Bears-Packers NFC Title Game Should be a Close One

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears
have faced off against each other 181 times, but Sunday's NFC
Championship matchup will be the biggest meeting to date. This will be
only the second time ever that the two have played each other in the
playoffs, and the first time they've met in the NFC Championship.

This year, the Packers and Bears have split their head-to-head
match-ups, setting up for a rubber match on Sunday. There has only been a
combined 60 total points against each other this year. Both games came
down to the wire.

In Week 3, Jay Cutler led his team to a game-winning field goal. In
Week 17, it was Jay Cutler again who was responsible for the outcome,
only this time it was a game-ending interception in the end zone. The
question for this Sunday is, which Jay Cutler will show up?

If last weekend was any indication, Bears fans can sleep a little
easier. It was Cutler's first playoff game, but that didn't seem to
phase him. He accounted for four total touchdowns (two passing, two
rushing) and threw for 274 yards. Most importantly, he threw for zero
interceptions. The one catch is that he did it against the less
talented, albeit over-achieving, Seattle Seahawks. The Packers defense
is just a tad bit better than the 'hawks'.

Also quite noteworthy is the fact that Seattle was also able to score
three touchdowns in the 4th quarter alone, after not being able to move
the ball for the first three quarters. For a Bears defense that is
about to face one of the hottest offenses in the NFL, this is a bit concerning.

Unfortunately this has been typical for the Bears all year long. Remember back to Week 12,when Michael Vick
was shut down all game, until the fourth quarter when the Eagles
proceeded to come within five points. Granted, it hasn't cost the Bears a
game yet, but you can only play with fire for so long. Against a Packer
offense, led by Aaron Rodgers, these defensive lapses need to come to an end for Chicago.

Believe it or not, Rodgers has his flaws as well. While he has been
great in almost every statistical category, he still carries with him a
career record of 9-14 in games decided by four points or fewer. It would
be irresponsible to direct the entire blame towards Rodgers for all of
those losses, but he still needs to prove that he can lead his team to
victory in the closing minutes.

At the level he is playing right now, there is little doubt that he
can take that next step. Talent-wise he is the best quarterback left in
the playoffs, arguably in the entire NFL for that matter. The only thing
separating him from a guy like Ben Roethlisberger is the game-winning drives on his resume. Well, that and two Super Bowl rings.

This game between Green Bay and Chicago will not be pretty or
high-scoring, but you can bet that it will be close. The two teams are
very similar in that they have stout defenses and young, talented
quarterbacks. The Packers are the more talented team, but playing a
division opponent at home in bad weather, and for a third time, is quite
the equalizer. On the other hand, we've seen how little home-field
advantage has meant in the playoffs this year. In the end, it will come
down to which quarterback can take that next step in leading his team to
victory down the stretch.

I think this is the game that Rodgers completes this feat and notches
his first game-winning drive in a big game. The way this Packer defense
is playing, I'm not sure if Cutler can do the same.

Prediction: Packers 20-Bears 19

Follow Justin Mertes-Mistretta at MertesMist_TSB. You can also read more articles from Justin at http://www.percysperspective.com.

Comments

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  • Why did't Bear's offensive coordinator Martz ever give Hanie the time of day or any season play time at all? Why would Martz choose
    Collins as a backup and not even consider Hanie at any time during the season ? Collins had his opportunities and always came up lamb . What does this really look like here ? I'f i thought that the Bears truly got outplayed Sunday, I would be the first to admit it - NOT SO ! With the tainted coaching decisions that i witnessed
    Offensive Coordinator Martz make Sunday as well as watching Coach Smith just stand there and let Martz call the shots I knew they were gonna find a way to put the nails in the coffin. For all you educated skeptics out there that think i'm just talking trash , Watch the game again and pay attention to the decision making and timing of those decisions. DEMAND THAT MARTZ and SMITH ANSWER MY QUESTIONS I see no possible excuse or justification for what they pulled Sunday afternoon.

    Why isn't anybody questioning Chicago Bears offensive coordinator " Mike Martz" decision making
    with regarding when to kick field goals and when to pull quarterback's ? Martz denied the Bears 6 points (Golden Gould) in field goals as well as putting the entire team in total jeopardy by putting the 3rd string quarterback(Hanie) in the game carelessly with approximately 30 seconds left in the 3rd quarter making him the ONLY eligible quarterback left on the roster for the remainder of the game . Martz has been a head coach , and KNOWS that if he waited one more play, the 3rd quarter expires, and now he would have 3 quarterbacks left. What are his Non Championship incentives? I'd really like to see Martz man up and answer these questions.
    I'd like to know who influenced Bears Coach Smith not to take a challenge on Packers 2nd touchdown when the runners knee looked to be down, on replay ,before passing into the end zone . With the ball on the goal line, anything could have happened penalties, fumbles , interception,forced to kick field goal instead. What was Coach Smith's motivation not to challenge the touch down? or not to challenge offensive coordinator Martz decision ,TWICE, to not attempt a 47 yard field goal ? and a 52 yard field goal ? when the Bears have the Best kicker (GOOD AS GOLD) right here alone is a difference of a possible 13 point swing for the Bears and a dead even game. Bears would have been on the board in the first half and a totally different game situation. The interceptions would not have occurred because they were both thrown in desperation when Matt Forte and the Bears running game were working. TERRIBLE DECISION MAKING by MARTZ and SMITH LOST THIS GAME! Number 1 to blame MARTz Number 2 to blame Coach Smith Everyone that seriously watched or studied this game knew that the Bears Defense were LIGHTS OUT the second half. Hanie moved the ball well on the ground and given the opportunity to work the clock in what should have been a closer score and not being squeezed into playing desperately forcing interceptions, 4th down, deep in Chicago zone with time running down, the Bear's could have won this game with competent coaching decisions . I say we can Blame the coaches not the team. rrrrrr i'm mad now.

    Chicago offensive coordinator Mike Martz Traitor or just stupid ?

    Either way is unacceptable with this Bear FAN
    to carelessly botch or throw the rivalry match up of the century between the Bears and Packers will be unforgivable my most true Bears fans when they finally realize that this may be similar to the early BLACK SOX SCANDAL. this makes me sick :-!
    Bears lost because of Martz careless decisions . Robby Gould was never given a chance to kick a field goal ! the opportunities were twice in the first half and Martz elected to settle for weak punts both times. The wind was only gusting at 8 mph . Robbie can't kick field goals if Martz doesn't give him a chance to as Lovey looks on and smiles and watches. SMITH and MARTZ gave the game to the Packers 6 points in field goals 7 point challenge another 7 point Hanie interception that never would have happened if desperation didn't set in because of the detrimental coaching decisions Martz made that Smith just stood by and watched. Made me wanna throw up

  • Green Bay Packer Fans thank you Mike Martz (Chicago Bears offensive coordinator )

  • Green Bay Packer Fans thank you Mike Martz (Chicago Bears offensive coordinator )

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