Countdown to the NFC Championship: 6 DAYS (Part 1)

Our first two parts of coverage regarding the game this upcoming Sunday afternoon will be a recap of the previous two meetings this season between our Bears and the Green Bay Packers  (Just as a reminder, both teams held serve on their home fields for a season split).

In Week 3, the Packers traveled to  Soldier Field for a Monday Night tilt with the Bears. The Bears came out on top, 20-17; with the score tied in the 4th quarter, Brian Urlacher stripped Packers’ WR James Jones of the ball from behind, and Tim Jennings recovered the ball—giving the Bears great field position to kick the game-winning FG. Here is the box score from the game, via ESPN. A couple observations from that game:
1) Julius Peppers finished the game with 0 sacks, but completely dominated the Packers’ offensive line. The Packers committed 18 PENALTIES—and most of those were either holding or illegal procedure.
2) Devin Hester FINALLY got back into “Devin Hester Return Mode”
with his 62-yard punt return for a TD in the 3rd quarter. Also, Danieal Manning added a 44-yard kickoff return.
3) Our offensive line struggled mightily. In what probably should have been a scary forewarning to what would happen one week later in New York against the Giants, Our line not only allowed 3 sacks and 6 hits on QB Jay Cutler, they helped pave the way for—get ready—14 rushed for 38 yards (a 2.7 average) for our RBs, Matt Forte and Chester Taylor. In fact, QB Jay Cutler was our leading rusher with 37 yards on 3 scrambles.
4) TE Jeremichael Finley gave the Bears’ defense fits.
For a team that prides itself on the LBs’ ability to clog up zones inside the hashmarks, Finely gouged us for 9 catches for 115 yards. He was only targeted 9 times—so every time they threw the ball his way, they were successful. We couldn’t even bat one down or something.

All in all, Cutler wasn’t bad (16 for 27, 221 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT); but the running game was non-existent, and the Bears used an old formula to pull this game out—outstanding defense + special teams.

10 responses

  1. Lincoln1

    peppers is held on nearly every damn play play. the refs were just hell bound on calling it during that game for what ever reason. GB offenseively played lousy in that last game else it never would have been close. without all those drops that game would not have been as close. The pack are better on D and they are clearly better on O. W have the advantage on special teams, but they are clearly better on the other phases of the game

    January 18, 2011 at 10:19 am

  2. Lincoln1

    not to mention that they played one of the worst teams in league history, the carolina panthers, they played one of the worst teams in the AFC, the Buffalo Bills, They played a piss poor cowboy squad, and they played the dolphins who played with a pee pew league QB. All that contributed to an easy road.

    This team has not had a big game in 4 years. GB actually played a playoff team this past weekend which actually gave them the confidence knowing that they can beat anyone in the NFC. Beating Seattle did nothing other then show that yeah the bears can beat the pathetic. GB is in a completely different class

    January 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

    • I disagree. They can complain all the penalties in the first game, but all 18 were legit, and they could have had 30, the way they were holding Peppers in that game. And in the second game, they were playing for their lives, we were playing for nothing, and we still had a chance to win at the end of them game. In that scenario, a team that is clearly better beats us by 40 points. look at what happened when we played the patriots.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

      • johnnyharvard

        Dude there’s no use. This kid’ll never change. This week is so far away from week 3 its not even funny, but you make good point that the Bears weren’t nearly as good and the Packers were almost 100% healthy and LOST!!!!!! Everyone is picking the Pack. Put your money on the Bears. I think they will have a hell of a game plan on offense for the Packers. They essentially got a free look at the Packers complete all out game plan and Martz is too smart not to take full advantage. I think he’ll have some interesting packages. I think the RB’s will factor huge in the pass game which will really open things up deep. It’ll be a pick your poison scenario. Bears can stop their pass game as its completely WR driven. The RB’s and TE’s aren’t as prevalent without Finley and Grant who was a decent receiver.

        January 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm

  3. Lincoln1

    The bears beat the jets and they beat the pack in large part to the refs. We didn’t beat anyone else. The bears out of anyone, playoffs included, have had by far the easiest schedule

    I talked to a former NFL player today who believes that due to the bears easy schedule, that they may not be prepared mentally for this match up because they have been on easy street since week 1. He blamed that pats beating on the fact that the bears were not prepared mentally to face a team like that. Now I dont agree with that assessment but that is just some things that some people who have played believe, and it may not be all that far fetched

    January 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    • The flip side to that way of thinking is that, besides the Steelers, the Bears have the MOST PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE OF ANY OF THE TEAMS LEFT. The Packers have , what, 3 or 4 guys that have even played in a NFC Championship game prior to Sunday? We have almost our whole team, with the exception of Cutler and Forte. Our coaching staff, has light years mor playoff experience between the head coach, coordinators, and Tice.
      And the only thing that brought the Bears schedule down was the fact that they played the Lions and Vikes twice apiece. And the Vikings were probably the most talented 6-10 team in the history of the NFL.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:18 am

  4. Lincoln1

    To say they have a little bit better talent is understating the facts. The packers are clearly the better football team. They have the better matchups all over the field which is very scary. But we only have to be better then them on sunday and that really is all that matters.

    ATL is not over rated. They are very good at home and the pack beat them to the ground. Like the bears, ATL took advantage of a very poor NFC, and when they ran up against a better team they got beat. but they are very similar to the bears in that regard.

    January 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    • the only teams that atlanta has beat with a winning record at home were the ravens and a beat-up new orleans team. they actually remind me of the bears in 2005. good at not beating themselves; but not very talented. and the talent they have is not experienced enough to be playoff-ready.

      January 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  5. Lincoln1

    The past games really mean nothing. Its going to be a war on sunday. The packers are clearly the better football team, but have a tendency to make mistakes. Thats where the bears have to take advantage to win this game. The bears are going to have to get turnovers if they want to win

    January 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    • how do you say they are “clearly the better football team”? they beat an overrated atlanta team; we beat an overrated seahawks team. the NFL is all about matchups; and the Packers have no answer for Julius Peppers; and have not been able to stop the run all year long. the Packers’ defense count on big plays, such as sacks and INTs, much more than the Bears’ defense does. Plus, the Packers have trouble covering kicks and punts–and we happen have the best returner in the history of the NFL.
      They may have a little more talent across the board; but we do have some matchups we can exploit. plus we will be playing at home. this game is not a slam-dunk for the packers, no matter how well they are playing right now.

      January 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

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