Bears-Packers NFC Title Game Preview: Yes an Actual Football Post!

All week we've been running bread and circuses style content when it
comes to Bears-Packers coverage, but now we bring you...an actual post
about FOOTBALL when it comes to this game

Believe it or not; the NFL's oldest rivalry has seen the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears make the playoffs in the same year only four times.

In those four years, the Packers
and Bears have met in the playoffs two times. The last meeting coming
in 1941, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Bears won 33-14 behind
offensive stars George McAfee, Norm Standlee and Hugh Gallarneau.

This time around, it's Jay Cutler vs. Aaron Rodgers
and a battle between two of the best defenses in all of the league. The
NFC Championship also serves as a rare rubber match because the two
teams split their two games in the regular season.

In addition to a preview, it's only appropriate I include the music
video for the Packers 2011 Playoff Anthem, "Green and Yellow." To avoid
any musical bias, make sure to check out the 2011 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle Remix.

As the song says, "Everytime we play, it's a W." While not entirely the truth, this has been the case for the Green Bay Packers and their last four games. After routing the New York Giants in a must-win game, the Packers haven't showed any signs of slowing down by beating the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and the #1-seeded Atlanta Falcons in consecutive weeks.

Packers QB Rodgers
doesn't really care if he's playing outdoors or indoors as he has been
equally great on both settings. In fact, the signal caller has been one
of the best in the NFL when it comes to playing in frigid weather. In
ten regular season games and one playoff match-up, Rodgers is averaging a
ridiculous passer rating of 105.8 when the temperatures undercut the
freezing point.

Those numbers look all fine and dandy, but in reality, the Chicago Bears
defense was the one unit to effectively contain Rodgers during the
recent hot streak. In the Packers' week 17 win, Rodgers was an alright
19-of-28 for 229 yards and one touchdown and one pick. If you watched
this one, don't forget how much of a defensive struggle this game was.

And that is why I think Sunday's game will come down to the Packers defense and Bears QB Jay Cutler. I'm not saying the
Packers won't put up some points because they very well could with the
way they're playing. But either way, I think it comes down to Cutler
keeping up with the Packers offense or Cutler making key decisions in a
close game.

With that in mind, the Packers have to like their chances in this
one. In the previous two weeks, they've stopped two Pro Bowl QBs in
Michael Vick and Matt Ryan. Not to mention, Cutler's three interceptions compared to one touchdown versus the Packers this season. Expect Clay Matthews and company to wreak havoc all day long against a less-than-stellar Bears offensive line.

No matter your rooting interest in this one, it will be a historic
day at Soldier Field. For that reason, sit back and enjoy a crazy
atmosphere that doesn't come around too often. I think of it as a
Midwest Super Bowl before the Super Bowl.

Game Changers:

DE Julius Peppers and WR/KR Devin Hester

Peppers is by far the free-agent pick-up of the year. If anyone can
catch Rodgers on the run, it would be this guy. Watch him on the corner
as he's sure to get to backfield more than once. Hester can beat a team
all by his self because of his talents on special teams. If the Packers
do decide to kick to him, he could realistically take it to the house.
Falcons Eric Weems did it last week.

CB Tramon Williams and RB James Starks

On Thursday, Williams joined the roster for the NFC Pro Bowl,
replacing Eagles CB Asante Samuel. After three interceptions in his last
two games, Williams is pretty sure he won't be able to play in the Pro
Bowl either when the Packers are Super-Bowl bound. Starks
leads all running backs in postseason rushing attempts (48) and rushing
yards (189). The 6th-round draft pick out of Buffalo is taking the
league by storm with some super fresh legs.

Prediction: Green Bay 30 Chicago 20

Who do you have winning the so-called "Midwest Super Bowl"? Who are your game-changers? Let me know by commenting below!

Follow Nick Grays on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington Times.com, NBC Chicago.com and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

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