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Key Matchups

Week 15 Key Matchups


When the Bears take on the Packers on Sunday, keep an eye out for the following matchups:

Bears CB Kyle Fuller vs Packers WR Davante Adams
When the Bears and Packers faced off to kick off the season in Week 1, no one could have predicted the year that Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was going to have. Fuller was coming off a year in which he had two interceptions and 22 pass breakups. Three months later, Fuller's seven picks this year are tied for most in the league, and he has 19 pass breakups with three games left to play. Fuller has been one of the league's best secondary players, helping lead a Bears defense that ranks first in takeaways, interceptions and offensive points allowed. In the team's first matchup this year, Fuller had one of his quietest statistical games, recording just two tackles, but of late, the fourth-year corner has been on a tear. Fuller has an interception in each of the last three games and has tallied six pass breakups and 14 tackles over that span.

Another big performance from Fuller will be critical if the Bears want to take down the only divisional opponent they haven't won against this year. In their Week 1 matchup, Packers receiver Davante Adams caught five passes for 88 yards and snagged a fourth-quarter touchdown en route to an eventual Packers comeback win. Just as Fuller has three picks in the last three games, Adams has recorded a touchdown in each of Green Bay's last three contests, and his 12 total touchdown receptions are tied for most in the league. If Fuller can limit Adams from having a fourth straight game with a score, and maybe even extend his own pick streak to four games, the Bears might be able to check off the Packers on their divisional win list.

Bears C Cody Whitehair vs. Packers DL Kenny Clark

Bears center Cody Whitehair has been a workhorse for Chicago on the offensive line. The third-year pro has not missed an offensive snap this year, and his consistency and leadership on the front line has been crucial, particularly when quarterback Mitchell Trubisky missed two games with a right shoulder injury. Whitehair and the rest of the line have done a solid job keeping their quarterbacks clean this year, allowing an average of just 2.2 sacks per game. Last week, Whitehair and the offensive line limited a dangerous Rams defensive line to only one sack.

Whitehair will face another challenge in Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark. Clark was key in the teams' first matchup of the year, tallying three tackles, a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery. Clark has already matched his total tackles number from a season ago with three games still to play, and his eight tackles-for-loss this year and six sacks are more than he had in each category in his prior two seasons combined. However, the former California standout suffered an elbow injury last week against the Falcons that forced him to temporarily leave the game. He eventually returned but recorded no stats in the contest.

Bears LT Charles Leno Jr. vs Packers OLB Kyler Fackrell

Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr. signed a four-year deal with the team last summer, and he makes the Bears look smarter for the move with each game. Leno has been a durable force on the front line for the Bears. Along with Whitehair, Leno has not missed a single offensive snap this year. Leno was key in last week's win, allowing Trubisky plenty of time in the pocket and limiting a dynamic Rams defensive line. Leno and the offensive line have allowed only one sack per game in each of Trubisky's last four games under center.

Leno will match up opposite Packers linebacker Kyler Fackrell on Sunday with a chance to win the division. Fackrell played himself into a starting role this year, and has started on the defense each of the last four weeks. His eight sacks lead the team, and he's had two games this year in which he's recorded three sacks. The 2016 third-round pick has faced the Bears five times in his career, but Chicago has always been good at limiting his effect on the game. Fackrell has tallied just four tackles in five previous matchups. If Leno can keep Fackrell at bay, it will be key in giving Trubisky an opportunity to attack a Green Bay defense that has given up 230 passing yards per game over its last three contests.

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