LAKE FOREST – In a game that is big business, true rivalries can sometimes be a rarity. But that’s not the case this week in Chicago or Green Bay.
Bears-Packers is one of the iconic rivalries in sports, with its roots going back to the dawn of professional football in America. They’ll meet for the 198th time in their history on Sunday at Soldier Field, renewing a meeting that brings out bad blood on both sides.
So naturally, any comparison made between a Bears’ player and one from the Packers might not go over so well. Hence the case of Mitchell Trubisky this week.
In an interview with Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times back in September, it was revealed that Trubisky was nicknamed “Favre” in high school, and that his first car had the license plate “Favre 10.” The nickname was given to him by his high school coaches in Mentor, Ohio, and it stuck throughout his time there.
The nickname came up during Trubisky’s news conference at Halas Hall on Wednesday. While it is an interesting tidbit before his third career game with the Packers, the quarterback wasn’t much into reflecting on this nickname from his past.
“That’s another thing kinda in the past,” said Trubisky when asked about the “Favre” nickname this week. “I’m done with that nickname. Nobody calls me that no more. Just focused on playing this weekend.”
Trubisky is 44-70 for 468 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in two career games against the Packers, with the Bears taking losses in both games.
VIC DOING CARTWHEELS?
At the moment, he might be the most successful defensive coordinator in the NFL. Dominating one of the league’s best offenses on the big stage will do that.
Hence Vic Fangio is a happy man at the moment, as his defense makes a strong case to be the league’s best in 2018.
The Bears unit leads the league in interceptions (25) and defensive touchdowns (6). They’re third in the NFL in points allowed per game (19) and yardage (309.9) while ranking fourth in sacks (40). Last week against the Rams they were at their most impressive, keeping the league’s second-ranked offense out of the endzone and allowing just 214 yards while picking off Jared Goff four times.
With Aaron Rodgers ahead, there isn’t much time for the coach to celebrate. Even if the team had a bye, don’t expect the coach to do anything out of the ordinary.
“I tried to do a cartwheel but I couldn’t,” said Fangio when he asked how he celebrated the effort. “You enjoy it, but, really, it was a lot of satisfaction, really happy for our players, knowing what it meant for them as individuals and as a unit. The Sunday night games, you get home later, you’ve got to sleep, and get right back up at it. So that curtails a bit of the celebrating.”
THE RETURN OF KYLE?
In early November, the hard-luck for Kyle Long continued, as the offensive lineman was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury suffered against the Jets.
Though a window opened for a return in Week 17, the odds of the offensive guard returning seemed unlikely. Yet this week, it appears that things are looking up for one of the Bears’ most tenured players.
During the open media period of Bears’ practice this week, Long was spotted walking around without a boot, which is an indication that his recovery is on track. This week, Matt Nagy didn’t rule out the shot that Long could return the final week of the season and for a likely playoff run.
“I could be a possibility,” said Nagy of Long, adding that he has been in great spirits during his recovery. “We’ve got to see, though. It’s one of those deals where it’s all going to be dependent on how he heals from everything and where he’s at. We’ll just continue to monitor that.”
STAT OF THE WEEK – 5
The number of games in the Packers’ current eight-game winning streak against the Bears at Soldier Field which have been decided by eight points or less, including the last four meetings at the venue.