BEARS (1-2) AT PACKERS (2-1), 8:30 p.m.
TV: Ch. 2, NFL; Radio: WCBS (880)
Packers by 7; O/U: 45.5
As Week 4 of the 2017 NFL season kicks off Thursday night in Green Bay, let’s reassess the first three weeks and see if what we thought we knew is true. In a word: Nope.
The NFL continues to be the league of unpredictability. Raise your hand if you thought the Jets would earn their first win before the winless Giants. Anyone? Speak up if you thought the Rams, Jaguars and Bills would be in sole possession or have a share of first place. Yep, me neither.
That brings us to this NFC North contest between the Bears and Packers. This is the 195th meeting, the most for any matchup, and wouldn’t you know the teams have played to a 94-94-6 record. So what do we know about Green Bay? Well, Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers, and even when the Packers have an off-game like last week’s overtime win over the Bengals at Lambeau Field, as long as No. 12 is behind center, they still have a good chance to win any given Sunday (or Thursday). Green Bay is dealing with a number of injuries, though, and that’s one reason why Cincy was able to race out to a 21-7 halftime lead.
The Bears are also dealing with injuries, but that didn’t stop them from stunning the Steelers in Chicago last week. Interestingly enough, this is the first time the Bears and Packers are playing each other when both are coming off an overtime victory. The Bears have an exciting backfield with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, the electrifying rookie. Both players could give the Packers defense some fits. As long as Mike Glennon protects the ball, the Bears should be competitive. Chicago has been great at home, but in their lone road game at Tampa Bay, it was run out of the building. But that 29-7 loss was a bit misleading, as a number of turnovers did it in.
The Bears were expected to finish with one of the NFL’s worst records. But after an unpredictable first three weeks, they could be better than we thought. To paraphrase the late Dennis Green’s memorable postgame rant, maybe the Bears aren’t who we thought they were.
The pick: Bears
Bob Glauber: Packers
Tom Rock: Packers
Calvin Watkins: Packers