Bring your best, Lovie. Go all out for the win. Don’t rest anybody. It will make the Packers win that much sweeter.
I firmly believe the Packers are a better team than the Bears.
That doesn’t mean I’m disparaging the Bears, though. While we all know they have had lady luck on their side this year, that’s immaterial.
I expounded the virtues of the Bears’ defensive front seven in preseason. The pressure provided by Julius Peppers was exactly what the Bears needed to allow them to play their cover two and mask some weaknesses in their secondary. All the attention paid to Peppers has helped the “other” defensive end, Israel Idonije, who has as many sacks as Peppers (8).
On the offensive side, Mike Martz learned from his early season mistakes. You can not give Jay Cutler free reign to throw on almost every down. Run the ball effectively, force opposing safeties to move up and then take some shots downfield to your deep threats.
The Bears have done a good job of figuring out who they are and playing within their means. Having veteran assistant coaches like Mike Martz, Rod Marinelli, and Mike Tice has certainly helped Lovie Smith in this regard.
And then, of course, there’s Devin Hester.
But you know what? IT DOESN”T MATTER.
The Packers are the better team. The key to a Packers win will be the offensive line. They’re not going to dominate the Chicago DL, but they don’t need to. Like last week against the Giants, they just have to hold them off long enough to give Rodgers some clear looks in the Bears secondary. Some semblance of a running game will also help, letting the Packers use play action to slow down the rush, as they did against the Giants.
On the defensive side, the Packers need to make Jay Cutler nervous with a variety of pressures. No need to go into great detail here, as this point has already been covered very nicely this week by Aaron Nagler of CheeseheadTV ( Capers needs to keep Cutler guessing ).
The wild card, of course, is Devin Hester. With the Packer’s struggles on special teams, Hester is the one factor that could ruin Green Bay’s day. This is perhaps my only area of concern for this game.
Of course, all of these points could be moot if Lovie Smith (a Tony Dungy disciple) makes like his mentor and decides to give his key players some extra rest.
Personally, I would find that extremely disappointing. I want the Packers to make the playoffs by beating the REAL Bears team and sending a message: We’re better than you.
Theme Song for Today: (Everybody join in… “We will be Victorious”)——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.