Green Bay Packers
(2-0, 2-0 ATS)
(2-0, 2-0 ATS)
First place in the NFC North will be on the line on ESPN’s Monday Night Football betting festivities, when the Green Bay Packers travel to the Chicago Bears.
Green Bay has arguably been the best looking team in the NFL this year. They’ve scored at least 27 points in each of their first two games, one of just two teams in the NFL that can say that, and they have really played well defensively as well. It hasn’t really been a fantastic season for QB Aaron Rodgers as of yet, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t capable of going off for 400 yards and four scores on Monday Night. So far this year, he is connecting on 63.3 percent of his passes for 443 yards and four scores with two picks. His running game was crippled two weeks ago with the loss of RB Ryan Grant for the rest of the season, and if he doesn’t find a running back to step up, it’s going to be a long, long year for the passing game. Last week in a 34-7 dominating win over the Buffalo Bills, no one for the Packers rushed for more than 40 yards on the day. The defense played dominating football against the Bears last season, and that unit is going to be under the gun again this week. So far in the young year, Green Bay ranks third overall in total defense at 253.0 yards per game and seventh in scoring at 13.5 points per game.
Don’t kid yourself about the Bears, though. So far this year, they have a narrow escape against the Detroit Lions and a commanding upset of the Dallas Cowboys 27-20 last week. Is this team a fluke 2-0 squad, or one that really should be reckoned with? An upset of the Packers this week will certainly dismiss any “fluky” thoughts for the men from the Windy City. The key for QB Jay Cutler has been using his short dump off passes and making smart decisions with the football. He only has one INT this year, which is a far cry from the six he had at this juncture of last season. Cutler is also completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 649 yards and five scores. His average of 10.1 yards per attempt is also one of the best marks in the NFL to date. We already mentioned how strong RB Matt Forte has been in the passing game this year, as he leads the team with 12 catches, 188 yards, and three scores. However, on the ground, he has had a big problem, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on 27 rushes.
The Bears are probably better than what we thought at the beginning of the season, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to be able to win this game. The lack of a rushing game is going to be a killer for Chicago, as if Forte can’t get something going on the ground, DC Dom Capers is going to be teeing off on Cutler and the passing attack. Go with the pack for the NFL free picks for Monday Night Football.
Selection: Green Bay Packers -3