Chicago Sun-Times

Even without Grant, Packers formidable

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Just because running back Ryan Grant is out for the season with an ankle injury doesn't mean the Bears expect the Packers to be one-dimensional when they visit Soldier Field on Monday night.

"I don't think you change your philosophy when you have a player go down," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "They're going to be without Grant the entire year. They believe in the run. We still assume they'll try to establish the run. We've played the run well. Again, it should be a heck of a challenge for us."

The Cowboys had a potent running game and a passing attack. The Packers are more on dimensional, but with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a fleet of playmakers, no less dangerous.

"It's not easier because they're so good at throwing the football," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "Their routes are tough. They change personnel like crazy. It keeps you on your toes. But we still want to stop the running game. We don't want to play the pass and get gashed with the run, so we'll do what we have to do for the running game but we have to get to Rodgers."

Romo threw several errant throws in the Bears 27-20 win last week. Bears players know that the ultra-accurate Rodgers won't do them any favors.

"He's a precise quarterback," linebacker Lance Briggs said. "You have to be extremely disciplined when you play against a quarterback like this and you have to be extremely physical against a team like this. They've been in their system for a long time, understand their system, how to find windows, make pre-snap reads and make his throw accordingly."

Romo and Rodgers are similar in that they are both able to escape pressure while still looking to throw.

"They both move really well," Urlacher said. "They run to pass. They get outside the pocket and like to throw the ball down the field. Their receivers know how to get open when they do scramble. Big challenge for us there. We want to keep him in the pocket like we did with Romo last week and get some sacks like we didn't do last week."

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There's no comparison: Dallas's offense sucks so far this season, while Green Bay's has racked up a lot of points. If the Bears think they're similar, they're in for a rude awakening Monday night. The Bears are near the bottom of the league in yards allowed passing, and I don't see how they stop this passing game, one of the best. Hope I'm wrong.

If the Bears win this one, you'll read nothing but positive comments from me the rest of the season unless they start playing lousy. But I think their 2-0 record is illusory, built against two teams that aren't playing good football right now, and considering some things from the Dallas game, that victory really seems like a fluke (1-11 on first downs, outgained by about 100 yards, Dallas with much more time of possession and a lot more first downs). Again, hope I'm wrong.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on September 25, 2010 12:40 PM.

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