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Packers vs. Bears: Five key matchups


1. Packers tackles vs. Julius Peppers—The Bears move Peppers around and Marshall Newhouse and T.J. Lang will each get their share of having to block Peppers, who has 10 sacks and is having one of the best years of his career. Peppers is a premier pass-rusher and the Packers have struggled against those types this season. Last week, it was Tamba Hali. Newhouse and Lang will likely get help from a tight end or running back, but that'll mean one fewer receiver in the pass routes and one more blocker not able to block somebody else. The Bears are likely to come into this game with a heavy pass-rush scheme.

2. Packers rush-offense vs. Bears run-defense—The Packers gashed the Bears with the run in Week 3, which was out of character for a defense that is eighth in the league against the run. Can the Packers do it again? Making Peppers and Co. play the run is a very effective way of quieting the pass-rush.

3. Scott Wells vs. Brian Urlacher—Wells won't be the only Packers lineman responsible for blocking Urlacher, but Wells is representative of the need to get a body on Urlacher and keep him from running free to the ball.

4. Jordy Nelson vs. Bears secondary—With Greg Jennings out, the Packers need someone to step up and be a No. 1 receiver. Nelson was that man until last week.

5. Clay Matthews vs. Josh McCown—Matthews has the kind of suddenness to devastate a quarterback that has only thrown two passes this season. Matthews will be up against Lance Louis, a former guard who is developing into an edge blocker in his third pro season. The Packers desperately need an impact pass-rusher to emerge and Matthews is, clearly, the best prospect to be that player.

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