The Green Bay Packers will host the Chicago Bears tonight on Monday Night Football with a chance to take a one game lead in the NFC North standings. With the Detroit Lions sitting at 5-3, a win would put the Packers alone in first place at 6-2 with a 3-0 record in the division. A Packers loss would put them in a three-way tie for first in the NFC North, elevating the Bears to the shared perch. The Bears haven't beaten Green Bay since 2010, entering tonight with a six-game losing streak in the series.
While the Chicago Bears are trying to overcome recent history in this historic series, the Green Bay Packers have their own adversity to face. Injuries to key players have taken a toll on the team, with Clay Matthews and Jermichael Finley out for tonight's game. Nick Perry is doubtful and James Jones is questionable. Clay Matthews is having pins removed from his hand today, while Jermichael Finley is out with a neck injury. Nick Perry is dealing with a foot injury and James Jones injured his knee.
The Packers still have Aaron Rodgers, and as injuries mount around him the burden on his shoulders becomes greater. Dom Capers has done a nice job holding down the fort defensively with replacements, but at some point it has to be expected that the absence of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry will be felt on defense. That will put pressure on the offense to produce points, potentially without the services of both Jermichael Finley and James Jones.
At the midpoint of the season, this matchup looks to be a pivotal game for both teams. The Packers have done a nice job thriving despite the injuries to key players, and Clay Matthews is inching towards returning to the lineup. A win tonight would give them some cushion with the expectation of reinforcements returning over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, this is an opportunity for the Bears to vault themselves back into the thick of the NFC North race while Green Bay is still shorthanded. A loss would drop them two games off the pace with eight games to play.
All in all, tonight looks to be another great installment in this storied rivalry.
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