This past week has generated some interesting bulletin board material for both the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. These two teams will face off this Sunday for the second time this season. Their first meeting of the year was in Week 2, with the Packers prevailing by the score of 23-10 at Lambeau Field.
The war of words kicked off earlier this week with Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall stating that he doesn’t like the Packers and their players. Marshall went on to say that his feelings toward one team have never been so strong, and that this up coming game between the two rival teams is personal.
In their first meeting this season, the Packers’ defense held Marshall to just two receptions for 24 yards and no touchdowns. This was one of the rare times this season that the league’s second-leading receiver was shutdown in an entire game. Marshall definitely feels that he has something to prove on Sunday.
I find it interesting that a player, such as Marshall, can have such a hatred for a team after only playing one game in the oldest rivalry in the NFL. Honestly, I applaud Marshall speaking up the way that he did. It showed leadership, and that’s possibly something the Bears need to light a fire under them for this big game.
After the Marshall comments came Packers tight end Jermichael Finley adding his ingredients to the pot. Finley focused on the absence of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, and said that Chicago’s defense might be better off without the future Hall of Famer in the lineup.
Finley mentioned that Urlacher is a few steps slower than he used to be (which is true), and that the Bears’ defense could be better off with someone else at middle linebacker. I don’t know if these comments were initially said out of disrespect, but after making this statement, Finley tweeted:
“I meant no disrespect to him in previous comments, I was simply trying to explain that his replacement in the lineup is a good player as well.”
Even though Finley made it clear what his intentions were in his comments, it came a bit too late because Bears linebacker Lance Briggs quickly responded. Briggs simply referred to Finley as an “idiot,” and said that he should “just suit up and play ball.”
A week leading up to a Packers-Bears game wouldn’t be complete without a friendly exchange of words between the two parties. This game could be the most important one for both teams this season.
The Packers are currently one game ahead of the Bears in the NFC North, and a victory would give them a comfortable two-game lead going into the final two weeks of the regular season. The Bears need the win to keep any hopes alive for a division title this season. More importantly, they need this win to at least keep their current wildcard position.
With a few more days remaining before these two teams square off at Soldier Field, don’t be surprised to hear some more smack-talking. If this back-and-forth banter between the two teams is a precursor of what’s to come in Week 15, then this should be one of the heated games of the season, and in this storied rivalry.
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