The Bears understand the most important dynamic of Sunday's game against the Packers: They're one victory away from claiming the NFC North title.
But they also sit 40 points away from topping the 1985 Super Bowl champs as the highest scoring team in franchise history. And Marc Trestman's first-year offense only needs 73 yards to become the most productive unit the team ever has had.
It has been an encouraging season offensively. And to stamp the exclamation point on things, the Bears will need to attack a vulnerable Packers defense that they already have defeated.
In a 27-20 victory over the Packers (7-7-1) in Week 9, the Bears (8-7) delivered one of their most efficient offensive efforts. They averaged 5.9 yards per play and rolled up 442 total yards with 171 on the ground.
Noticeable balance. Crisp timing. The Bears went turnover-free. And quarterback Josh McCown took only one sack -- for a 1-yard loss.
"Those are the keys, man," center Roberto Garza said. "When you talk about what you have to do to win a football game it starts with establishing a running game and keeping your quarterback clean."
On Sunday, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said, the Bears will have to remember that success and stay true to their identity to thrive.
"The big thing is to make sure we run plays we know by heart," Kromer said.
Ultimately, the rhythm quarterback Jay Cutler finds in leading the offense will be critical. And Cutler's rhythm will be related to the groove Trestman finds as a play caller.
Said Cutler: "He calls a play and it works. He's hitting the coverages on the head. If we have a Cover-3 play, we're getting Cover-3. If we have a man play, we're getting man. ... He has a good feel for defenses and he's making sure we have answers."
One last test awaits.
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