Before I go on, I know that Cubbies Crib is suppose to be completely dedicated to our beloved Cubs. But, if you live in Chicago, the only team that is as beloved as the Chicago Cubs are the Chicago Bears. Unless you’ve been a cave for all this past week, you know that the Bears are hosting-their rival- the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. To steal a line from Brent Musburger, “This one is for all the tostitos”.
This game between the Bears and the Packers is going to be like no other. Considering that the last time the Bears and Packers met up in the playoffs was in 1941, today will truly illustrate the intensity of the the rivalry as the winner will go on to Dallas and play in the Super Bowl.
When looking at the Green Bay Packers, it is hard not to be impressed. Green Bay’s offense led by Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be the best offense in the league. With the evolution of Running Back James Starks during the playoffs, it gives the Packers an additional threat through way of the running game. But, Green Bay’s best asset may come through the form of their defense. With the help of Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, and Tramon Williams the Packers have held opposing Quarterbacks to a rating of 67.2 for the regular season.
As for our Chicago Bears, they have always been perceived as the under dogs no matter what situation they face. In fact, it went as far Colin Cowherd, ESPN Radio Host, to say this about the Bears, “If the Bears beat the Packers, the Bears would be the worst Super Bowl team in the history of the NFL.” While I’m sure Cowherd was just playing the Chicago fans, it is an inaccurate assessment of the Chicago Bears. Led by Quarterback- and my favorite player- Jay Cutler, the Bears offense has excelled during the last half of the season and into the playoffs. Most of their offensive successes can be attributed to Mike Tice solidifying the offensive line, and Mike Martz running a balanced offense after the Bye Week. But the strength of the Bears is without question their defense and special teams unit. With the newly acquired Julius Peppers providing a boost to the defensive line, and the stellar performances of Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher the Bears defense has regained it’s “Monsters of the Midway” status. In addition, the Bears may have the NFL’s most electric player in Devin Hester, who is the all-time leader fir return touchdowns.
While most people like to look at the battle between Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers as the matchup to watch, I’m more focused on the Bears’ special teams against the Packers’ special teams. The Bears’ Special teams holds a considerable advantage over that of the Green Bay Packers. If the Special Teams unit of the Bears execute correctly, then that will likely be a large factor as to why the Bears will win this game.
Considering that Packers are playing outside in frigid conditions, I do not anticipate that they will have the same success as they did against Atlanta in the Divisional round of the playoffs. In two games against the Bears this season, the Green Bay Packers have only score 27 points. They Scored 17 in their week 3 lost at Soldier Field, and 10 in their Week 17 victory at Lambeau Field, which pushed them into the playoffs. To simply put it the defensive backs have to play physical with the Green Bay receivers, as they did during their Week 17 matchup. If they do, then that will limit what Aaron Rodgers can do on offense, and will create the opportunity for Julius Peppers and the Bears defensive line to get pressure on Rodgers.
For the Bears offense, it is quite simple; play within your control. Meaning if Mike Martz let’s the crazy scientist in his head go loose and he becomes pass happy, that will not work to the Bears benefit. As the Green Bay defense would take advantage of the pass happy attack. Not to mention, that is when Cutler is at his worst production. Running Back Matt Forte is going to be a vital asset for the Bears, and if he finds success then the Bears offense should have success as well.
At last my prediction, in day that will likely go down in Chicago Sports history, I’m going with the DA Bears to win the game 23 to 20 over the Packers.
For Complete Coverage of the game, please go over and check out our friends at Bear Goggles On.