The Chicago Bears have reached a tipping point, and what seemed like a promising season has potentially become a self-destructing blunder. We have arrived at an impasse this week as the Green Bay Packers are headed due south toward Chicago. The Bears, who were once in control of the NFC North division, have fallen off their stand and into a dark hole, now fighting for a shot at the playoffs.
At 7-1, the possibilities opened up and the one thing we thought was secure was a playoff bid. Five games and four losses later and the Bears are in serious trouble of having one of those epic collapsing seasons; perhaps one of the worst in recent memory.
With the Packers in town—who have won five-straight against the Bears dating back to 2010—it puts the Bears in a make-or-break situation. Worst of all, the Packers can secure the NFC North with a win and put the Bears’ playoffs hopes in serious jeopardy.
A week I love and hate, as do many Bears fans. Week-2 was a disaster, and it exposed this Bears team. The next six weeks masked a growing problem inside the locker room, but if we go back and look at Week-2 the current losing streak should come as no surprise. The Packers maliciously attacked the Bears’ offensive-line and nearly sent Jay Cutler to the hospital.
They exposed an offense that has essentially no capacity to make a play on the ball as a wide out. Most people turned a blind eye to this game, and took the 7-1 record for what it was, a winning streak with eye popping plays and stats. Now, looking back that game, it was a precursor to what was coming.
23-10 was the final score. The Bears had chances to win, despite the four interceptions and the special teams touchdown for Green Bay. The Packers’ offense did not play well, but Clay Matthews, who had 3.5 sacks that night (which is not the season-high for opposing teams vs. the Bears), and a defensive line that seven sacks overall, utterly embarrassed the Bears.
Brandon Marshall dropped a touchdown in the end zone that might have turned the tide, but dropped touchdowns seem to be a reoccurring theme in big games this season.
It's now Week-15 and both teams have exposed and been exposed this season. Both the Packers and Bears have proven they are not the top dogs, as they once were, in the NFC. But regardless of all that it's back to where we were the last two seasons—the Bears needing a massive win over the Packers for the NFC North, and for bragging rights.
No love lost?
Emotions are extremely high going into this game for both franchises. Brandon Marshall, in his press conference yesterday, called this "the biggest game of his life." He then proceeded to bash the Green Bay Packers and reveal his general distrust and dislike of the green and gold.
“I don’t like the Green Bay Packers,” he said during his weekly session with reporters. “I’m not going to use the word hate, but I really dislike the Green Bay Packers and their players. But the talk, you have to back it up. We’ll go out there and we’ll do everything we need to do to get a win.”
It has definitely given the Packers bulletin board material as he essentially called out Green Bay to try and stop him in one-on-one coverage.
For the Bears, this is definitely what they need from a player who most recently has become one of the team leaders. It is a rallying cry, and hopefully it will raise the intensity and desperation of the team. The Bears have been put in a situation similar to the Green Bay Packers in 2010 and the New York Giants in 2011 where this team needs to win their rivalry game to solidify their playoff spot.
Is this Bears team as good as those two teams? Not likely, but a win like this could launch them forward into the playoffs and build a great deal of momentum.
The Packers have also rebutted and mocked the Bears; more specifically Jermicahel Finley calling out Brian Urlacher.
"Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he's playing a little slow out there," Finley said Wednesday, via Fox Sports Wisconsin. "I don't think they're losing too much if he's out. Putting another guy in might help them a little."
It is a shouting match between the two oldest rivals in the National Football League. It is adding serious suspense to a marquee matchup in this division. This game could likely move the Bears out of the last wild card spot should they lose. The Bears on the other hand still have a shot at the division with a win, and a win against the Packers is more than enough to get this team to play at its best.