Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Packers.
First team to score
Packers. The Packers have too good an offense and the Bears too lenient a defense. The only possible saving grace is that the Packers defense isn’t all that good, either. They can attack the quarterback — and I fear for Cutler’s safety in this one — but they can be exploited.
First Bears player to score
Olindo Mare. Welcome to Chicago, Mare. The Bears will get into field goal range and Mare will put up his first three points as a Chicago Bear.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Field Goals. Bears safety Chris Conte said this week that Brandon Marshall told him he’d catch two touchdown passes on Sunday. As much as I’m enamored with the beast that Marshall is, I’m going to go with history over bravado in this one. The Bears will be lucky to score two passing touchdowns, let alone both from Marshall.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
6. Marshall was held to just two catches in a Week 2 loss to the Packers. I think the Bears will find new ways to get Marshall the ball — because if they don’t, they’re in trouble. Marshall will catch around a half-dozen balls even if they’re of the short variety.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler
Interceptions. Again, I’d like to think that Cutler has learned from his mistakes and will take better care of the ball at home. But the Packers have owned Cutler and he’ll likely toss a few picks in this one.
Jay Cutler sacks
4. The Bears have protected Cutler really well the past few weeks but there always seems to be a bit more pressure than there should be, forcing Cutler to scramble and move around the pocket. Clay Matthews ought to be back for the Packers and he’s a matchup nightmare.
More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers. Shouldn’t be close. Unless the Packers run all over the Bears, I can’t see Rodgers throwing fewer passing yards than Cutler.
More rushing yards – Bears or Packers
Bears. The Bears absolutely, positively need to run the football effectively against the Packers to have any chance. I’m going to say they’re going to make a conscious effort to keep the pressure out of the face of Cutler by giving Matt Forte a heavy dose of the action.
Total rushing yards for Bears
125. Michael Bush is hobbled, but I expect Forte to see a lot of action against the Packers as the Bears attempt to control the clock and keep Rodgers and the Packers offense off the field.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
37 run-to-30 pass. The Bears will pass when they must — or when they see openings to Marshall — but they’ll focus on moving the chains on the ground.
Team to win the turnover battle
Bears. History says the Packers will win the turnover battle, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that despite history — and a couple Cutler interceptions — the Bears will come up with the advantage here.
Total points scored
47. Should be quite the game with both teams finding the scoreboard throughout — weather pending.