Week 4 of the NFL schedule opens with an NFC North showdown at Lambeau Field when the Green Bay Packers (2-1) play host to the Chicago Bears (1-2) in prime-time on CBS with the broadcast team of Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson and Jay Feely on the call. Both teams are coming off of victories in Week 3 in dramatic fashion, with their games needing overtime to be decided. This rivalry is one of the oldest in football and, oddly enough, entering Thursday night, the record between the two teams is tied: 94-94-6.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will get wide receiver Randall Cobb (chest) back from injury, but they could still be without tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari who were limited participants in practice this week. That could be an issue against a Bears front that sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times last week. Rodgers was sacked six times against the Bengals, and Romo thinks the Packers will have to adjust their offense slightly to give Rodgers a little more protection while the tackles are out.
“Aaron’s so uniquely talented in his ability to extend the play, but he can also get the ball out quick,” said Romo. “During this stretch where their tackles are out along the offensive line you just want to run the ball a little more and you want to get him (Rodgers) outside the pocket on bootlegs where he doesn’t have to stand in the same spot over and over again.”
On the flip side, the Chicago offense gashed the Steelers last week thanks to the running back tandem of Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard, which totaled 216 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in overtime. The Packers defense currently ranks in the bottom half of the league against the run, allowing 113.7 yards per game on 4.5 yards per carry to their opponents this season. That rushing attack, combined with some of the Packers issues in protection, could make for a close game tonight.
“I do think it’s going to be a great game, I think Chicago is better than people know,” said Romo. “They’re as good at running the football as anybody in the NFL. They have two great running backs and it’s going to be a challenge for Green Bay.”
For Romo, this will be his first Thursday night broadcast, but he’s entering his fourth week of calling games. He hasn’t been heard from much outside of the game broadcasts, so some may be wondering how he feels his transition to broadcasting has gone. Romo has nothing but praise for his broadcast team and partner Jim Nantz.
“It’s been really enjoyable. I get to stay in football and that’s been really exciting. Having someone like Jim Nantz next to you, he’s made me look pretty good,” said Romo. “You don’t realize how much of a team it is until you get here. I can remember in the first game, I made a comment, just something small and I was like ‘here comes a run to the left’ and Jim goes ‘And a run to the left’ and he just accentuates your point a little bit. Some of the little things that he does are really brilliant and it’s been really fun to work with someone so talented.”
To hear more from Romo about his transition to broadcasting, check out the video above. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:25 p.m. Eastern Time with pregame coverage from The NFL Today crew airing at 8 p.m.