If you feel as though you’re living in an alternate universe right now, just know that you’re not alone.
The Bears opened Week 10 as 3-point favorites over the Green Bay Packers, a number which has since jumped to 5.5 points. They also enter the week appearing to have an advantage at quarterback with rookie Mitch Trubisky owning a slight edge over 2015 fifth-round pick Brett Hundley. Now, what if I also told you the Packers are feeling some pressure heading into Sunday’s game against the Bears at Soldier Field?
“We have to win,” Packers cornerback Davon House said of the game Sunday at Soldier Field. “We’ve lost three in a row. It’s another division game. We can’t lose to Chicago. We have to win this week. It’s a must-win.”
House wasn’t alone with the must-win sentiment. Cornerback Damarious Randall said it, too, as an injured Rodgers, dressed in sweats, walked around the media that surrounded Randall and out of the locker room.
This is nothing short of uncharted territory for the Bears, who haven’t been favored to beat the Packers since 2008. The NFL’s longest-running rivalry has had countless twists and turns, but has been one-sided (in the Packers favor) since Brett Favre took over in 1992. Indeed, Green Bay has played 52 straight games against Chicago in which either Favre or Aaron Rodgers has started. And yet, neither will be available on Sunday, leaving a developmental quarterback making his fourth start against a defense that has forced eight turnovers in its last three games.
To be clear, the tables haven’t completely turned in this rivalry. The Packers still have an edge at receiver and that could shift the balance of power. But without Rodgers under center, the playing field is a bit more level. And if the Bears can’t take advantage of it, well, that will open up a new set of questions moving forward.