Originally posted on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 9/13/12

All the talk surrounds how much better the Chicago Bears offense is this season, Cutler to Marshall and Jeffery, Forte and Bush running the ball the Bears have weapons now.

This week's game against the Packers is a prove it game, prove that you can keep up with the Packers on offense because we know they can score a lot of points.

After watching the game film and knowing what the Bears have done so well against the Packers in the past there's really only one thing to do to win this game, run the football.

The Chicago Bears' game plan should be to pound the football with Matt Forte and Michael Bush to slow down the pass rush and to open it up for Jay Cutler.  Get a good lead, and then maintain that lead and keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense off the field.

Matt Forte and the Bears running game has had it's best success when they run the ball to the outside against the Packers. This allows the offensive line to use their athleticism to get out in front of Forte and spring him for big gains.

The 49ers gashed the Packers for over 180-yards rushing last week, and there's no reason to think the Bears can't duplicate that type of production.  As an example Forte's biggest run of the game last week came on a power play to the outside with two pulling linemen that sprung him for 33 yards.  This run set up a Bears touchdown and forced the Colts to respect the running game.

While big plays down the field are desirable, they're not a must have in order to knock off the Packers.  The Bears need to be efficient on offense, put together long drives if necessary to come away with a victory in Lambeau.

Last year the Bears  had a total of eight drives that went for 80 or more yards for a touchdown, last week the Bears had three against the Colts.  That is one example of what this offense is capable when it finds a rhythm.

The Bears however still have a lot of room for improvement on offense, especially third down conversion efficiency.  The Bears were 4 out of 12 last week on third down which was good for a 33-percent conversion rate.  That percentage has to improve, there's no longer an excuse for the Bears to convert on third down with big receivers like Marshall and Jeffery.

While there was some confidence restored in the Bears' offensive line last week in the way that they protected Cutler, the jury is still out on the five man front.  Cutler was sacked twice in the game and only hit three other times, but most of that protection came with Dwight Freeney out.

Adding to the Bears simple protection schemes the Colts didn't pin their ears back and blitz as much as expected.  They brought more four man rushes than I fully anticipated, which will not be the case in this game against the Packers.

Dom Capers is going to attack the Bears and force them to protect Cutler better than they have in the past against blitz happy defenses.  Last week Charles Woodson had a sack, and Clay Matthews had 2.5 sacks to go a long with eight QB hits on Alex Smith from the Packer D.

Protecting Jay Cutler will be huge in this game for the offensive line.  This game is a true barometer for this group, and until the proof is on film and a result on the scoreboard, we can't assume anything.

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