The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are trending in opposite directions. Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Packers can clinch their second consecutive NFC North title at the expense of their longtime rival on Sunday. Green Bay continued its rapid ascent after rallying from an early two-touchdown deficit to post a 27-20 triumph over Detroit last weekend.
Chicago also faced off against a division foe last week but suffered its fourth loss in five games with a 21-14 setback to Minnesota. Jay Cutler suffered a neck injury versus the Vikings, but he is expected to play and attempt to end the Bears' five-game losing skid to the Packers. He'll need to do better than his four-interception performance in a 23-10 loss to Green Bay on Sept. 13.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -3, O/U 43
ABOUT THE PACKERS (9-4): Beware of the vaunted Green Bay ... running game? The trio of Alex Green (career-high 69 yards), practice squad call-up DuJuan Harris (31 yards, touchdown) and veteran Ryan Grant made their presence felt last week. Aaron Rodgers also got in on the fun with a 27-yard touchdown run, but isn't too bad of a passer, either. In addition, Rodgers may see the return of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who has been hobbled by a hamstring injury.
ABOUT THE BEARS (8-5): Cutler has connected with trusted target Brandon Marshall - who emphasized his dislike for the Packers on Wednesday - 101 times for 1,342 yards this season, but the pair only hooked up twice for 24 yards in the previous encounter versus the Packers. Getting Matt Forte untracked could go along way for both the running and passing games. Forte, who mustered just 31 yards vs. Green Bay in the previous encounter, hasn't scored a rushing TD since Nov. 4.
1. After recording 28 turnovers en route to posting a 7-1 mark, Chicago has forced just seven takeaways in its past five contests.
2. Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring) is in line to return after a four-week absence, but veteran S Charles Woodson (broken collarbone) will spend another game on the sideline.
3. The Bears will turn to veteran K Olindo Mare after Robbie Gould suffered a season-ending calf injury prior to last week's game versus Minnesota.
Packers 31, Bears 17