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Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Posted on: January 20, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 1:36 pm
 
Posted by Andy Benoit



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As a bonus, enjoy our playoff podcast preview:



1. Green Bay Packers (No. 6, NFC, 12-6) @ Chicago Bears (No. 2, AFC, 12-5)

The oldest rivalry in football takes center stage in the playoffs for only the second time ever. Their last postseason meeting occurred in 1941, a week after Pearl Harbor. We’ll assume that the Bears’ momentum from that 33-14 victory has worn off.

Vegas agrees, as these Bears are actually three-and-a-half-point underdogs at home. These teams played twice in the regular season. Chicago claimed victory in Week 3 (that was the Monday night game where Mike McCarthy should have saved clock by letting the Bears score a touchdown in the final minute but instead banked on the idea that Robbie Gould would miss a 19-yard field goal – which, of course, he did not.) In the Week 17 rematch, the Bears technically had nothing to play for, but they still went all-out in an effort to stay sharp and eliminate a white-hot Packers team from playoff contention. They held Aaron Rodgers and company to just 10 points, but as it turned out, they needed to hold them to two.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



If a conference championship game -- featuring two division rivals squaring off in the playoffs for the second time EVER -- doesn't garner five Mora Faces, what does?

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Bears secondary vs. Packers receivers

Rodgers is playing so well right now that even getting pressure on him might not pay off. After all, the Falcons got plenty of clean rushers to him last Saturday. The Bears’ best chance at slowing Green Bay’s passing attack is to out-physical Rodgers’ targets. Charles Tillman especially will have to be aggressive. He’s far and away Chicago’s best cover corner but, like most players, he lacks the quickness to shadow Greg Jennings.

Style wise, No. 2 corner Tim Jennings has a skill set that is conducive for handling Donald Driver. But all things equal, Tim Jennings on Driver is a mismatch favoring Green Bay. So it will be up to Jennings and his assisting safeties to make things unequal. The way to do that is to disrupt route timing; Driver shows hints of frustration when defensive backs get their hands on him.

Expect the Packer to use frequent three-and four-receiver formations. Chicago’s top backup defensive backs, Corey Graham, has stiff hips and struggles with receivers who change direction; Jordy Nelson or James Jones could both pose problems for him. What’s more, Chicago’s safeties are hard-hitting but only average in help coverage.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Why not?



5. The Bears will win if ...

They protect the ball offensively (obviously) and, defensively, if they can get pressure on Aaron Rodger with only four rushers (very doable given the way Julius Peppers, Matt Toeaina, Israel Idonije, Tommie Harris and even backup Henry Melton have been playing lately). Also, Chicago must force the Packers to rely most frequently on their running backs and tight ends. That would allow the Bears athletic linebacking trio to be the focal point defensively.

6. The Packers will win if ...

Rodgers stays hot, Dom Capers’ complex defense befuddles the Bears’ pass blockers (a group that has had trouble identifying blitzes at times) and both teams break even on special teams.

7. Prediction: Packers 24, Bears 17
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 4:02 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:45 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:12 am
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Since: May 30, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2011 10:14 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

medinahccpro, so yeah how many points did cutler put up against the pack? have fun watching the packers in the super bowl at home LOSER and way to make a complete idiot of yourself with your comments. the bears luck would catch up with them and their easy schedule. this game could have even been worse for the bears if the pack converted any of their thousand third down and ones, but they still got the w regardless of some sloppy play. they were the better team on both sides of the ball, and it showed today. PACKERS SB 45 $$$ in the bank!!!



Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Medinahccpro, Great job by Cutler quiting on your team.  Oh yes, Hanie played valiant, so you got that to look forward to.  Packers beat the bears, and almost gave the game away.  Please do us all a favor and disappear from the blogs until next year.  All you do is make an A$$ out of yourself with your comments.  Typical bears fan.  Suck it!



Since: May 30, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Yeah, you are wrong, chi87. Defensive advantage? Green Bay Packers. Their defense is statistically better than the Bears, go look it up if you have to. Injuries are irrelevant at this point because the Packers have played the entire season without key players like Ryan Grant and Nick Barnett. Are you telling me that after the Packers annihilated the number ONE seed in the NFC without those players all of a sudden this will become an issue against the number TWO seed? And your two seed Bears played a cupcake schedule, playing all of the difficult teams at home, while the Packers played a brutal schedule with an injury depleted team. Only way the Bears win this game is if Forte has over 150 yards rushing and the Bears cash in on some luck. The Packers are the better and more talented team.




Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

I hate my laptop keyboard!!! Sorry for typos...

Wow...wish I'd have had these stats yesterday when I got in this exact discussion. I knew the Packs have a somewhat superior D, but too many Bears fans here south of Chi-town wouldn't believe me! Thanks again for posting that.



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Wow...wish I'd have had these stats yesterday when I got in this esact discussion. I knew the Packs have ha a somewhat superior D, but too man Bears fans here south of Chi-town wouldn't believe me! Thanks again for posting that.



Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

chi 87, how do the bears have the defensive advantage.  It doesn't add up over the season statistically, and it doesn't add up in the two games they've played this year.



Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:31 pm
 

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

The Falcons had the better running game going into last week, how did that matter?


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