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Packers – Bears NFC Championship game preview

January 18, 2011 2 comments

Well, it’s almost here. The Packers will play the Bears at Soldier field on Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. In honor of how far the Pack have advanced this year, I am writing up a little game preview and comparison for all of you, my lovely readers. Thanks for checking out my blog this year! Here goes…

The Packers and Bears will be meeting for the 182nd time Sunday, the oldest (and Best!) rivalry in the NFL. So what can the Packers do to win this game and get to the Super Bowl? Here are what I believe are the three keys to victory:

1. Stop Devin Hester. DO NOT kick the ball to him. DO NOT punt the ball to him. Don’t let him get deep for a pass. He’s a scoring threat that the Packers should shut down.

2. Get pressure on Jay Cutler. Blitz the heck out of him. If he gets rushed and has guys up in his face all day, he WILL make a mistake. The Packers’s defense should be able to force him into some bad throws or bad plays.

3. Outrun the Bears.  If the Packers want  to win in frigid and hostile conditions they need to get more running yard than the Bears. This means stopping Matt Forte and turning James Starks into a snowplow. Once the Bears have to try to defend the run, Aaron Rodgers can carve them up. Easy, right?

If the Pack can do these three things, they will win the game. I believe they can.

Fearless prediction: Packers 24 – Bears 21.

Now, I’d like to break down position by position and player by player which team I believe will have the advantage in the game:

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers vs. Jay Cutler.

While it’s true that Jay Cutler has played well this season and limited his mistakes, there is no way that he has played better than Rodgers, who has had an MVP type season. Not to mention his dominant performance in the playoffs so far this year. Jay Cutler occasionally will try to force a few throws and the Packers need to try to capitalize on those mistakes to win. Also, if Jay Cutler is on Earth than Aaron Rodgers is on another planet. He could very well be wearing that championship belt come February. Advantage: PACK, by a mile.

Offensive lines: Bears O-line vs. Packers O-line

The Bears O-line has given them problems all year-long, especially with the timing routes that new Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz likes to run. Their line has been one of that teams’ only weaknesses this year. On the other side, the Packers O-line has been just okay. They seem to get little to no push in the running game against better defenses and have been only so-so in pass protection. Rodgers often has had to try to escape the rush himself when defenders got free. On a positive note, rookie Bryan Bulaga seems to have come into his own this year and Josh Sitton has also played well. In summary, neither one of these O-lines belongs in the pro bowl. (Hear that, Chad Clifton?) But these teams seem to make it work. Advantage: EVEN

Running Backs: Matt Forte & Chester Taylor vs. James Starks & Brandon Jackson

I’ll keep this short. Starks has emerged as the Packers clear ground threat after sitting out most of the season, but it is unknown how well he could hold up over a full 16 game schedule. Jackson is a capable third down back but nothing more. Matt Forte is one of the highest-scoring players on the team and is a legitimate threat to score every time he touches the ball. Chester Taylor is a great blocker, receiver and third-down back. With Ryan Grant, the Packers might have had an advantage here but without him, not this year. Still, I think Starks will be the difference in the game. Advantage: slight edge to BEARS

Receivers: Jennings, Driver, Jones & Nelson vs. Knox, Hester, Aromashudu & Bennett

The Bears have somehow managed to take a group of skill positions players and cast-offs from other teams and turn them into a respectable unit. I’m guessing that is mostly thanks to Mike Martz. On the other hand, the Packers top four receivers are all threats to score each time the catch the ball. Their receivers are great at running with the ball after the catch. Donald Driver still plays at an amazingly high level for his age. Jennings has emerged as the Packers star wide-out. In this comparison, it is no contest. Advantage: PACK

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen & K. Davis vs. Donald Lee, Andrew Quarless & Tom Crabtree

This one is pretty simple. Greg Olsen is probably the best receiver on the Bears team. He’s a pro-bow type player. The Packers have a vet in Donald Lee, and some young talent with Quarless and Crabtree, but they don’t stack up. The Pack lost their advantage when Jermichael Finley went out for the year with an injury. Advantage: BEARS

Now to the defensive side of the ball:

Defensive lines: Peppers, Idonije, Harris & Adams vs. Raji, Pickett & Jenkins.

Well the Bears have an obvious advantage on the D-line just by the fact that they play a base 4-3 defense while the Packers use a base 3-4. They also have the 6-time pro bowler Julius Peppers and an emerging star in Idonije. On the other hand, the Packers have had great performances by Raji, Pickett and Jenkins all year. Still, it seams that the Bears might have a slight advantage. Advantage: BEARS

Linebackers: Matthews, Hawk, Bishop & Walden vs. Urlacher, Briggs & Tinoisamoa.

