4/49/1 receiving on a 33% snap share against the Bengals. Dillon ran just 10 routes compared to Jones’ 29 routes in Week 5. The Bears are giving up 4.1 YPC to RBs with just three TDs allowed.
Brolley’s Bears Stats and Trends
Chicago has played under the total in four straight games since squeaking over the total in the season opener.
The Bears deployed a near-even split between Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert in their first game without David Montgomery in Week 5. Herbert actually finished with more snaps (34 to 31), carries (18 to 16), and rushing yards (75 to 64) against the Raiders. Williams held the advantage in targets (3 to 0), receiving (2/20), and routes (10 to 7) and he scored a touchdown from four yards out. Bengals RBs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon combined for 21/92/1 rushing and 5/26/1 receiving against the Packers last week.
Justin Fields has fallen below 10 FP and he’s yet to attempt more than 20 passes in any of his first three starts, and they’re one of three teams that have run the ball more than they’ve passed it through the first five weeks of the season. He completed 12/20 passes for 111 yards (5.6 YPA) and one TD and he added another ugly rushing line with 3/4 against the Raiders last week — he has just 9/25 rushing in his three starts.
Allen Robinson has just 9/122 receiving on 14 targets since Fields took over as the starter while Darnell Mooney has 4/44 receiving on nine targets sandwiched around his 5/125 performance in Week 4. Ja’Marr Chase got loose for a 70-yard touchdown against Green Bay’s banged up secondary that’s without Jaire Alexander (shoulder, IR). They’re giving up the 11th-fewest FPG (34.1) to WRs through the first five weeks.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 30.7 (27th)
Plays per game: 64.6 (23rd)
Pass: 60.7% (15th) | Run: 39.3% (18th)
Pace: 30.3 (25th)
Plays per game: 62.2 (28th)
Pass: 51.9% (30th) | Run: 48.1% (3rd)
This under has gotten hammered since open on Monday going from 46 and is down to 44.5 or 44 in most books and for good reason. This is the second-worst game in the Week 6 model between these two slow-paced offenses. The Bears in particular have been painful to watch and have just gotten even more sluggish and way more run-heavy with Justin Fields under center. In Fields’ three starts, the Bears have gone 63% run-heavy on early-downs and are the second-slowest team in seconds in between snaps (30.9). Chicago limiting Fields to just 3 carries per game with Matt Nagy’s run-heavy, slow-paced game planning makes even less sense. Chicago’s last three matchups (vs. Browns, Lions, and Raiders) have combined for a measly 32, 38, and 29 points – so if this game is going to shootout – it’s all on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to push the scoring pace.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
It’s very possible that Darnell Mooney could see extended coverage from Isaac Yiadom on Sunday. During his 27 unqualified coverage snaps, Yiadom has been even more generous than expected. Everything the Packers do on defense revolved around Alexander closing off his portion of the secondary. But 2021 first-rounder Eric Stokes has instantly emerged as their CB1 while Jaire tends to his injuries. The possibility of coverage from Yiadom provided the final factor in favor of a positive outlook for Mooney. However, the speedster’s outlook would go from promising to nonexistent if Allen Robinson II (ankle) is unable to take the field — he would then draw Stokes.
The one vulnerability of Chicago is defending WR units (11th-most FPG). To date, the Bears’ top corner Jaylon Johnson has grown roots as the devoted right CB. That said, he made the following comment in regards to Davante Adams this week:
Bears CB Jaylon Johnson asked if he wants to “follow” Davante Adams on Sunday.— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) October 13, 2021
“I want to follow the best receiver in every game.”#Bears
Johnson’s been really good this year, so that could open more opportunities for Randall Cobb or Allen Lazard.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The most intriguing player on the Packers’ roster, to me, is RB AJ Dillon, who is quickly emerging as both a fan favorite and a coach’s favorite. The Packers have been putting more on Dillon’s plate the last two weeks after he totaled exactly 26 scrimmage yards in each of his first three games on a 29% snap share. He totaled 15/81 rushing with a 16-yard catch on a 40% snap share against the Steelers in Week 4 before posting 8/30 rushing and 4/49/1 receiving on a 33% snap share against the Bengals. Dillon could just be running hot since he ran just 10 routes compared to Aaron Jones’ 29 routes in Week 5, but Dillon’s performances the last two weeks should create more playing time opportunities moving forward.
Per @NextGenStats, AJ Dillon spends the least amount of time behind the line of scrimmage of any RB in the NFL.— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) October 13, 2021
Translation: He’s a battering ram.
I do wonder if Dillon’s propensity for going forward with alacrity would be numbed a bit with a bigger role, but a bigger role is something the coaches have indicated is coming.
When I spoke with Packers coach Matt LaFleur last week, he raved about RB AJ Dillon. Said he was "fired up about him" and "that's a guy we've got to keep finding ways to incorporate." Dillon has four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown so far.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) October 10, 2021
That all said, his snap share was just at 33% last week, so we can pump the brakes a little. I just wonder if a game in which the Packers are road favorites sets up well for Dillon to make an impact. I like him as an upside RB2/FLEX option this week.
Otherwise, you know what to do with Aaron Rodgers, Jones, and Davante Adams. The Bears are giving up the 9th-most FPG to WRs this year, but based on their level of production, trusting Randall Cobb and/or Allen Lazard is merely a guessing game at this stage. Things will be better for Green Bay, obviously, if EDGE Khalil Mack (foot) can’t play. He didn’t practice all week.
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BEFORE DAMIEN WILLIAMS WAS PUT ON THE COVID LIST ON THURSDAY. IF HE DOESN’T GO, AND HE ISN’T EXPECTED TO, KHALIL HERBERT WILL BE A VOLUME-BASED RB2.
The only Bear I feel even remotely comfortable starting this week is RB Damien Williams. I’ll explain.
Williams turned in 16/64/1 rushing and 2/20 receiving on 3 targets in his first game starting for the injured David Montgomery. That was good enough to rank as the RB22 in Week 5, which is probably plenty for what Montgomery handcuffers were anticipating. What is interesting was Williams’ usage vis-a-vis the usage for rookie Khalil Herbert, who was heavily involved as well. Herbert outsnapped Williams 53% to 48%, outrushed him with 18/75 on the ground, and also ran just 3 fewer routes than Williams (10 to 7). The situation may have dictated this as Chicago had a lead for much of the game on the Raiders, and Herbert was the “closer.” Williams is still the better play given his receiving workload, and that could be important against the Packers. But Herbert was probably more involved than we bargained for. Williams is a strong RB2 this week.
Damien Williams was the preferred back in negative and neutral situations for the Bears. Khalil Herbert finished the game out with 17-of-18 touches coming with a lead later in the game. pic.twitter.com/UJwaDcMttS— Hayden Winks (@HaydenWinks) October 11, 2021
I can’t in good faith endorse Justin Fields when he has yet to top 10 FP and the Bears just don’t let him run (9 carries, 25 yards in his three starts). But he is throwing the ball downfield when he does throw it, which could be good for Darnell Mooney if, as Wes noted, Allen Robinson can play through his ankle injury. Robinson got a practice in on Friday after missing both Wednesday and Thursday.