NFC Championship Preview: Old foes meet again

It’s the same old song and dance, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will play for the third time this season and for the 182nd time overall. But this time, it is for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. This is the first time since 1941 in this storied rivalry that these two teams will play with everything on the line.¬† This game has a lot of story lines, but one story line that won’t matter will be the weather. Both of these teams play outdoors in some of the coldest and harshest conditions.

The Bears have been all about their defense, and they are known to be tough and make the big stop when it is needed. Meanwhile the Packers haven’t been known for their defense, but they have as strong of a defensive unit as anyone else left in the playoffs. So, don’t plan on this game being a high scoring affair, this will be the present day version of “black and blue” football. Which for old school fans, they will be licking their chops from the first kickoff. Don’t be surprised if the deciding factor is which defense gets the crucial stop at the most important time.

While both teams have strong defenses, this offensive side of the ball is a little different. Green Bay has been hitting on all cylinders with their offense and Aaron Rodgers is probably coming off his best game in the playoffs last week at Atlanta. Chicago has a reputation to win inspite of it’s quarterback Jay Cutler. Most of that is based on his previous reputation, he has been strong when needed to be. Agianst Seattle, Cutler showed poise and good descisions helped put points on the board to put away Seattle early. While most of the experts will say the offensive advantage is going to the Packers, Chicago doesn’t have a shabby offense that can score points.

One of the blaring advantages in this game goes to Chicago on special teams with Devin Hester. If the Packers can keep him from changing the momentum on one play, then this will be a close battle to the finish. But at any time he has a chance to touch the ball, Hester can change the game with a long return or a special teams touchdown. This is the one point of the game that I say Chicago can make or break it’s chances.

Taking everything into account, and looking at all sides of the ball. I have to think that home field advantage is just too much of a factor here. Not to mention that Green Bay has lost 3 of it’s last 4 trips to Soldier Field. I expect this game to be tight from the start and probably will be decided on the last possession. That is why I am going to say that the Bears will win this game as time expires with a field goal. Chicago 17 – Green Bay 14