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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'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

Since: May 30, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2011 11:24 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

umm yeah do you have any idea how the pack lost to the lions? its called... playing a backup quarterback for more than half the game! and, if memory serves right, the bears did in fact lose to the lions because of c johnsons td catch that was ruled an incompletion because of the dumbest rule in sports. the second time was no easy going for the bears either, even against the backup qb drew stanton. in addition, i believe the bears got KILLED by the pats AT HOME and the pack went TO NEW ENGLAND and lost by 4 points with their BACKUP QB. this packers team is not the same team that lost to the bears earlier this year, even though they outplayed the bears in that game as well. This is a hot pack team that embarrassed the #1 seed in the nfc and boasts the best combination of offense and defense in the nfl. the only way the bears have a chance to win is if they use their formula of luck and timely turnovers (which rodgers has not committed many lately). I see it 27-13 packers. oh, and by the way, the packers hate to lose to chicago too so dont think the bears have an advantage in motivation. have fun watching the packers in the super bowl!!!

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2011 4:37 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Sportsgrinder, liked the article. It made a point I wouldn't have thought of but one that could play a huge role tomorrow. Scoring after a turnover! I think both teams will turn it over, maybe the Bears force a couple more, but the Pack's ability to score off of turnovers all year was better than the Bears ability so while the Bears might win the turnover battle the Pack might win the points off of battle.  

Since: Jan 8, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2011 4:25 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Check out our NFC Championship Game Preview and Pick:

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2011 4:01 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

The homers from both sides don't need to hear a rehash of each teams strengths and weaknesses. So what could each team do do surprise the other team? First off, I think the talk from McCarthy and Smith that "we know who we are and what we do well etc etc" is baloney ( albeit baloney lite ). Each coach will be spending all week trying to change their obvious tendencies and get as many new wrinkles into their gameplans as possible. One wrinkle I could see the Packer's doing is to run screen plays all over the field. Halfback screens,wr bubble screens, outside 3rd down screens to Kuhn etc. Doing this and staying with those screens could get the Bear's d-line to hesitate just a little before comming upfield. The Bears could do a constant flow of dumpoffs to the backs, the Pack has had trouble defending those in the past. Maybe Taylor gets a bigger role with this strategy. Defensively, I think the Pack should forego any disguising of Woodsons role and fully commit to him as a free safety and have him a primary blitzer and run supporter. Let the talented younger cb's cover Chicago's wideouts who, while effective when Cutler has a lot of time, are not a group to be feared. For the Bears, take the chance of using man coverage more than usual and bring blitzes with db's and safetys and have the linebackers cover the short checkdown routes. I'd let Rogers try to outrun the rush on a lousy field. Anyway my 2c's worth.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2011 3:24 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

First off: "Defense wins championships. Go Packers!" -A post from a Packer fan. Right...Now if only the Bears had a good defense (sarcasm just in case you're a little slow).

And now the comment that we all keep hearing...."If the Packers didn't have 18 penalties, they would have won against the Bears the first time they met this season.."

Why did they have those penalties? Maybe the Bears had something to do with that. Maybe the Packers offense line kept moving because they couldn't handle Peppers. Peppers plays for the Bears. When a team has a lot of penalties, they may not be disciplined, or they're not good...or maybe the other team is overpowering or confusing them.

Yeah, if GB didn't have the penalties they would have won. And if they scored more points then the Bears, they would have won.

Some of you Packer fans have balls to be so sure you're going to win against the #2 NFC SEED, YOUR ARCH RIVALS WHO KNOW YOUR TEAM, PROBABLY BETTER THAN ANY OTHER TEAM, and IN A HOSTILE STADIUM ON THE ROAD.

No problem beating the Eagles, Falcons, and Bears on the road. Hell, the Jets or Steelers should just stay home in two weeks...BECAUSE THE PACK CAN'T BE STOPPED. 

It's a given right?

Well maybe they'll win on Sunday. It'll be a good game. Unless the team that got beat by the Lions shows up to play the Bears...But that could NEVER happen.

But just in case, I'm sure you'll have a list of excuses, but here's a few more you can use...not cold enough, the refs love the Bears, if our receivers caught the ball we would have won, Bears cheated, etc.

See you Sunday when your Packers visit Chicago and play against a good Bears team who hates to lose to GB.

Since: May 15, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2011 12:24 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Packers have the better offense. Bears have the better special teams. Defenses are about even. If the Packers go to the lead early, they'll win, potentially comfortably. They lost to the Bears in Chicago for two reasons -- too many penalties and they let the Bears hang around. Based on what we saw in Atlanta, the Packers have learned their lesson and will put their boot on the the throat of the Bears if they get a chance.

Packers 31, Bears 17.

Since: May 21, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2011 12:23 pm

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

This is good analysis. To simply things, I think it will come down to turnovers and the weather. Turnovers are always a crucial factor, and the team that wins the turnover battle usually wins the game. That's nothing new, not profound, painfully obvious, but still true. Bad weather, it seems to me, will favor the Bears, and good weather (read "little or no wind") will favor the Packers. The Packers have trouble running the ball, more than the Bears do, even with this new guy for the Packers by the name of James Starks. If it comes down to a battle of running games, the Bears will win. If it comes down to a battle of passing games, the Packers will win. And it will be a passing game if the weather does not disrupt Aaron Rodgers. Cutler is a good quarterback, but nowhere near the talent of Rodgers.

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2011 7:42 am

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

Defense wins Championships!! GO PACKERS!!! Laughing

Since: Jul 11, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2011 7:16 am

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

People are forgetting one very important fact..The Bears have been here before in 06 with a lot of their leaders and coaches.  The packers havent.
The Packers were in the NFC Championship game after the 2007 season.  Lost to the Giants at Lambeau......just to refresh your memory.

Since: Aug 12, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2011 2:46 am

Bears vs. Packers: 7-Point Championship Preview

FLCheesyHead has never played on that surface I bet!

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