The NFC Championship is on the line on Sunday afternoon when the Green Bay Packers head to a familiar place; Solider Field, to take on the Chicago Bears. This will be the third time these two teams meet during the season. The Bears won in Chicago early in the season, and then Green Bay came away with a win in week 17. This is just the second time these two long time rivals have met in the NFC title game. The last time was in 1941, when the Bears downed Green Bay. The winner of this game will head to Dallas in two weeks to take on the winner of the AFC Championship for the 2011 Superbowl.
The Green Bay Packers were close to not making the postseason. After falling to the Lions and Patriots in back-to-back weeks, Green Bay was forced to win their last two games. After coming home and blasting the New York Giants in week 16, that set up their date with the Bears. The Packers had to win to be in. After making the postseason, the Packers started in Philadelphia, upsetting Michael Vick and the Eagles. Last week, Green Bay poured in 48 points in a blow-out win over the top seeded Atlanta Falcons. The Packers have seen their quarterback Aaron Rodgers put up incredible numbers, despite not making the Pro Bowl from the NFC. Rodgers finished the regular season with over 3920 yards and 28 touchdowns. Green Bay’s Greg Jennings was the top target, with 1265 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
The weather and the turf of the home field has been much of the talk around the Windy City. The Bears have played a string of games with the weather being a factor, including snow in the win over Seattle last week. Chicago finished with the second best record in the NFC, and had a bye during the first weekend. Seattle came to town last week, fresh off their upset win over the Saints. After 35 minutes of play, the Bears led the Seahawks 28-0. Chicago coasted from their and advanced. Jay Cutler, the former Vanderbilt quarterback saw a major improvement in his numbers from last season. Last year, Cutler led the NFL in interceptions. The Bears allowed opposing offenses to pick up just 314 yards per game, including just 90 on the ground.
As any divisional championship game – this appears to be an excellent match-up on paper. We expect the match-up to be as awesome on the field as well. A later start will make for an even rowdier crowd at Soldier Field. The crowd does not seem to bother the sure handed Aaron Rodgers. Look for Rodgers to control the line of scrimmage and take it to the Bears defense. Chicago has seen an offense of their own, so look for that to continue. Green Bay comes in -3 on the road at Chicago. We expect the Packers to win; 28-24. We are taking the Green Bay Packers -3 at Chicago on Sunday afternoon!