by Troy Sparks
We can still hear the griping from the Chicago Bears about losing to the
Green Bay Packers on their own field in their own house in the NFC
Championship Game earlier this year. Too bad, so sad.
It’s a new day now. If the Bears want a piece of the World Champions,
they better bring their ‘A’ game this weekend. Even President
Obama joked that the team had the nerve to come to his house (the
White House) and rub it in. Obama is a Bears fan, and the Packers
were invited to the White House to be honored as champions.
Now, let’s get down to business. This is the 183rd
meeting between the two oldest NFL franchises in history. Their
rivalry goes back to 1920. There’s a lot of history and bad blood
between these teams.
Chicago leads the all-time series, 92-84-6. Their last win against Green Bay
was in Week 3 at home on a Monday night last September. This is the
second year that the NFC North foes meet in the third week of the NFL
This game may be a shootout. So far, Green Bay outscored their first two
opponents (New Orleans and Carolina) by 15 points (72-57) in their
two wins. This is the fifth straight year since the 1927-31 seasons
that the team won their first two games of the season. History
suggests that a 2-0 team go to the playoffs 64 percent of the time.
The game is a late afternoon contest. The last time both teams played a
game later than 3:00 p.m. at Soldier Field was Oct. 1990. It should
have been played at noon. Now the Bears have to wait three more
hours to get annihilated by the green and gold.
Aaron Rodgers has been throwing the ball all over the place. He did
complete a throw to Donald Driver, who became the Packers’ all-time
leader in receiving yards. He passed James Lofton and has 9,666
career yards entering the Bears game.
It was Chicago coach Lovie Smith’s mission to beat the Packers when he
took the head coaching job. In their last 15 games against Green
Bay, Smith led the team to eight of those wins. His job may be on
the line because they were supposed to return to the Super Bowl,
something that hasn’t happened since 2007. Worse than that, they
were supposed to beat the Indianapolis Colts that year.
In sports, there’s no such thing as a moral victory. You either win
or lose. Good luck trying to stop the high-rolling Packers offense.
Green Bay must tighten up their defense. They enter Week 3 ranked 30th
in defense. The Saints and Panthers threw the ball all over the
place. That seems to be the norm in the league so far. Passing
yards went up and rushing yards went down.
The coaching staff is experimenting with the no-huddle offense. In the
game against Carolina, Rodgers ran a handful of plays from the
no-huddle offense. He lined up in the shotgun formation 28 times.
A scary moment in the Carolina game with safety Nick Collins turned
into him being out for the season. Collins’ helmet hit the hip of
a Panthers running back as he hurdled over Collins. The safety’s
head was bent sideways, and he was carried out on a stretcher. There
were no serious neck problems, thank God. No one knows if Collins’
injury is career-threatening. If it is, he should quit and be
thankful that he isn’t paralyzed.
Charles Woodson might be switched from cornerback to fill the safety position
of Collins. Charlie Peprah is the top candidate to fill that role
too. However, the show must go on.
When the Packers kick the Bears all over the field this weekend, what will
be their excuse then? Jay Cutler can’t use that excuse that his
knee buckled in the second half. Cutler was criticized for not
playing with his guts and bowing out in the most important game of
his life. And when the Bears visit Lambeau Field, Dec. 25, we’ll
have a nice Christmas present waiting for them. Some blankets to
cover their cold bodies and to cry on when they lose again.