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(AP) -- Aaron Rodgers is a student of the Green Bay Packers' illustrious history, so he understands the significance of this Thanksgiving matchup with the rival Chicago Bears.

 

The first big part Thursday night will be the retirement of Brett Favre's jersey at historic Lambeau Field, and the second is that the Packers have a chance to even the all-time series in the NFL's oldest rivalry.

 

The Bears, however, are expected to have running back Matt Forte and receiver Alshon Jeffery back as they try to spoil Green Bay's festive mood in this NFC North matchup.

 

The Packers are bringing some closure to the career of Favre, who is their all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes, among several categories.

 

Rodgers served as Favre's backup in his first three seasons before Favre reluctantly departed and eventually caused bad feelings among Green Bay's faithful when he played two season with arch-rival Minnesota. Time has now healed those wounds, and Favre and Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr will be on the field for halftime ceremonies.

 

"It's great for the Packers," Rodgers said. "We won't see the halftime festivities but it'll be a great day for all Packer fans."

 

Rodgers' focus will be on helping the Packers (7-3) maintain at least a share of the North lead through the weekend after he guided them to a 30-13 victory at Minnesota on Sunday that ended a three-game slide and forged a first-place tie with the Vikings.

 

It's not lost on the reigning league MVP that the Bears lead the series 93-92-6.

 

"It means we're tied up, right?" Rodgers said. "That'd be pretty sweet, it's a long history."

 

That history hasn't been kind to Jay Cutler, who is 1-11 with Chicago against Green Bay - including one playoff defeat - and has three touchdown passes against 12 interceptions while being sacked 18 times in going 0-4 at Lambeau.

 

Cutler, enjoying a season in which he has produced a career-best 92.7 passer rating, isn't putting any extra emphasis on this contest.

 

"I know it would mean a lot to the city of Chicago, it would mean a lot to this locker room, but we play 16 games, every opponent is important to us," Cutler said. "I don't think we're in a situation right now where we can pick and choose who we want to win and who we wanna lose to."

 

It appears likely he will have two major weapons back in Forte and Jeffery.

 

Forte has missed the past three games because of a knee injury, though the five-time 1,000-yard rusher indicated Tuesday that he'll return.

 

"I'm excited just to get back out there," he said. "Not really a lot of fun watching the games and doing all that and not be able to help your team win, so I'm not really used to doing that. But it's going to be fun to get back out there on the field and help us out. Just looking forward to being out there."

 

Jeffery has been limited to five games due to various injuries and sat out Sunday's 17-15 home defeat to Denver with groin and shoulder injuries. The receiver, who has posted three 100-yard efforts, is also expected back.

 

Chicago (4-6) has only played twice with Forte and Jeffery both starting. Only Forte started the Sept. 13 opener in Chicago, rushing for a season-high 141 yards in a 31-23 loss to Green Bay in which Rodgers threw for three scores.

 

"Obviously that was the first week of the season so a lot has changed since then," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said.

 

Forte averaged 67.8 yards in his next six games. Jeremy Langford has amassed 170 rushing yards in the last three games in his place.

 

The Packers' only blemish over the last 11 matchups came when Rodgers was injured in the first quarter and did not return in a 27-20 loss Nov. 4, 2013. That marked the only home game Rodgers lost during a 23-game stretch in the regular season before an 18-16 defeat against Detroit in the most recent game at Lambeau on Nov. 15.

 

Green Bay may not need to count on its passing attack since Chicago has the league's eighth-worst rushing defense, allowing 123.7 yards per game. The Bears gave up a season-high 170 to the Broncos.

 

"We struggled a little bit this last week against Denver versus the run, so I'm sure we'll get a dose of it on Thursday," coach John Fox said.

 

Eddie Lacy returned from a one-game absence with a groin injury and had a season-best 100 yards on 22 carries. James Starks has started the last two games at running back.

 

Rodgers is third in the NFL with 23 touchdown passes, and his three interceptions match Kansas City's Alex Smith for fewest among quarterbacks who have started every game.

 

"Nothing better than being at home on Thanksgiving I think, night game, Favre's going to get his number retired," Rodgers said. "It's going to be a special night."

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

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This is gonna be more about honoring Brett and retiring his number... Watch this be the game that Aaron just flips the switch and looks AMAZING again.

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If Alshon Jeffrey plays, Chicago has a chance. Their defense has been better than expected so if they can continue to hold the Packers passing game in check like the last 4 games, anything is possible.

 

Nevertheless, my pick is 30-20, Packers, with Eddie Lacy gashing the shit out of Chicago.

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The Bears are a super garbage team and It's a miracle they've pulled 4 wins out of their ass this season.

 

Give me the Packers easy.

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I've got a feeling (the exact same feeling that tells me the Cowboys are going to win tomorrow, so take that how you will) that the Bears are gonna put up a fight and keep it close. They're not gonna win, but it's gonna be close.

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Well, given the result of the Cowboys game, this could be bad....

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Forte is active for Week 12 against the Packers.

He'll get the start over rookie Jeremy Langford. The Bears' Week 12 inactives are S Antrel Rolle, WR Eddie Royal, RB Ka'Deem Carey, TE Martellus Bennett, DB Jacoby Glenn, OL Nick Becton, and DL Will Sutton.

 

 

 

Packers declared WR Ty Montgomery, QB Brett Hundley, DB Micah Hyde, RB Alonzo Harris, LB Andy Mulumba, C Corey Linsley, and WR Jared Abbrederis inactive for Week 12 against the Bears.

Montgomery is nursing a multi-week ankle injury. Abbrederis is also injured. Hyde has played poorly in coverage recently, most notably against tight ends.

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Yay for being half-right?

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The only thing your shit receivers are going to win you is a higher draft pick.

 

 

You're losing next week, too.

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Not impossible, but this offense has to start clicking at some point and that would be a really good time to start.

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I do find a little comfort in being in these games. We're losing and losing ugly.. but most of these we shouldn't even be competitive in. The defense is doing it's job (mostly)... Just need the offense to click even a little.

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Yeah, that defense is nice but at some point a trend has developed. Your receivers struggle to get separation at all, let alone quickly. Initially, we thought Green Bay would be fine without Jordy Nelson, but once again we undersold the impact of a dynamic, multi-faceted receiver. Now, I think any team with a competent TE could survive just fine as long as Cobb and Adams stay healthy, but Richard Rodgers is not even remotely scary.

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Getting separation isn't the issue at all. Davante Adams was open all night. he just dropped a shitload of passes. Randall Cobb was open most of the night. Aaron missed him on multiple throws and he dropped a couple too. James Jones was open in the endzone at the end.. dropped it.

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Not impossible, but this offense has to start clicking at some point and that would be a really good time to start.

 

Why does it have to start clicking at some point? At what point is this just the norm?

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Getting separation isn't the issue at all. Davante Adams was open all night. he just dropped a shitload of passes. Randall Cobb was open most of the night. Aaron missed him on multiple throws and he dropped a couple too. James Jones was open in the endzone at the end.. dropped it.

 

"open all night"

 

You said the same thing last week. Aaron isn't that bad right now that he's not finding receivers. Defenses are playing you well and it's because there's no bail-out elite weapon for Aaron to look to.

 

The Packers will win another Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers under center, but it is not likely to be this year unless the offense continues to be adjusted. Now, it's better to peak late in the season than in the middle, so maybe Green Bay will figure something out, but that will come with adjustments as opposed to beating their heads against the wall until stuff starts working.

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But his presence on the field would lead to less targets for Cobb/Adams, leading to fewer dropped passes.

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And the #1 CB would be on him, thus opening up more opportunities for them to get... more open? I guess.

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