My free play is on the GB Packers at 1:00 ET.The Bears and Packers will meet for the 200th time Sunday at legendary Lambeau Field. The forecast at kick-off as the team's renew the NFL’s oldest rivalry is 17 degrees with a wind chill factor of eight, according to the National Weather Service. The high is expected to be 19, nine degrees below average for Dec 15 in Green Bay. The Bears have won THREE straight and FOUR of five to remain in the mix for a wild card spot at 7-6, while the 10-3 Packers are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot but have plenty of work left to lock down the NFC North and, perhaps, a first-round bye. These teams opened the 2019 season with the Packers winning 10-3 at Chicago back on Thursday, Sep .
The Packers were out-yarded by the Bears in that opening week win when Chicago QB when Trubisky was playing terrible. However, Chicago's turnaround can be tied directly to the improved play of Trubisky, who has completed 70 percent of his passes with seven passing touchdowns and two rushing scores during the three-game winning streak. "He has continued to gain confidence and trust with himself and then with his teammates," QB coach Dave Ragone told the Chicago Tribune. "Hopefully that continues the rest of the season. But you've seen the progress. Things have been clearer. Sharper." Veteran WR Allen Robinson (76 catches / 7 TDs on the season) has been the beneficiary of Trubisky's solid play, recording 19 catches for 265 yards and four TDs during the 3-0 run. Rookie RB David Montgomery (just 680 RY on 3.5 YPA) is also "coming around," with 161 rushing yards the last two games, while averaging 4.5 YPA.
Green Bay is averaging a pedestrian 18.8 points during its last five games, despite meeting the Redskins and Giants during this time frame. Those issues were clearly evident in a sluggish 20-15 home victory over a three-win Washington team that gave Green Bay all it could handle last Sunday. "I just know we're not where we need to be as a football team," head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters this week. "I still think ... I'm optimistic we can get there." Green Bay had 167 passing yards and 174 rushing yards in last week's win, after posting 243 and 79, respectively, in a victory at the New York Giants the previous Sunday. There is a sense that the offense needs to find its identity for the stretch run. Aaron Rodgers has a terrific 23-2 TD-to-INT ratio on the season but he's had a QB rating of over 100.0 in four different games this season, but also four with under 90.0. He has clearly become highly reliant on RB Aaron Jones (779 YR on 4.4 YPA with 12 TDs plus 45 catches with 3 TDs) in first-year coach Matt LaFleur's offense but Jones has four games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage and five with fewer than 50.
No doubt the Bears are playing better and Green Bay is not a "complete" team but Rodgers is 18-5 as the starter against the Bears and including the playoffs, the Packers have won 16 of the last 19 meetings with their bitter rivals. Yes, the Bears have won FOUR of five but the wins have come over the QB-less 3-9-1 Lions (twice), the 2-11 Giants (currently on a 9-game losing skid) and the 'imploding' Cowboys. I'll take Rodgers over Trubisky any day.
1* Free Pick on Cardinals +3 -120
Analysis will be posted shortly
The set-up: Yes, Tom Brady has taken a major step back over the second half of the season, but I still think the veteran will have more than enough in the tank to bounce back here in this favorable spot. Off their first home loss since 2017, clearly the Pats are going to be in a foul mood today (I had a play on the Chiefs last Sunday.) It hasn't been all Brady's fault obviously, as he's lacking big time playmakers. That said, a game vs. Andy Dalton and the toothless Bengals is just what the doctor ordered to get untracked in my opinion. With a tough game at home next week vs. a revenge-minded Bills team that's breathing down their neck, it's now or never for Bill Belichick and company in Cincinnati this weekend.
The pick: The Pats have been money in the bank for bettors in this spot for years as well, going 13-2 ATS in their last 15 vs. teams with losing records (which includes going 4-0 ATS this season) and a perfect 3-0 ATS in their last three after having lost two out of their last three SU. The Bengals on the other hand are a money-burning 8-13 ATS in their last 21 at home, including 1-4 already this season. If you'd have asked Brady before the season started if he'd have been satisfied with a 13-3 campaign, I believe he'd have taken it on the spot. With a chance to still do that, I look for New England to finally start the turnaround this weekend. Consider laying the points.
1* FREE PLAY on New England.