3

November

Packers vs. Bears Week 9 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 9: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 4-3 Green Bay Packers 27-14
No Jay Cutler, but the Packers will still need to account for Brandon Marshall. The Bears defense, meanwhile, is in shambles and will struggled containing the Packers’ balanced attack.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 5-2 Green Bay Packers 27-17
The Bears’ injuries trump the Packers’ injuries – what I had previously believed would be a dead-even game turns into a fairly comfortable win for Green Bay.
Adam Czech 6-1 Green Bay Packers 31-17
Keep taking away weapons from Aaron Rodgers and he keeps getting better. Will he keep it up against the Bears? I think so, and it will lead to another divisional win for the Packers.
Marques Eversoll 6-1 Green Bay Packers 34-13
This isn’t an Urlacher-in-his-prime kind of Bears defense. Chicago’s secondary is solid, but the front seven is weak, which means Eddie Lacy is in store for a really big day. The Packers won’t overlook the Cutler-less Bears, and when it’s all said and done, this will be another relatively easy divisional win for the Packers in primetime.
Thomas Hobbes 5-2 Green Bay Packers 27-16
No Jay Cutler and no Lance Briggs can only be a good thing, but with two weeks to install some unscouted looks and get Josh McCown ready and I don’t see this as a easy game.  However, if the Packers can be as methodical against the Bears as they were against the Vikings last week and I don’t think the Bears can keep trading punches with the Packers.
Cory Jennerjohn 6-1 Green Bay Packers 35-13
Chicago’s lynchpins on offense and defense — Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs — will be missed severely. Two weeks ago, the Bears allowed 209 yards rushing to Washington, so expect Eddie Lacy to punish the Chicago defense with his physical style. Aaron Rodgers has proven that it doesn’t matter who the receivers are, he’s still going to put up big numbers.
Jason Perone 6-1 Green Bay Packers  31-13
3

November

Packers-Bears Rivalry: A Fan’s Perspective

Bears Packers Rivalry

The Green Bay Packers have finally taken control over their rivalry with the Chicago Bears.

Editor’s Note: A long-time reader and commenter here at AllGreenPackers.com, “Bearmeat” has been kind enough to provide us with his own perspective of the rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Perhaps many of you share a similar view of this storied history…

—–

I’ve been following the Packers since I can remember. My first words were “S#!%! S#!%! S#!%!” which I said to copy my angry father’s words while watching the Packers suck in the early 1980′s. My first Packers memories were the early Lindy Infante teams in the late 80′s. They were bad. I mean… Really. Really. Bad.

I remember thinking before one Packers-Bears games in 1988, “If Green Bay can just win this game, they’ll only be 3 games back in the division and who knows what could happen from there.” They got crushed. The Bears won the division and finished 12-4. The Packers finished dead last at 4-12. Again. I remember watching the Packers lose to the Rich Kotite coached Jets in 1990. In overtime. On a Jeff Query fumbled punt. (The Jets finished 2-14 that year, I believe. We were 6-10.)

My entire youth as a football fan sucked. The Packers sucked. The Badgers sucked. Even my high school football team annually sucked. To put in context how bad the Packers were compared to the well-run organizations at the time, by the time I was 11, the Packers record against their arch rivals (the Bears) was 57-81-6. An atrocious .395 all-time winning percentage.

Then Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, Reggie White, and one Brett Favre showed up in 1992. Since Favre took the reins as Green Bay’s quarterback, the Packers are 31-11 against Chicago. The all-time series is still in the Bears favor, but the record is now only 92-88-6. Let that soak in: the Packers have beaten the Bears 31 times in their past 42 games.

Making matters worse for Bears fans, Green Bay has only had 2 different quarterbacks play in those games: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Both are destined to be remembered as members of the best 10 to ever play the position. Both will be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their first ballot. Meanwhile the Bears have had 22 quarterbacks play for them in that same timeframe. (Go here for reference. I’m not going to list them all, but suffice it to say not many of the names exactly passes the “Who?” test.)

