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Opponent breakdown: Packers


The Bears (4-6) will look to feast on Thanksgiving night against their long-time rivals, the Green Bay Packers (7-3). Here's a breakdown of Chicago's Week 12 opponent:

What's new: There are a handful of Packers defenders whose names are familiar to opposing fans. Guys like Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and B.J. Raji have been impact defenders for many years, causing havoc in opposing backfields for much of the past decade. Datone Jones, however, doesn't ring as loud of a bell. But lately, Jones has been at the heart of the Green Bay pass rush. The 2013 first-round pick had two sacks in Week 11, the first multi-sack game of his career. The Packers had six sacks total in that victory over Minnesota, with Jones leading the way.

What's old: After rushing for more than 1,300 yards in each of his first two seasons, running back Eddie Lacy hasn't looked like his normal self early in the season. In four games between Weeks 5 and 10, Lacy never had more than 38 rushing yards in any contest. A groin injury was part of the reason he wasn't running the same up to his usual standards, and Lacy missed Week 10 because of his health. In Week 11, however, Lacy looked like the Lacy of old, running for 100 yards on 22 carries. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his teammate looked like he was at full strength, which could be trouble for opposing defenses.

Last time out: In a battle for first place in the NFC North, the Packers topped the Vikings 30-13 in Minneapolis. Rodgers didn't have his greatest game, but still threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He was helped out by Lacy and the Green Bay defense, which stopped the Minnesota offense in its track. Adrian Peterson was held to just 45 rushing yards, his lowest total in a game since Week 1.

Series history: The NFL's longest-running rivalry is as close as it gets. Since 1920, the Bears and Packers have met 191 times, including two playoff meetings. The Bears hold a one-game edge in the standings, leading 93-92-6. However Green Bay owns an equally narrow edge on the scoreboard. In those 191 games, the Packers have scored 3,231 points, while the Bears have scored 3,230.

Injury report: Like every NFL team these days, the Packers are banged up. The most serious injuries on the Green Bay roster are tackle Bryan Bulaga, who is dealing with a sore knee, and defensive back Micah Hyde, who has a bruised hip. Both played on Sunday against the Vikings, and their status for the Thanksgiving clash is unknown.

Schemes and tendencies: One of the reasons the Packers are so tough to beat is because they seemingly are always ahead. Green Bay is tied with New Orleans for the most points in the first quarter, as each averages 7.6. Meanwhile, the Packers are second in the NFL in allowing the fewest first-quarter points, as opponents average 1.9 point in that span. The team's plus-57 point differential in the game's opening 15 minutes is far and away the best in the league, and Rodgers' eight first-quarter touchdown passes also ranks first.

Did you know: Julius Peppers is the only player in NFL history with more than 100 sacks and 10 interceptions. He compiled 37.5 of those sacks and three interceptions with the Bears from 2010-2013, and has added 13.5 sacks and two interceptions the past two seasons with Green Bay. The other 81 sacks and six picks came during his eight years with the Panthers.

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