Green Bay Packers

The Packers Need To Remember That Wounded Bears Are Dangerous

Photo Credit: Philip G. Pavely (USA TODAY Sports)

I was walking through the Milwaukee airport recently when something in the gift shop window caught my eye. It was a dark green t-shirt with faded lettering. “On a Cold Night in Wisconsin You Can Hear Bears Cry!”

If you’re a Packers fan, this is the perfect fashion statement for Bears week.

I was late for my flight, but it didn’t matter. I ran into the store and bought two. One for me and one for my wife!

The featured game in the NFL this week is a familiar one. The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears have played each other 203 times. Sunday night will mark No. 204 in the NFL’s oldest rivalry. It will be the 16th consecutive regular season that the Packers and Bears have squared off in a prime-time game.

On paper, the matchup looks to be as exciting as week-old bread in the fridge. The Packers, at 9-3, have the second-best record in the NFL and are in the hunt for the top seed in the playoffs. The Bears, at 4-8, are about to fire their coach and are already talking about next year’s draft.

That said, this game has all the makings of an upset. The Bears have nothing to lose. Sunday will be Chicago’s Super Bowl. For my money, Sunday night is “must-see TV.”

Let’s start with the much-hyped rivalry. Sure, it’s the oldest in professional football. But more than that, these two teams honestly hate each other. The same goes for their fans. It’s the big city of Chicago against small-blue collar Green Bay.

For the Bears, the rivalry is probably more personal because they’ve been on the losing end for so long. Including the postseason, the Packers have won 20 of the last 23 meetings, including each of the last five contests. At Lambeau Field, Green Bay has won 11 of the last 13 games against the Bears. Last season the Packers crushed the Bears at Lambeau 41-25.

And then there’s Aaron Rodgers… bad toe and all! As the starting quarterback, Rodgers is 22-5 against the Bears. That includes a 24-14 Packers victory in Chicago this season, where Rodgers took the rivalry to a new level. After scoring the game-clinching touchdown on a quarterback scramble, Rodgers ruthlessly taunted Bears fans and pretty much all of Chicago.

“I have owned you all my fucking life!” Rodgers screamed into the stands of Chicago’s Soldier Field. “I own you. I still own you!”

Publicly, Chicago coaches and players have said very little about how Rodgers embarrassed and ridiculed the Bears on national television, but you must believe they are seething.

“I would like to punch him in the face,” said former Bears center and Hall of Fame finalist Olin Kreutz following the game. My bet is that many of Chicago’s current players feel the same way.

Finally, for those of you who like to wager on NFL games, here’s a bit of additional insight that may be of interest.

The Packers are coming off a bye week. For most NFL teams, this is a plus. For Green Bay, not necessarily so.

Green Bay’s last two regular-season bye weeks have been ugly. In 2019, after their first bye week under head coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers flew to California and lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 37-8. Last season, they flew south and lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their worst game of the season, 38-10.

Granted, both those games were on the road, and the Packers are playing at Lambeau this week. Perhaps the third time is a charm, but this tidbit is the kind of analytics that gamblers latch on to.

Las Vegas will tell you that the smart money is with Green Bay. The Packers are favored by 12.5 points in most sportsbooks. They’re considered one of the top three teams in the NFL. The Bears are one of the worst. The Packers are 8-1 against the spread. Chicago is winless when entering a game as an underdog of 12.5 or more.

Call me crazy, but of the 5 remaining games on Green Bay’s schedule, this one feels like it could be the toughest!

Green Bay Packers
The Packers Must Avoid A Repeat Of London In Brazil Opener
By Brandon Virk - Apr 12, 2024
Green Bay Packers
Gutekunst Should Be Patient If He Wants Edgerrin Cooper
By Matt Hendershott - Apr 12, 2024
Green Bay Packers

Will Gutey Move Up? Plus Four Other Draft Questions

Photo Credit: Philip G. Pavely (USA TODAY Sports)

There are so many more questions than answers when it comes to how Brian Gutekunst and his team will attack the 2024 draft. But there are a […]

Continue Reading