1

November

Packers Periscope: Week 9 vs. Chicago Bears

The Past

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall started it off by bringing in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to his press conference:

“Right now, metaphorically, our season looks like this tree right now where we’re standing.  Barren. Ugly. But there’s still hope. As a kid, it doesn’t matter how your Christmas tree looks. You’re still waiting for Christmas Day. You have hopes and dreams that Santa’s going to bring you those things you ask for. It’s always a possibility.  Where we stand today, our goal is to win the NFC championship, beat the Green Bay Packers, win the Super Bowl. All of that still can be under this Christmas tree. Whenever you’re down, you’ve got to try to create some type of balance, so this is a perfect little thing for me to keep me going.”

While all of that still could have been under the Christmas tree, the Packers entered the game at 10-4 only needing a win against the Bears to clinch the NFC North and an obvious ticket to the playoffs.  On the other hand, the Bears were reeling after losing 4 games out of their last 5 after starting red hot by winning by 7 of their first 8 games.

James Jones had the game of his career with 3 touchdown catches while Alshon Jeffery had a game to forget after getting called for 3 offensive pass interference calls while Brandon Marshall showed just how physical a wide receiver can be by bulldozing his way 15 yards for the touchdown.  On defense, both teams got pressure on the quarterback, with Rodgers being sacked 3 times while Cutler was sacked 4 times, but perhaps most importantly the Packers offense had zero turnovers while Jay Cutler gift wrapped an interception to Casey Hayward, which lead directly to a James Jones touchdown.  The Packers ultimately prevailed 21-13, clinching the NFC North while the Chicago Bears lost ground on the NFC Wildcard race, which Minnesota eventually won (after beating the Packers in the regular season closer).

 The Present

3

September

Around the NFC North: Week 1

Around the NFC North

Week 1 of the 2013 season is finally here!

Seven months later, football is back!  The 2013 NFL season will kick off this week as the Denver Broncos host the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.

Preseason is over, rosters are set and fans are itching to see their team play a game that matters.  As we look at the NFC North heading into week one, there is a storyline to be found with each team.

The Chicago Bears fired head coach Lovie Smith and have begun the Marc Trestman era.  The Bears hope that Trestman can get more out of quarterback Jay Cutler than could the defensive-minded Smith.  The Bears will also be without star linebacker Brian Urlacher for the first time in over 12 seasons.

The Detroit Lions return much of their 2012 roster, which finished last season with a 4-12 record.  It was a disappointment after the Lions made a playoff appearance following the 2011 season.  Lost in last year’s dismal record was receiver Calvin Johnson’s record-setting season.  Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a season with 1,892.  Johnson has said he has his sights set on a 2,000 yard season.  On the defensive side of the ball, Detroit drafted defensive lineman Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, who had a strong preseason.  Ansah joins a formidable Detroit defensive line that already includes Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.

The Green Bay Packers let long-time veterans Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson go and locked up quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews to lucrative contract extensions.  Green Bay also drafted two running backs in the early rounds of this year’s draft.  Eddie Lacy figures to be the team’s starting back come week one and will try to help balance the Packers offense and open up more opportunities for Rodgers to make plays with his arm.

In Minnesota, the Vikings signed more former Packers in Jennings and linebacker Desmond Bishop.  Jennings will be called on to help quarterback Christian Ponder take steps forward within the offense as well as mentor rookie receiver Cordarelle Patterson.  Minnesota got busy on the draft’s opening day and ended up with three picks in the first round.  In addition to Patterson, the Vikings also selected defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.  In the end, it will all come down to how well Ponder can play.

26

May

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived: 5-26-13

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Adam Czech is away in enemy territory this weekend (Chicago). Evidently, they don’t allow any Packers writing on Sundays in Chicago, so I’ll be filling in.

Before he left he mentioned he’d be going to Mike Ditka’s restaurant and not soon after, the news came across the wires that the Bears would be retiring Ditka’s #89. Cooincidence? Or is Czech a Bears double agent? An investigation shall commence.

In the meantime, when I heard the news about Ditka, my first reaction was, “what the heck took them so long?” Shouldn’t this have been done many years ago? He’s a Pro Football Hall of Famer and a Super Bowl Champion as both a player and a coach for the Bears. This should be a no-brainer, right?

Well, it seems that, unbeknownst to me, The Bears have a little problem when it comes to retiring numbers. Seems they have retired too many – more than any other team in the NFL!

