7

December

Around the NFC North in Week 14

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North in week 14

For the first time this season, there are two divisional matchups in the NFC North.  The Chicago Bears travel to Minnesota to round out their season series against the Vikings.  Both of those teams are coming off of tough losses last week and cannot afford another in this game.

The Detroit Lions come to Lambeau Field where they haven’t logged a victory in over 20 years to take on the Green Bay Packers in the Sunday night football matchup.  Detroit suffered a gut-wrenching and last-second defeat at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.  The Packers were the only victorious team in the North this past week.  The win helped them reclaim sole possession of first place in the divsion.

Here’s a sneak peak at each matchup and some storylines heading into the games.

Chicago Bears (8-4) at Minnesota Vikings (6-6)

The Bears are starting to feel the effects of their hard-fought season.  They learned that they will be without long-time veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher for at least the next three weeks due to a hamstring injury.  While Urlacher has been hampered by some bumps and bruises this season, there is no question the Bears defense is better with him on the field.

Chicago’s starting cornerback Tim Jennings was also injured in last week’s game vs. the Seattle Seahawks when he collided with another player and hurt his shoulder.  As of Tuesday, it was still not known how serious the injury was and more tests were expected later in the week to determine if there is any structural damage.  Any such news would mean Jennings will miss some time which would be a huge blow to the Bears’ secondary.  Jennings has been the team’s top defender this season and leads the team with eight interceptions.

The Vikings are also awaiting some news on the health of one of their star players, wide receiver Percy Harvin.  Harvin has missed the team’s last four games with an ankle injury and has battled health issues since coming into the league as a rookie in 2009.

Minnesota and Chicago are both in need of a win to make a strong run at the postseason.  The Bears and Packers have the same record at 8-4 but Green Bay holds the tie-breaker, having beaten Chicago head-to-head earlier this season.  The Vikings dropped to .500 and are trying to stay alive in the Wild Card race with an outside chance at a division win.

24

November

Who Should Packers Fans Root For: Vikings or Bears? (with Podcast)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

Vikings or Bears?

With many NFC North divisional games approaching, I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask an intriguing question about this weekend’s matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears:  Who do most Packers fans typically want to win this game?  Let’s pretend that we’re in the land of make believe and that the natural answer of “neither” is not an option.

Listen in using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio

 

Bear Down or Skol Vikings??

It would seem logical to think that the largest determiner is “which scenario helps the Packers most?”  Obviously, the Bears are closest to the Packers in the divisional standings so it would seemingly benefit Green Bay more if the Vikings were to win.  The Bears are the better team of the two as long as they have a healthy Jay Cutler at quarterback.  They pose the bigger threat to the Packers’ chances of winning the division and with no guarantee of a wild card spot, getting into the playoffs at all.

Another argument could be made that the Vikings are already having a much better season than most thought and the Packers don’t want to have to contend with a hot Minnesota team when they finally meet in two weeks.  Minnesota is still over .500 and has shown that they can play with any team on any given day.  I cite their impressive win over the San Francisco 49ers earlier this season who, at the time, were undefeated and playing better than any other team at that point.  The Vikes have also swept the Detroit Lions already this season.

Matchup-wise, the Bears still seem to pose the biggest challenge for Green Bay.  The Bears defense is channeling their inner “Packers of 2009-2011” and taking the ball away at an astonishing rate this season.  They would give the Packers a dose of their own medicine if they were to seal a key victory with a turnover.  The Chicago defense is scoring almost as many points as their offense is and the offense hasn’t exactly been horrible when Cutler is behind center.  The Packers have faced the Bears already and fared well in that game so Green Bay knows they can go toe-to-toe with the Chicago.