3 storylines: Packers vs. Bears
Each Tuesday, Press-Gazette Media will turn to the week ahead with three storylines for the Green Bay Packers’ next game. This week, the opponent is the Chicago Bears. Here’s a glimpse of what to watch for when the Packers host the Bears for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Thursday.
1. A "once-in-a-lifetime" Thanksgiving: Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers are three of the best quarterbacks in NFL history — let alone Packers’ history — and will be gathered in the same building for the first time Thursday night. Favre’s name and number will be unveiled on the Lambeau Field façade during a special halftime ceremony.
It will be his first time attending a game at Lambeau Field since 2010, when he played for the Minnesota Vikings. As significant as that will be, Starr’s likely final trip to Lambeau Field might be the highlight of the evening. It undoubtedly will be one of the greatest moments in the franchise’s history.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy called it “a once-in-a-lifetime event surrounding our football game with the Bears.”
2. Worst week of the season: Players will tell you they hate this week. They much prefer getting a full seven days to let their bodies heal and minds prepare between games.
Sometimes, teams have six days when they go from Monday Night Football to a Sunday game. With the NFL extending Thursday night games throughout the season, players are tested to their limit with four-day weeks. It’s hard to say whether it’s more challenging mentally or physically, because a four-day NFL week is stressful both ways.
Usually, the reward is a longer weekend, but this year the Packers will play consecutive Thursday games. As left guard Josh Sitton said Monday, the schedulers didn’t do the Packers any favors this year.
3. Lacy finally a workhorse again: In this space a week ago, we called for Eddie Lacy to get at least 20 carries against the Vikings. And wouldn’t you know, he did.
For the first time this season, Lacy was handed 20 carries — 22 to be exact — in a game. And for the first time this season, he hit the 100-yard mark. That is no coincidence.
For all the questions this season, about what’s wrong with Lacy, for all the suggestions that it’s simply his weight leading to lack of production, make no mistake: The No. 1 issue has been a lack of carries. Now, we’ll see if the Packers continue featuring Lacy with their game plan.
If they can keep their running game in rhythm, it could pull them out of their offensive struggles.