Jonathan: Has your perception of the Chicago Bears changed? Do you still think they’re a pretender or contender?
John: They are a contender. For the entire season, I, along with countless others, wanted to find a way to call the Bears pretenders. Week after week, they continued to surprise by finding ways to win. Sometimes it was because of luck (Detroit game with the Calvin Johnson non-catch in the end zone), sometimes it was because the opponent gave the game to them (Packers first meeting, when they penaltied the game away) but good teams figure out ways to win. The Bears have done exactly that.
Jonathan: If you think they’re a contender, what has changed your mind?
John: Simple: they keep winning. Their ability to remain a healthy team has certainly helped, but I think the person that has done the most to keep them on the right path is Mike Martz. Somehow, he has managed to transform the offense from what it was in the beginning of the season (all throw) into a more low keyed offense. He has been able to reel in Cutler, keep him composed, minimize his turnovers, and keep the offense under control.
Jonathan: It appears to me that the Packers are a Jekyll and Hyde team. They look great one week and like crap the next. Is this fair?
John: Is it fair? In my opinion no. They have dealt with an inordinate number of injuries, and yet they are still in playoff contention. Now if you want to discuss the gameplan used in certain games, i will say that that has been hot garbage. There was no reason they should have lost to Detroit the way they did, and in successive weeks almost beat New England with a backup quarterback, then completely dismantle the Giants. They have been the victim of poor coaching decisions and game planning, which has cost them, at minimum, two wins this season (Dolphins and Lions).
Jonathan: What will the Packers need to do to be successful if they make the playoffs?
John: Run the offense properly. No Ryan Grant does not mean that they cannot run the ball. Not having Aaron Rodgers for a game showed they can still pass the ball. If McCarthy can resist the urge to go Air McCarthy, the Packers can go deep in the playoffs. They have the weapons to score from anywhere at any time-the Giants game showed that ability off perfectly.
Jonathan: Aren’t you glad the rivalry is back?
John: Absolutely. The NFL is Packers/Bears, playing at the end of the season with playoff implications on the line. It has been a long time since this was the case. I don’t know if it ever went away, but this season has seen an intensification. I love it.
Thanks John. I appreciate his time. Follow me on Twitter at BearsHq and BlueDemonsLair. For the latest DePaul Blue Demons news and more, check out www.bluedemonslair.com. Please show me the love for the Big East’s Biggest Fan at www.mybigeastvolvo.com.