The Green Bay Packers have a chance to right a lot of wrongs this weekend, as they try to clinch the NFC North title against the Chicago Bears. It’s only fitting that it would come down to this road showdown against their bitter rival at Soldier Field.
This season the Packers have had to deal with the lows of the “Fail Mary” game, and the catastrophe in the New Meadowlands. They have also had the highs of beating the Houston Texans in Houston, and beating the rival Bears at Lambeau in week 2. Sunday will undoubtedly be categorized as a low-low or high-high depending on the outcome. It won’t come easy, as the Bears will be angry and looking to ruin the Packers division title hopes and their playoff hopes. That is why this game is so important on Sunday.
All the Packers have to do is win and they’re in the playoff race for the third year in a row, sounds easy right? Not so much. It may not seem like it, but this is a must win game for the Packers for many reasons. One is the division, but the other is just to make the playoffs. If the Bears were to beat the Packers they would both be tied for first place, and the division would most likely go down to who has the better record at the end of the year. Neither team is guaranteed a playoff spot in the tight NFC playoff race. If any team is geared for must win games, it’s the Packers.
Historically, Bears QB Jay Cutler has been terrible against Dom Capers‘ 3-4 scheme. Most recently throwing 4 interceptions in the week 2 showdown. I believe he’s going to be more focused than ever to play his best, and show he has what it takes to beat the Packers. The Bears defense, who know how to slow Aaron Rodgers down, will be revved up and ready to create the turnovers. The Packers have to realize this, and do their best to come up with a scheme on offense and defense to counteract the Bears attack. I believe the coaching staff will be in the players ears preaching to them the importance of holding onto the ball, playing smart and staying tough.
The toughness this Packers team possesses starts with their head coach, Mike McCarthy. He always has them ready to play no matter the circumstances. It always seems like this team will get up for the more important games, but we saw the Packers back down when Eli Manning and the New York Giants punched them in the mouth a few weeks back. The Packers must throw the first punch and keep swinging. Blitz Cutler and get home on those blitzes. If Cutler is hurried he will try to do everything himself, which leads to mistakes.
This match-up will come down to who wants it more.
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