The smart-alecks/non-optimists would say Faith, Hope, and Prayer. And yes, the task is tall. But most of us probably thought the same prior to that completely out-of-the-blue surprise at the U.S. Open on Friday. So based on the "You Play To Win The Game" mantra, here's my trio of starting points if there's to be a Bears surprise against the Packers on Sunday:
1. Play keep-away, not give-away
This will be the first time we see the offense, as fully loaded as it can be (provided the Three Injured Bears Wideouts play), looks to execute the Adam Gase plan we've been hearing about since his hiring. He wants to establish the run, keep the playcall balance as "50/50" as possible, and help simplify things for Jay Cutler after 24 turnovers a year ago. The quarterback has averaged two interceptions per game against the Packers since he came here, the same year Dom Capers became their defensive coordinator. But an effective ground game still guarantees nothing. The last time the northern neighbors played here, the Bears ran for 235 yards. And lost by three touchdowns.
2. Win for Rodgers
Not Aaron. Jeff. The Bears' new special teams coordinator. His brother Jay is the defensive line coach. There's also Bears running back Jacquizz and Packers tight end Richard. This is a Five Rodgers Game. The Joe DeCamillis Era (and the league-high 28 penalties on that unit in 2014) is over. Ron Zook (remember him?) is the new Packers counterpart. Reports from Green Bay say that unit continued to struggle all preseason. So if the Bears' offense and defense are in for a challenging afternoon, one way to stay in it is to play a clean, effective game in the Third Phase.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
3. Stay on the same page
The you-know-what is about to hit the fan. Barring Foxborough-like headset issues, communication has a fresh layer of challenges. New staff. New schemes.New positions and faces, from the offensive line to all over the defense. For two years we heard about communication issues on that side of the ball. Not a good thing when talent level is also in question. It'll be interesting to watch the degree of chaos, especially when you can almost guarantee Rodgers (Aaron, that is) goes into a no-huddle offense. Ready, Shea?
Join Chris Boden, Lance Briggs, Dan Jiggetts and Jim Miller at 11 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet for "Bears Pregame Live," which leads you right up until switching over for kickoff. When the first half ends, log on to CSNChicago.com for "Bears Halftime Live," as Jim and Chris break down the first two quarters and go over adjustments. Then as soon as the game goes final, flip to Comcast SportsNet Plus, where the three ex-Bears and Chris bring you reaction, opinions, and analysis for 90 minutes on "Bears Postgame Live," including live coverage of John Fox's and Jay Cutler's press conferences, and interviews from the locker room.