|« As the Bulls Turn: The Offense That Won't Start||Second Chance To Prove You Are Slaughter Material »|
Bears Thu Dec 10 2009
The mercury is stuck in single digits for now, but with the Green Bay Packers rolling into Chicago on Sunday, the Bears blood will be heated up at the prospect of spoiling the Pack's playoff hopes. For the most part I don't really buy into pro sports and rivalries. Particularly contemporary "rivals" such as the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts? Really? Lots of cultural relevance and competition between Boston and the nouveau riche (and trailer park-tastic) Indianapolis? Uhh, no. Ditto for inter-league baseball rivalries, LA Dodgers v Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles? Not a rivalry, just a trumped up for ratings' sake regular season MLB match up. However, let's take a minute to appreciate the real and true rivals. Rivals that, like a fine bottle of wine, have had years to age and blossom into full-grown blood feuds (with an oaky finish, natch.)
Chicago Bears versus Green Bay Packers is one of those classic rivalries, where fans of each team would love nothing more than to watch their conquering heros sip a fine mead from the many skulls of their vanquished foe.
We all remember what happened last time these teams met, right? **Noisy and crappy music alert, so make sure your speakers are off** Yeah, four Cutler interceptions and a demolished Bears secondary later, Bears leave Lambeau losers. Since that Week One game, things have a little different for the Pack and Bears. Green Bay has won four games in a row and is sitting pretty in a comfy tie with Philadelphia for the first wild card spot in the NFC. The Bears? Not so much. Still when you've played a team 177 times (Sunday will be 178, toddlers) there's a little more at stake than mere wins and losses. So let's get ready for some old-fashioned hatred and grudges by crunching numbers and seeing if there's a realistic chance in hell for the Bears to win.
When the Bears Have the Ball
Green Bay's front seven is leading a very staunch run defense, so don't expect Matt Forte to have anything to say about the outcome of this game. And the Packers do have a force of nature rookie linebacker named Clay Matthews. He is a smart, ball-hunting raptor of a LB who has, in the past month, ruined many a quarterbacks day. The Bears woeful offensive line will have their hands full in stopping Matthews, much like they've struggled stopping any above-average defensive players. Cutler, please for your own health start throwing the ball away. Meanwhile, as everyone graphically learned in Week One, Green Bay's secondary is not to be trifled with. However, Cutler may want a remedial class on "Throwing Picks" and if that's the case Professor Charles Woodson will be happy to provide a refresher course for Jay-Bot 5000.
Great. I know. So how are the Bears supposed to score? Well, they probably won't (sadly) but, sure, Robbie Gould is a great kicker and he'll get 3 field goals out of this game. Cutler, for all I know, might have morphed into a smart field general of a quarterback and will lead the Bears to two touchdowns himself. One hint for Cutler? Pick on Tramon Williams. He sorta sucks. Right. Moving on...
When the Packers Have the Ball
The Bears may have met their match in crappy offensive lilne play as GB QB, Aaron Rodgers has been on his back more frequently than a Bangkok hooker (hey-O!) Rodgers in spite of being sacked 45!!! times has only lost three fumbles and is tied for third in the league in TDs thrown. In any case, Rodgers shouldn't worry about too much pressure from the Chicago front seven, nor should he worry about the Bears...chuckle...secondary by any means. But who knows, Lance Briggs and Tommie Harris are both expected to be back for the Bears defense this week and they might come up with some inspired "rivalry-fueled" awesome play. Probably not, but they might. [shakes head no]
The Bears Game is Outta Hand, What Else Is On?
Thanks, as always, to the mighty and beneficent 506, who posts the weekly NFL TV schedules. This week Chicagoland gets shafted on the early CBS game so we miss out on the amazing that will be Cincinnati @ Minnesota and Denver @ Indianapolis. The late CBS game is San Diego @ Dallas, which will be fun, while the Sunday Night game is Philadelphia @ New York Giants.
Two Things and Two Colors:
The RedZone Channel from the NFL Network is the technological and televised equivalent to crack*, seriously, this channel is so fun. If there's a handful of crap games on (like last Sunday) watching the RZC makes it entertaining. It's essentially a live and continual highlight show of awesome plays coming from all corners of the NFL universe. Thanks, NFL!
Sadly, the Seattle Seahawks have retired their neon green unis from the Week 3 game against the Bears. I thought these were a bold and fairly cool looking design, but the stodginess of the NFL and its fans won't suffer such forward thinking fashion. C'est la vie.
*Footballic Ramblings has never tried crack and does not endorse its usage.