Ditka’s No. 89 is the 14th jersey number to be retired by the bears, joining, No. 3 (Bronko Nagurski), 5 (George McAfee), 7 (George Halas), 28 (Willie Galimore), 34 (Walter Payton), 40 (Gale Sayers), 41 (Brian Piccolo), 42 (Sid Luckman), 51 (Dick Butkus), 56 (Bill Hewitt), 61 (Bill George), 66 (Clyde “Bulldog” Turner) and 77 (Harold “Red” Grange).

I can make a case for seven. Some of the others were chosen for sentimental reasons rather than talent. Some had the talent, but were not even with the Bears that long.

In any case, this presents a logistics problem for the Bears, and as such, they’ve announced that Ditka’s #89 is the LAST number they’ll be retiring.

Sorry Brian Urlacher…

Getting back to the Packers, Jason, Marques and Kris have put out another fantastic show, bringing you up to date with OTA news and other recent Packers happening. I promise you it’s worth a listen:

This Week’s ALL Packers Talk Podcast:

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Packers Talk Radio Network on itunes, you’re going to have some ‘splaining to do… Just click on the link, then “View in Itunes,” then “subscribe.”

Packers News, Notes and Links

22

May

Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher Announces Retirement

Brian Urlacher

Urlacher retires after 13 seasons, all with the Chicago Bears

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher announced today that he is retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons.

I know this is a Packers website but when one of the all-time greats from a division rival hangs up the cleats, it’s noteworthy. Urlacher is a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer.  No doubt about it.  Even the casual fan knows who he is and what he accomplished for the Chicago Bears and the NFL.

Packers fans surely will forever remember the frustration that he caused them and their team during all of those years.

Here is the message Urlacher posted via his Twitter account:

He ends a career in which he wore only one uniform and was the face of the franchise.  In today’s NFL, it is rare to see a player stay with his original team for that length of time.  But it almost didn’t end that way.

The Bears had released Urlacher earlier this offseason and, initially, it created a bit of a rift between he and the team.  Reports emerged that Urlacher felt that the Bears made him a very low “take it or leave it” offer to stay this season, and he chose to leave it.

Rumors started about which teams might have an interest in the veteran linebacker, one of which was the always-popular choice to pick up an old divisional foe: the Minnesota Vikings.  I think it’s safe to say that those rumors were false.

Urlacher also made some very frustrated comments about the situation and the reaction of some fans.  He stated that he didn’t care what they thought and that he didn’t play the game for any other reason than for himself.  Urlacher clearly backed off of that platform today with a statement that he released, part of which stated:

“. . .When considering this along with the fact I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. . .I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way,” Urlacher said. “I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regret”

9

May

Did the Packers Want to Draft Kyle Long?

“A couple of days before the draft, I heard the Cowboys were a threat to take (Kyle) Long in the first round, perhaps if they moved down from the 18th pick. I later heard from league sources outside of Halas Hall that the Colts (24th pick) and Rams (22nd pick) were very interested in drafting him. Some suspected the Packers (26th pick) also were in the Long market.” – Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

This recent bit of news caught my attention claiming that Kyle Long was actually a very hot commodity in the 1st round with at least 4 other teams, including the Packers, were willing to take the multifaceted offensive linemen, who will begin his career as a guard.  The only reason that this struck me as a little odd was that this exact same story popped up after last year’s draft, again involving an offensive guard.  In 2012, Kevin Zeitler was selected 27th overall to the Cincinnati Bengals, one spot ahead of Nick Perry, who was selected by Packers with the 28th overall pick.  Again the Packers were rumored to be in love with Zeitler and were distraught when the Bengals stole him away with the pick before theirs that they dejectedly handed in their card for Perry (so the story goes).

From the offset, the question becomes what would the Packers do with a high draft pick guard in either 2012 or 2013?  General manager Ted Thompson seems to like his current two starters in TJ Lang and Josh Sitton, both who where signed to extensions without hitting free agency, which is perhaps the highest honor Thompson can bestow a player.  But again, with “the silver fox” you never really know what he’s going to do in the draft, sometimes he drafts heavy in positions of depth while ignoring positions of need, ostensibly under the “best player available” philosophy.  I don’t claim to know how Ted Thompson truly operates, but I’d assume that if a guard were the best player available, he probably wouldn’t hesitate to draft him.