This NFC Championship game is by far the most excited I have been about a playoff football game this year. The Bears versus Packers rivalry is what the NFL is all about. This division rivalry has given football fans some legendary defenses, some of the greatest coaches in NFL history (George Hallas and Vince Lombardi), memorably players such as Mike Ditka, Brett Favre, the Refrigerator, and extraordinary images from the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field and the windy Soldier Field. It's almost as if these teams were created to be shown on those slow-motion NFL Films.
This one is bound to be another classic.
The Bears and Packers have played twice already this season, the last of which was a week 17 battle in Green Bay that saw the Packers take a 10-3 win and claim one of the two wild card spots. The Bears, who were already guaranteed a first round bye, played their starters in order to keep their division foes out of the playoffs. They failed to do so and, now, these teams will fight it out for a chance to play in the Super Bowl against the winner of the AFC Championship game to be played at 4:30 pm MST (6:30 EST).
While the focus of this game will likely be quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, this game will be decided on the defensive side of the ball. During the regular season. the Packers defense allowed only 15 points per game. That's the the second best total, behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers who allowed 14.5 points per game. The Bears sit 4th in that category, allowing 17.9 points per game.
In two matchups between the Bears and Packers, Aaron Rodgers threw 2 TDs and 2 INTs while Jay Cutler threw 1 TD and 3 INTs. Their stats for the entire season are much better (Rodgers has thrown 28 TDs and 11 INTs while Jay Cutler has thrown 23 TDs and 16 INTs). The offense who makes the fewest mistakes will likely win the game today.
Despite the storied history between these two teams, you may be surprised to find out that the Bears and Packers have only met in the playoffs one other time. The Bears won that meeting in 1941 by a score of 33-14. Today's game will be quite a bit different from the last playoff meeting, however. In 1941, they fought for a right to get to the Conference Championship game. Today, they will fight for the right to go to the Super Bowl.
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