Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-10.5, 51)
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are hitting their stride and seek their fifth consecutive victory when they face the visiting Chicago Bears on Monday night. The hot streak has propelled the Packers to the top of the NFC North, a half-game ahead of Detroit and one in front of the Bears, who have not won in Green Bay since December 2008. The Packers have dominated their oldest rival in recent years behind Rodgers, winning the past six matchups.
Chicago's task is that much more daunting with journeyman Josh McCown set to start in place of Jay Cutler, who suffered a groin injury in a 45-41 loss at Washington prior to last week's bye. McCown acquitted himself well in relief of Cutler, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown, and did make a start in Green Bay in December 2011. The Bears also have major concerns on the other side of the ball, ranking 29th in the league in points allowed (29.4).TV:
8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN.LINE:
Packers opened -11 and are now -10.5. The total opened 49.5 and is up to 51.
Forecasts are calling for a 27 percent chance of rain with wind blowing toward the N endzone at 10 mph.ABOUT THE BEARS (4-3):
McCown's last appearance against the Packers was his first start in four years after he was signed off waivers, so Chicago is confident he is more equipped to handle Sunday's assignment. "We're in a very fortunate position," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We've got a guy who has started in this league, has played, has a great grasp of our offense. I think that is clear." Running back Matt Forte rushed for 91 yards and a career-high three TDs versus Washington but has averaged only 44.4 yards rushing in the last five against the Packers.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (5-2):
Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns against four interceptions and has received a boost from the running game, which produced 182 rushing yards in last week's 44-31 rout of Minnesota. Rookie Eddie Lacy had a career-high 29 carries and has toted the ball at least 22 times in the past four games while leading the league with 395 October rushing yards. "We're running the football a lot more effectively," Rodgers said Thursday. ''We're top five ... in throwing it and running it, which I'm sure hasn't happened here in a while."TRENDS:
* Favorite is 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Under is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings.
* Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last five vs. NFC North.
* Under is 7-2 in Packers last nine vs. NFC North.
1. Rodgers is 5-0 lifetime at home against Chicago.
2. Bears LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), a seven-time Pro Bowler, is out, putting more pressure on a unit that is 27th in total defense at 391.0 yards per game allowed.
3. The teams are meeting for the 185th time in the regular season, with Chicago leading the series 91-87-6.