Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers as they get set to take on the Chicago Bears in frigid Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon.
Let’s start with those Bears, and Bob McGinn’s scouting report.
If the Packers win, it would be the first time in 83 years they’ve been tied with the Bears in the all-time series. It was 11-11-4 in October 1933 before the Bears gained the upper hand for generations.
Chicago leads, 94-93-6, but Green Bay has scored one more point: 3,305 to 3,304. The two playoff games were included.
“That’s hilarious,” said one scout. “A statistical oddity.”
Eric Goska writes on how creating turnovers is fueling the Packers’ turnaround.
The Pete Dougherty and Eric Baranczyk film study is up and, as usual, it is not to be missed. The main focus is on how Ty Montgomery is giving defenses problems.
What stood out Sunday was that Montgomery now is running like a real running back, which puts great stress on a defense. Defensive coordinators have to decide how to match up when he’s on the field. They know he’s probably going to line up at running back, but before the ball is snapped he's just as likely to motion out to receiver as to stay put. And he's a legitimate player at both positions.
Should the defense go to its dime personnel so it can cover him with a defensive back if he splits out? If it does that, it’s vulnerable to the inside run. If it goes nickel, it has a second linebacker to play the run. But then it will have to cover him or another receiver with a linebacker. That’s the kind of mismatch offenses look for in the passing game.
My three storylines to watch heading into Chicago are right here.
Damarious Randall and Ty Montgomery both admitted the only thing they wanted, prior to being drafted, was to not go anywhere cold.
Don’t miss 5 Questions and X’s & O’s with Tom Silverstein and LeRoy Butler:
Elsewhere, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky caught up with Packers running back Eddie Lacy on Tuesday and spoke with him about his injury and prospects for returning to Green Bay next season.
The running back, who will be a free agent after this season, is still in a walking boot and using a scooter to wheel himself around Lambeau Field on the week he would have been eligible to come off injured reserve because of his left ankle injury. Two weeks ago, the Packers gave up on Lacy when they used their lone designated-to-return exemption on rookie cornerback Makinton Dorleant.
“Pre-surgery, we thought there was a chance,” Lacy said Tuesday during a promotional appearance for the Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials he has filmed with several other NFL stars. “But I’m still in a boot and on a scooter. A lot of other guys were injured so we had to make different kind of moves. It just didn’t play out.”
If anything, however, Lacy’s injury perhaps made it more likely that he will be back with the Packers because the free-agent market might not be all that active for a running back coming off a major injury.
“I definitely hope so; I would love to be,” Lacy said. “I don’t see myself wanting to be anywhere else, but that’s something I can’t focus on right now. I just have to get myself better and put myself in a position to be good and do whatever I have to do.
“Honestly I have no idea how any of that works. I’ll just sit back, talk to my agent and we’ll see where it goes.”
Mike McCarthy recently joined Peter King on his podcast for The MMQB:
It’s pretty incredible how we’ve gone from “What’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers?” to “Aaron Rodgers is an MVP candidate” in a few short weeks.
Speaking of Rodgers, he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Seahawks.
I appeared on the Bears Insider podcast to preview Sunday’s game:
The Lions could clinch the NFC North this weekend:
The Bears, meanwhile, have been eliminated from playoff contention: