Eddie Lacy

Two of the NFL’s oldest franchises, cialis the Chicago Bears (4-6) and the Green Bay Packers (7-3) will play in an epic Thanksgiving showdown this evening.

This match-up is the league’s most played rivalry; they have played each other twice a season for over 80 years. Green Bay has won the last four meetings and with a potential victory tonight, the Packers can even the all-time series. The Packers are currently 91-92-6 against the Bears.

The Bears-Packers rivalry also has featured some of the best moments by some of the greatest players in NFL history. A total of 52 Pro Football Hall of Fame members (28 for the Bears and 24 for the Packers) have participated in the series (via Green Back Packers website).

While the match-up is always competitive and exciting, here’s some keys to what the Bears need to land an improbable victory.

Notes for Tonight’s Game:

Better Play out of Jay: It has been five years since Cutler landed his only victory over the Packers.  Earlier this season, Cutler played miserably against the Packers with 18-36 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Even if Jay has seemed to improve and played his best under Offensive Coach, Adam Gase, if he plays like he normally does against the Packers, the Bears don’t stand a chance.

Stop Eddie Lacy: Lacy has been slightly inconsistent on his run game, but last week the Minnesota Vikings allowed Lacy to get in the groove and he ran all over them .  Lacy totaled 100 rushing yards on 22 carries last week. The Bears must block up his running lanes to give themselves an opportunity to win .

Injury Update: Chicago has ruled out Tight End, Martellus Bennett out for the game with a rib injury and Wide Receiver Eddie Royal is also out with a knee injury. However, Running Back Matt Forte is among six of the Bears listed questionable for tonight’s game. When he was asked about taking on Green Bay, Forte said that he was “good to go”.

Fun Fact:

Former Green Bay Packers Quarterback Brett Favre’s retired jersey number (4) will be unveiled during a big halftime celebration at Lambeau Field tonight.

My Prediction?

I’m not going to sugar-coat this: the Bears will lose tonight. I cannot argue that a 4-6 team will defeat one of the best QBs in the league. However, the game should be decent to watch because Chicago has improved greatly since the last time the two teams met earlier in the season. So stuff your faces, settle in your sofas and BEAR DOWN Chicago.

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Jay Cutler vs. Aaron Rodgers

This is it, salve folks. It’s win or go home for both the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday when the two rivals meet up for the last game of the regular season on the Chicago lakefront.

After the Bears blew their chance to lock the NFC North in their miserable loss to the Eagles last week, discount both teams are now in contention to win the NFC North with a win on Sunday.

Personally, I love big dramatic games and this one has all the elements: season on the line, bitter rivalry, the return of Aaron Rodgers and the repercussions of a Bears’ loss on Jay Cutler’s future with the Bears. The fact that the Bears’ mediocre season has come down to the final game of the regular season against the Packers is almost poetic, and surely one that will be remembered and debated for years to come.

Games don’t get much bigger than this. Pop the TUMS now and clear your schedule ahead of time, tomorrow afternoon is going to be epic. Here’s what you need to know.

What You Need to Know: 

  • How we all got here: It’s been a bizarre season in the NFC North. Whoever wins the division will almost win by default, which is lucky and embarrassing at the same time. 
    • Bears (8-7): After starting the season 3-0, the Bears fell into a mediocre state thanks to a injury depleted defense. Once Jay Cutler went down on October 20th in the Bears’ loss to the Redskins, backup Josh McCown helped save the Bears season when he stepped in and kept the offense going. It was McCown at the helm when the Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau in Week 9, the very game that Aaron Rodgersbroke his collarbone in the first quarter.

      Even with the creepy ‘stache, it’s hard not to admire this guy…

    • Packers: (7-7-1) The Packers started the season 5-2 before losing Aaron Rodgers in their matchup against the Bears in Week 9. However, after rotating through backup QBs, the Packers have surprised everyone by staying in contention thanks to the Detroit Lions late season collapse, the failure of the Vikings to ever show up this season and the Bears mediocre season.

Who to Watch For:

BEARS:

  • Jay Cutler: No one is under more pressure on Sunday than Cutler. Cutler’s contract is up after this season and instead of re-signing him mid-season, Bears’ GM Phil Emery has made the smart decision of not renewing the controversial QB’s contract until the season is over. Cutler is notoriously bad against the Packers with a 1-7 record since coming to the Bears in 2008. While Jay Cutler haters have been calling for backup Josh McCown to start vs. the Packers since Cutty stunk it up big time last week against the Eagles, Marc Trestman and crew have stuck with the “Jay is our quarterback”sound byte since Cutler was cleared to play two weeks ago. While I’m not suggesting a dud performance tomorrow and a Bears loss will send Cutty packing this offseason, if he puts out another putrid performance like last week that costs the Bears a trip to the postseason, he’ll have a lot less to negotiate on for that fat paycheck and long-term extension.

    Don’t Caaare Cutler T-shirt, Heckler Store: $31.00

  • Lance Briggs: The captain of the defense returned to the line last week after sitting out nine games this season due to fractured left shoulder, yet his presence on the D-line was hardly felt as the Eagles ran their way to a 54-11 victory. All eyes will be on Briggs this week to ensure he plays a role in shutting down the Packers beat-up, but potentially lethal offense.

PACKERS:

  • Aaron Rodgers: I know I’m not alone when I say it’s tough for me as a Bears fan to put the hate on Aaron Rodgers. He’s everything our QB is not: a Super Bowl winner, a MVP, a true leader, accurate, affable, well-spoken, humble and genuine – to name only a few. You couldn’t put two more different QBs on the field in this matchup and it’s more than a football rivalry – people love Aaron Rodgers the same way they hate Jay Cutler – with a passion. After missing seven weeks this season – thanks to Shea McClellin’s sack in the Bears win over the Packers in early November, Aaron Rodgers conveniently heals in time for the Bears in the season finale when the season is on the line. I expect Rodgers to play as if he’s never missed a single game, forcing the Bears defense to play the game of their season.

    Eddie Lacy

  • Eddie Lacy: the Packers’ star running back and NFL Rookie of the Year contender banged up his ankle again last weekend in the Pack’s win over the Steelers and is listed as ‘probable’. Bears fans can only hope the remarkable back is on the sidelines tomorrow or things could turn for the worse. But with so much riding on tomorrow’s game, I’m guessing Lacy and lethal wide recover Randall Cobb will both be playing alongside Aaron Rodgers which makes me, and every other Bears fan, nervous as hell.

What’s Next:

Rest tonight and mentally prepare for tomorrow’s mega matchup that has a later than normal start at 3:25 p.m. CT.

Usually I recommend heading out to your favorite watering hole or game day hot spot for the big games of the season, but with so much at stake, if you’re not lucky enough to be heading to Soldier Field, this is the type of game you might want to stay home and watch on the comfort of you own couch with other vested Bears fans. That way, you can hear the play-by-play, pop the champers early when the Bears lock the NFC title, or yell f-bombs without offending the strangers behind you while attempting to mask the anger of another lost Bears season.

 

 

 

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