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updated: 10/30/2013 7:59 PM

At least Packers won't run away and hide vs. Bears

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  • Yes, the Green Bay Packers do have a running game, especially with rookie Eddie Lacy churning up some big yardage.

      Yes, the Green Bay Packers do have a running game, especially with rookie Eddie Lacy churning up some big yardage.
    Associated Press

 
 

Contrary to common belief, the Green Bay Packers won't score 100 points on the Bears when they play in Green Bay on Monday night.

I'm positive of that. OK, maybe just pretty sure. OK, maybe just hopeful, for the Bears' sake.

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No self-respecting football team ever should allow any opponent, much less a traditional rival, to reach the century mark.

How would the Bears ever live that down?

Cumberland still hasn't lived down losing to Georgia Tech 222-0, and the drubbing took place 97 years ago. The NFL's franchise in Washington lost 73-0 to the Bears in 1940 and still can't find a new victim-protection name to escape the ignominy.

So it must be comforting for the Bears that Green Bay doesn't figure to post a big, fat, juicy C-note on the Lambeau Field scoreboard.

Nothing's for certain, of course. Luck, the wind and the Bears' defensive line still might make 100 Packers points a reality.

Recent developments hint against that, however.

Last week the Packers uncharacteristically ran the ball like they were rushing toward the free Escalades line. They compiled 182 yards on the ground, which for Green Bay is as monumental as putting three digits on the scoreboard.

The uncharacteristic rushing yardage enabled the Packers to gain 464 total yards. You would think such a balanced attack would maximize Green Bay's chances of coasting to 100 points against the Bears.

No, though, it pretty much dismisses the possibility.

You see, by running the ball so often and so well the Packers controlled the clock for 40:54 to the Vikings' 19:06. Time of possession is a great statistic to dominate, but if it's that lopsided odds are the score won't be run up.

Instead of striking for quick touchdowns on the strength of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' passing, the Pack is fashioning long drives on the way to the end zone.

That works in favor of the Bears because Green Bay will have fewer possessions with which to make the scoreboard dance.

Rather than winning 100-50, the Packers likely will settle for something more merciful like 50-25.

Call it a moral victory for the Bears' defense, which has more holes now than a backyard Wiffle ball and the White Sox infield combined.

With Lance Briggs rehabbing a fractured shoulder, Peanut Tillman hobbling on an ailing knee, Julius Peppers aging before our eyes, two rookie linebackers likely to play prominent roles, safeties who generally are late to the party

Well, the Bears' defense is there for the taking if the Packers were inclined to take it more than less.

If Green Bay wanted to let Rodgers throw on every down, complete touchdown drives in five plays instead of 10 and score in two minutes instead of eight

Well, yes, the Packers would have an opportunity to score 100 points against the Bears.

Briggs, if he makes the trip, would sit on the bench with his hands over his eyes. Tillman, if he plays, would limp after Jordy Nelson as the wide receiver rambles toward the goal line. And other Bears defenders, if they look up after being knocked to the ground, would be blinded by the scoreboard lights flashing.

If the Packers reached the century mark early in this relatively new century, the Bears' transition from a defense-minded franchise to an offense-developing franchise would be complete.

Ain't going to happen.

The Packers can be expected to leave some long pass completions on the field in favor of their running backs rubbing Bears defenders into the field.

Fifty points are better than 100, so the Bears should be thankful for Green Bay's newly discovered running game.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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