GREEN BAY, WIS (WBAY) - A large, and we mean large, part of Packers-Bears history could be revisited this Sunday in Chicago.
In 1985, a household appliance became a household name at the Packers expense. Bears rookie defensive tackle William “the refrigerator” Perry scored not one, but two touchdowns against Green Bay on goal line plays; one on a rush, the other a receiving touchdown 2 weeks later.
33 years later, Bears rookie head coach Matt Nagy is turning back the clock. Two weeks ago against the Giants, he put 6-7, 335-pound defensive tackle Akiem Hicks in the backfield. Hicks scored on the 1-yard plunge, and the play was called “The Freezer.”
Imagine being a linebacker trying to fill the hole against that behemoth. “It's just a mentality thing, you've got to come to play,” said Packers inside linebacker Antonio Morrison. “Don't look at the creativity or whatever, just know the dude is 300 pounds so I've got to bring it a little harder.”
But Nagy made it harder last week; not only was Hicks in the backfield for a goal line play against the Rams, so were *3 other defensive linemen. And then they passed it to an offensive lineman for a touchdown. The Santa Sleigh they call it. What will they think of next?
“They want to get you thinking one thing which is power, and then mix it up. But I would equate it to any other tight end, or any other fullback; they just happen to be a lot bigger,” said Clay Matthews. Fellow linebacker Blake Martinez is also preparing for just about anything Sunday. “They can do multiple things, like they did last week, with it; have your eyes in one place and then hit you in another. It's just having an understanding with that and knowing who is eligible and who isn't, and covering those guys.”
If they don't covers those guys, whoever they are, the Bears could be having fun at the Packers expense....again.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga missed practice again Thursday due to a knee injury, meaning Jason Spriggs seems likely to make his second straight start. With Byron Bell going on injured reserve this week, that means the Packers will likely have two backups starting on the right side of the offensive line on Sunday against that vaunted Bears defense. Left guard Lane Taylor (foot) was a full participant at practice Thursday, so he appears set to return after sitting out last week’s win over Atlanta.
The Bears defense is tied for 4th in the NFL with 40 sacks (same as the Packers) and they rank 1st in opposing quarterback rating. Khalil Mack is the ringleader with 10 sacks and 6 forced fumbles, tied for most in the NFL. But he has plenty of help. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks as 6 sacks, and the starting 4 up front account for more than half of the team’s sacks. “It's not like there is a solid weak link in their front 7. It's going to be a challenge and we will just have to go out there and make hay with what we've got,” Jason Spriggs said on Thursday. Center Corey Linsley agrees. “They've got it all. They are not just one dimensional; not only are they physically gifted but they run the scheme well, they run the defense well.”
The complete injury report is listed below.