Steffen: Apparently, the Chicago Bears will be “playing to win” this week. This was announced at different times by coach Lovie Smith and several of his players, this week.
Each time they declared their intentions, it was with an air of “Well, now what do you think about that?”
As if this decision suddenly empowered them, dashing any hope of victory for the Green Bay Packers. What, do they think the Packers haven’t yet faced a team this season that was actually trying to win?
You’ve got to love old Lovie. He stumbles into another winning season and he starts to love the smell of his own farts again.
I know a lot of the pundits and experts wondered if Chicago would rest some of their players before the playoffs since they secured a first round bye. But the Packers and their fans know better. So, if Chicago really believes they are magically destined to win because lo and behold they’ll be “playing to win,” so be it.
They have another thing coming.
Bring it on.
Here are some other nuggets for Chicago to chew on. In all likelihood, Green Bay is going to be conveniently flagged 18 times, like they were in the first game. Oh, and the game is at Lambeau. Lastly, the Bears still suck. Do these stunning developments guarantee victory for the Packers? No. But they’ll help.
One of the keys to victory will be containing Devin Hester. No one has done a great job of containing him this year and punting out of bounds all the time isn’t necessarily the best strategy, nor is as easy as it sounds. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said as much in a rather well-written essay earlier this week following his Twitter spat with Peter King.
Hester is part of the equation. The fact of the matter is the Bears special teams are well coached and they execute. One way to hinder their ability in the kicking game is to give them different looks, change up the personnel and formations. The New York Jets may have stumbled on how to do this, with their ham-fisted attempt at a fake punt. They lined Mark Sanchez as the up back sending the Bears into a confused flurry. They broke up the pass, but had the Jets just lined up and kicked it, the Bears blocking assignments would have been a mess. Now, I’m not suggesting Green Bay throw Aaron Rodgers out there, but giving the Bears’ special teams unit vanilla looks week in and week out is almost as stupid kicking it right to Devin Hester.
No more Xs and Os from me. It doesn’t really matter in this game. These are two evenly-matched squads continuing one of the most historic rivalries in all of sports. One team will be playing to win and the other has to win. Give the edge to the team with more on the line.
Packers 34, Bears 23
Shawn: Anyone else remember 2006? The Bears played their starters in Week 17 at home against the Packers even though they had a first-round bye wrapped up. The result was an uninspired effort and an easy win for the Packers.
I do NOT expect it to be that easy this time around. However, the fact remains the Bears have essentially nothing to gain by playing hard this week; whereas the Packers have everything to play for. The Bears can’t even be concerned about facing the Packers in the playoffs, since the No. 6 seed, which the Packers are playing for, would guarantee the two teams wouldn’t meet until the NFC Championship game.
The Packers have to be concerned with their lack of a pass rush going into this game and into the playoffs. They can’t expect their opponents to turn the ball over six times like the Giants did. Jay Cutler, conversely, has been playing as good of football as I’ve ever seen him play. So, the Bears have the opportunity to stay in this game if they put out the effort to be there.
The Bears continue to be soft in the secondary, and so as long as the Packers can even moderately control the Bears’ pass rush, they should be able to score some points. If the Bears stay in their Cover 2, then the Packers should be able to run the football and have some advantageous second and third-down distances. If the Bears come out of their Cover 2, they have no one who matches up with Greg Jennings and frankly, it gives the Packers winnable matchups all over the field.
Even in a straight-up game, needed equally by both teams, the Bears would need a dominant performance from both defensive ends or a slew of Packers turnovers to slow the Packers offense down.
All this is probably more analysis than needed. The Packers have to win. The Bears are playing very well right now, but still suck.
Expect the Bears’ backups to appear if the Packers have a two score lead in the second half.
Packers 38, Bears 17
Monty: The Chicago Bears are a bunch of mouth-breathing fucktards. They can go fuck themselves.
Aaron Rodgers will rape their wives, kill their children and burn their fucking houses down.
Packers 42, Bears 3