Well, we ought to have the advantage here just having four versus their three. Matthews is now a star on the Pack’s defense. Hawk has come back from not playing a snap in the first game to being a leader on the defense. And Bishop and Walden have both stepped up and played incredibly after filling in for injured starters. Bishop may have replaced Nick Barnett next year as a starting ILB. The Bears have two pro bowlers in Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher. Tinoisamoa is the weak link and he can be exploited. Neither the Packers or the Bears have very good backups at linebacker at this point. But the Packers’ woes are mostly because of injuries. The Bears are praying that neither Briggs or Urlacher gets hurt. They are not the same team without them. Advantage: slight edge goes to the PACK

Defensive backs: Woodson, Williams, Shields, Collins & Peprah vs. Tillman, Jennings, Harris, Bowman & Manning.

This is an easy choice. The Packers have a former Defensive MVP in Woodson, a young star in Williams, a Pro Bowl player in Collins and an emerging star in Peprah. On the other side, the bears secondary is solid but it is nowhere near as good as the Packers. Their coaches probably dream about having the secondary that the Packers do when they go to sleep at night. Advantage: PACK

Kickers: Robbie Gould vs. Mason Crosby.

Simply put, Gould is money. He rarely misses even in poor conditions. Crosby is good and has a really strong leg but conditions do seem to affect his kicks. Advantage: BEARS

Special Teams: Devin Hester & Daniel Manning vs. Sam Shields & Tramon Williams

The Packers should not be using their second and third best cornerbacks on kickoff and punt returns and risking injury to them. But they don’t have anyone else.  Devin Hester is a freak of nature on punt returns and he absolutely SHOULD NOT be kicked to. The Packers will lose if they punt the ball to him once too often. Advantage: BEARS

So, did I give the Bears too much credit? Probably. After all, THE BEARS STILL SUCK! Time for their lucky streak to run out am I right? This will be one epic battle. Let’s cheer on our team like we never have before! Thanks for reading and GO PACK GO!!!

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Packers win a close one as they beat the Bears to make the playoffs!!! Packers 10 – Bears 3

January 3, 2011 Leave a comment


As I sat there watching the game at The Bar in Wausau, I had the sinking feeling that the Packers were going to blow it and miss the playoffs this year. Boy, was I glad that I was wrong.

Because that feeling came before the Green Bay defense took charge and said oh no Jay Cutler, you and your double-chin are not going to beat us. Not today. After all, THE BEARS STILL SUCK! Game ball for the game has to go to the entire Packers defense for a dominant performance.

When the offense was struggling, the defense just kept coming up with big stops again and again. Of course the stars on the defense all played well: B.J. Raji, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Clay Matthews and Nick Collins all made big plays. It was the usual cast of characters.

Some of the other credit for the great defensive performance needs to go to some of the more unknown players. For instance, CB Sam Shields came up huge time and again for the defense, and Safety Charlie Peprah had the crucial interception in the end zone. You’ve also got to give some props to Punter Tim Masthay for keeping the ball away from the dangerous Devin Hester and for having two punts downed inside the 5-yard line. Now that’s how you win with special teams.

As far as the Green Bay offense goes, it was bad man. Pretty unspectacular. They couldn’t ever really get anything going except for the few big passing plays. Give the Bears defense credit, they were able to shut down one of the best offenses in football for more than three quarters. But it wasn’t enough. I’d like to thank Greg Jennings for making the play of the day. I was also happy to see Donald Lee finally make a catch in the end zone. It never hurts to be that wide open, either.

There were some problems with the offense that the Packers will need to fix before next week. Bryan Bulaga had a few too many penalties for holding and for false starts. The running game could not get going. Neither Brandon Jackson or James Starks could gain much traction. Donald Driver had an uncharacteristic fumble. These are a few things that they will need to improve to beat the Eagles.

Your food for this week is going to be some Barb‘s best Bear Meat. After all, the stupid Bears played their stupid starters for the whole stupid game and we still ate them up. Yum Nom Nom Nom!! We should also share some with Lovie Smith and that Bears offensive coordinator for calling a timeout right before they could have gained 15 yards and a critical first down. And if we don’t share our man meat, the least we can do is send one of them a thank you card. It should probably read: thanks for calling us a timeout, Dumbass!!! 🙂 🙂 😉

Looking ahead, the packers will play the Philly Eagles on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Philadelphia. It will be the Mike Vick show vs. the Aaron Rodgers show. Personally, I think that the Packers defense is better than the Philly defense and that the Packers have a great chance to win this game. Either way, it is soooo exciting to have another game to write about! Fearless prediction: Packers beat the Iggles 38-35 in a shootout.

Happy Reading and Happy Eating!!! Go PACK Go!!!!