Bears

Chris Simms: Green Bay Packers are 'a fraudulent 10-3'

Chris Simms: Green Bay Packers are 'a fraudulent 10-3'

The Green Bay Packers are in the midst of a better-than-expected first season under coach Matt LaFleur, who despite inheriting a team with Aaron Rodgers under center, was projected to experience some struggles at least early in the year.

Instead, the Packers are 10-3 with a 1.5 game lead in the NFC North and can take a big step toward securing the division title on Sunday against the Bears.

Chicago (7-6) is a big underdog this week. Almost all of football media are picking the Packers to win, but there's at least one analyst who isn't convinced Green Bay is for real.

"They're winning games, but I would say they're a little bit of a fraudulent 10-3," NBC Sports' Chris Simms said Thursday. "Who has Green Bay really beat this year? I think maybe you can say their two most impressive wins of the year are the Bears in Week 1 and the Vikings in Week 2. They beat the Kansas City Chiefs without the Kansas City Chiefs' best player on their football team.

"I still have a lot of questions about this Green Bay team. There's not a lot of talent around Aaron Rodgers. I mean, who's there to be really scared about? Davante Adams is good, but he's not good to where teams want to double team him and do that. And he hasn't been as good ever since he hurt his toe. There's a lack of fire-power there."

One player Simms left out of his analysis of Green Bay's offense is running back Aaron Jones, who's been shouldering much of the big-play load for the Packers. Jones has 779 rushing yards, 425 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns this year and is as much of a threat out of the backfield as any running back in the NFL right now.  He'll challenge Chicago's pair of backup linebackers, Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis, who've been thrust into starting action because of injuries to Roquan Smith (pec) and Danny Trevathan (elbow).

But Green Bay's barely average defense and the Bears' recent emergence on offense has these two clubs seemingly trending in different directions. It's a trend Simms sees continuing in Week 15.

"The way (the Packers) play and the way the Bears are playing right now? I'm picking the Bears to win this weekend."

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Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.