Packers XLV

Expect Pack to Dump Coal on Bears' Playoff Hopes

Posted December 23rd, 2011 @ 09:12pm

Suddenly, it seems, the Packers have something to prove. Less than one week after their first loss in 12 months, they are no longer being considered by many to be the team to beat in the NFC.

When the Packers take the field at Lambeau on Christmas night they may have already locked up the #1 seed in the conference. If the 49ers lose at Seattle on Saturday, the Packers will own home field advantage and will have nothing of note to play for against the Bears. Nothing except a chance to remind their doubters that they are still the class of the league, despite last week's hiccup and a handful of significant injuries.

Expect the Packers to go after this one hard. The momentum of last year's team will not be forgotten and there is no reason to let up on the gas when your oldest rival is in your house with flickering playoff hopes themselves.

The Pack will take the field without defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, who will miss his second straight start with a concussion. His absence was felt last week for a unit that is still without a healthy Michael Neal and is now dealing with a foot injury to Howard Green (he's probable). In addition, Bryan Bulaga will miss this game which causes shifts on the offensive line. TJ Lang moves from left guard to right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith slides in at guard. Chad Clifton has been ruled out as well--expect him to get a few snaps in the season finale next Sunday.

As for the Bears, they will be without three of their top four playmakers and the fourth, Devin Hester is questionable with an ankle injury and did not practice all week. With Cutler, Forte and Knox out, the Bears' offensive arsenal is the weakest in the league right now. The Caleb Hanie experiment is officially over so here comes Josh McCown to make his first start, out to try to make an Orton-like statement. McCown has had very little time to get to know his receivers (though he played for Mike Martz in Detroit, so he's familiar with the system).

After giving Orton entirely too much time to find his receivers last week, the Packers will throw the kitchen sink at McCown, gambling that the pressure will force him into mistakes and that the rapport with his receivers won't be good enough to handle a lot of quick reads he'll need to make. With Marion Barber doubtful, the Bears turn to Kahlil Bell to handle the ball carrying duties. Expect a lot of screens to him as well--he's a good receiver and the Chiefs made the Packers change their scheme because the screen game was so effective.

The Packers' offense will again be without Greg Jennings and will be challenged to rebound against a Bears defense that always plays tough against the Pack. Linebacker Lance Briggs is questionable with an ankle injury. That's a big loss if he can't go--he didn't practice till Friday and was limited. With Starks and Saine back, expect the Packers to pay more attention to the running game. The makeshift line could use a break and the Pack should be able to move it on the ground.

The Packers are looking to become just the second team ever to beat a team four times in a calendar year and the Bears are the perfect victims. After starting out 6-2 against Green Bay, Lovie has dropped six of eight since Rodgers took over. He has never lost five straight games and faces that prospect unless his team can get off the mat after last week's 38-14 home loss to Seattle. Injuries have robbed this team of the great promise it had through ten games.

So they limp into Lambeau on Christmas night, with the Packers miffed, steamed and disappointed that they let a chance at a perfect season slip through their fingers. With or without a playoff seed on the line, the Pack will rise up with the defense leading the way and remind the supporters of the current flavors of the day (Saints and Niners) that they'll have to win on this field against this team to move on to the Super Bowl. The Packers' 11-game home winning streak is the league's longest and it doesn't figure to end anytime soon.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah, Bears:

Packers 24  Bears 6

 

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Comments (20):

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on April 22nd, 2012 at 12:16am

where she was, s-i-l and I looked at each other and said Already? at the same time. :headdesk:The hhilhggits: lovely lake with lots of good childhood memories for hubby and his brother, a fun new park for the kids with fountains and sprinklers that looked like giant cattails and leaves. Very cooling, which was key considering the temps were in the low 90s. Yes, I know that's still cool for some of you. :pbbt: Not for us. In fact, when we got home and got unpacked and I finally got to sit down, I had to put on a jacket because it's so much cooler here.The lowlights: The m-i-l, of course. Plus, hubby sliced his finger with a new filet knife. His mother whipped out her first aid kit and pronounced it fine and huffed a little when I looked at it and said it needed stitches and headed for my keys and purse. Hubby didn't argue with me at all, which told me that it was indeed really bad. Got directions from the Ranger, 1st Urgent Care didn't take our insurance (HMO) but 2nd was across street and did. 8 stitches and 4 hours later and we were back at the camp. Also lowlight: why are people so thoughtless and disgusting? Someone took a dump in middle of the men's bathroom and women just threw toilet seat covers, toilet paper, used toilet paper, cups and bottles on the floor of the women's. Someone dumped a whole roll of toilet paper still on the roll in the handicapped toilet, rendering it unusable. :fume:

on August 1st, 2012 at 11:17am

Barbara, who do you know who dresses well? Ask her if she has help in chsooing clothes. She may mention someone who does that for people. It's a service. They help you figure out the looks that are good for you, the level of dressiness, the comfort with scarves and vests and things like that, and then they help you shop. Different price ranges, including discount level, but the personal shoppers I know tend to work with professional women who (are in different professions where the old clothes don't work) or with women whose bodies have changed and the old looks no longer serve them the best. I like someone who can say That does look like it might be better on a 25 yr old. Or, your interview dress is perfect. do we want to look for more in that style? The people you DON'T want to bring along on such a shopping trip are: ANY member of my family of origin, especially not Aunt Busybody, any of my friends who wear a size 2 and think my problem is that I don't shop in the expensive boutiques they do.You know who is great at this, actually? Texteen. He can walk into my closet, toss a ton into a give-way box, and match up some of what's less to make decent outfits. His GF even helped me add a few pieces at Target to my summer must fit a back brace and look professional wardrobe. And Texteen's GF can then take some of the closet possibilities and add them up into cute .

on August 3rd, 2012 at 09:02am

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on December 24th, 2011 at 06:22am

A win and no more injuries would make great Christmas gifts from the Pack this year.

on December 24th, 2011 at 06:51pm

It's been very hard trying to read this team for the past several weeks. I commend them for remaining as focused as they have been, but they don't really look super sharp of late and there can be many explanations as to why. I'm looking forward to the playoffs, and a chance to once again see what this team really looks like.

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