Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagersbetween the Bears and Packers.
First team to score
Packers. Even the lowly Colts scored first on the Bears last week which was difficult to justify predicting. With their backs against the wall and emotion on their side being at home, I like the Packers’ chances of putting up the first points in this one.
First Bears player to score
Robbie Gould. Touchdowns came much easier for the Bears against Indianapolis. However, while I expect the Bears to be able to keep up with the Packers, I think early on they’ll have to resort to Gould for their first points.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
8. Marshall surpassed a lot of people’s high expectations with a nine-catch performance in Week 1. He was targeted 15 times and I see no reason why, especially in a big game against a good opponent, that he can’t receive the same kind of attention from Jay Cutler.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Touchdowns. It’ll be close, but I see the Bears finding the end zone three times to go with a pair of field goals.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler
Interceptions. Ever since Cutler arrived in Chicago three years ago, we’ve seen a lot of interceptions and many more that were dropped by defenders or just bounced off their hands or pads. Cutler also has a penchant for turning the ball over in prime time. While I still think he’ll have a big game, he could force a few too many passes to the wrong jerseys in this one.
Jay Cutler sacks
3. The Bears did a good job of protecting Cutler last week but the challenge will be a little greater this time around. I think Clay Matthews and the Packers defense get to him a few times in this one.
More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers. Simply put: I think Rodgers finds more success against the Bears defensive backfield than Cutler has against Green Bay’s secondary. The Packers secondary has issues, but Rodgers is a bit more seasoned at this point.
More rushing yards – Bears or Packers
Bears. Unless Cedric Benson has a remarkable performance against his former team, a la 2009, the Bears have a much better rushing attack than the Packers and Green Bay’s run defense is woeful.
Total rushing yards for Bears
130. Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined for 122 rushing yards last week and there’s no reason to believe they can’t improve on that total in Week 2. The only drawback to this number is if the Bears find themselves too far behind and have to throw much more to keep up. I think they keep the game close, though, and will be able to run the ball.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
30 run-to-42 pass. The Bears had a great balance last week with 70 total plays, 37 passing and 33 rushing. Factoring in sacks and game situations, I feel they’ll surpass 40 pass plays while being efficient in their running plays.
Team to win the turnover battle
Packers. As mentioned previously, I think Cutler will be a little careless with the ball Thursday night and contribute to a Packers advantage in the turnover battle.
Total points scored
57. Both teams should score in excess of 20 points, barring any unforeseen problems or weather conditions. I see both teams scoring in the high-20s or low-30s.