|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NFL The Bears prep for the big moment against the Packers in the battle for the NFC and a place in the forty fifth Super Bowl.
From the moment he was hired, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith made it clear the goals were to beat Green Bay, win the division and win the Super Bowl. The league's oldest rivalry sure took an interesting turn when the Bears knocked off the Seattle Seahawks in their divisional playoff game Sunday. Now it's Chicago against Green Bay for the NFC championship at Soldier Field, and the stakes have never been higher in a series that dates back to 1921. These teams have played 181 times, with the Bears holding a 92-83-6 edge, but they have met only once in the playoffs. That was way back in December 1941, a week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Bears came away with a 33-14 victory at Wrigley Field. A week later, they beat Washington for the NFL championship.
The Bears will be home Sunday against the Packers in only the second playoff meeting in the decades-long rivalry. Davis caught two passes for 42 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He has just 10 regular-season receptions in two NFL seasons, nine of them in 2009. After Saturday night's victory over the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons, Grant wrote on his Twitter feed that he believed the Packers were Super Bowl-bound, regardless who won the Bears-Seahawks game.
As for the Green Bay Packers, Clay Matthews is back to pouncing on quarterbacks after a late-season sack drought. Charles Woodson does just about everything on defense -- and does it well. And cornerback Tramon Williams has made a decisive play in each of the Packers' first two playoff victories. So although the Bears might have a more established defensive reputation coming into Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Chicago, linebacker A.J. Hawk said the Packers' defense doesn't mind taking a backseat during the buildup this week. They will just have to show what they can do Sunday. Quarterback
Aaron Rodgers wins over fans with the way he runs one of the league's most dangerous offenses, but the Packers wouldn't be preparing to play for a spot in the Super Bowl without an aggressive, consistent defense.
Despite losing several key players to injury through the season, Green Bay gave up 15 points per game in the regular season -- No. 2 in the NFL, behind only Pittsburgh. And their play hasn't dropped off in two road playoff games.
Philadelphia's Michael Vick threw for 292 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but the Packers limited him to 33 yards rushing in a 21-16 victory. Against the Falcons on Saturday, the Packers held quarterback Matt Ryan to 186 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, and running back Michael Turner had only 39 yards rushing and a touchdown in a 48-21 victory.