News and Notes Heading into the Green Bay Packers’ Second Playoff Game (the Chicago Bears)
We sure are lucky to be Green Bay Packers fans, aren’t we? How many other teams have given their fans two extra playoff games before the actual playoffs even start? To hell with the Patriots, Falcons and Bears! Clinching playoff berths before week 17 is boring! We want excitement!
This is what I keep telling myself, anyway. The Packers survived the first round of the playoffs. Can they survive round two and make it to the real version of the postseason? Here is some news, notes, and thoughts heading into the season finale against the Bears.
- Remember how the Packers struggled to score touchdowns on long drives in the season’s first 12 games? Well, they have improved in this area somewhat. In their last three games, the Packers have scored three touchdowns on nine drives that lasted nine plays or more. Scoring quickly was fun against the Giants, but the Packers will need to finish long drives with touchdowns if they want to beat the Bears and that cover-2 defense.
- The James Starks debate flared up again this week. With Sam Shields nursing a sore knee, Starks may be active and could get a chance to return kicks. As the season wears on, I have become more and more convinced that the coaching staff’s main goal with the running game is to not fumble. Does Brandon Jackson ever run without covering up the ball with both hands at all times? I don’t think Mike McCarthy fully trusts a back as inexperienced as Starks to protect the ball in important late-season games. I can’t say I disagree with him.
- If all the football jargon does not cause your head to explode, this piece by Matt Bowen of the National Football Post is an excellent read and a good primer on what the Packers need to do to beat the Bears. This piece by Aaron Nagler of Cheesehead TV is also insightful — and much easier on the eyes.
- Even if the Bears play all of their players Sunday and get blown out by the Packers, I still would not classify the Bears’ success this season as luck. Sure, they have gotten some breaks, but you don’t win 11 games on luck alone. I would not want to deal with Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher in the playoffs. I definitely would not want to deal with Jay Cutler if he continues down his current path of limiting turnovers and helping his offensive line by getting rid of the ball when he should.
- Lets put the cart before the horse for a minute and assume the Packers win on Sunday. Are you comfortable facing the Eagles in the wild card round, or would you have rather played the Bears again?
- Personally, I enjoy hearing Packers fans chant “Bears still suck,” but I am not nearly as passionate about the issue as John Rehor of Green Bay Packer Nation. Whichever side of the issue you fall on, be excellent to one another – especially fellow Packers fans. There are more important issues to argue about.