It comes down to this.
One game. Winner take all.
The victor is crowned NFC North Champion for 2013, and gets to live another week in the playoffs.
The loser goes home, their season finished, with nothing to look forward to except the NFL Draft.
Not a more perfect forecast could be in order for such a matchup: cold, snow, wind. An ideal day for football.
The players are ready, knowing their seasons are on the line, each with a chance to keep their bitter rivals out of the playoffs.
The fans are ready, with the winner being able to hold the upper hand until the next meeting in this 188th meeting between the two teams, a rivalry which is in its 92nd year.
Packers vs. Bears.
Welcome to gameday. It’s going to be a wild one
Cory Jennerjohn (@coryjennerjohn)
Everyone wants to make this game out to be the triumphant return of Aaron Rodgers. And while it is great to see the Packers’ franchise quarterback return, this game is more about Jay Cutler. He owns just a 1-8 career record as the starting quarterback vs. Green Bay. The last time Cutler beat Green Bay was Sept. 27, 2010. This game will come down to how healthy Eddie Lacy is because the Soldier Field turf will more than likely be turned into oatmeal after the first quarter. That and the Bears tepid defense is allowing 162 rushing yards a game after giving up 289 last week.
Packers 27 Bears 21
Jacob Westendorf (@jaobwestendorf)
Something most fans will not be used to seeing in this rivalry. A shoot out. Both Chicago and Green Bay have an abundance of weapons, going up against a porous defense, so what gives Green Bay the edge? The return of Aaron Rodgers, facing Jay Cutler. In a game that could come down to the turnover margin I trust Aaron Rodgers far more than I do Cutler. Green Bay wins a nail biter, and earns their third straight NFC North title.
Packers 41 Bears 38
John Rehor (@jrehor)
Aaron Rodgers is back for the Packers. So is Randall Cobb. That alone gives the Packers momentum into this game. After being without their all everything QB and all everything WR for over half the season, Mike McCarthy has said he is going to “cut Aaron Rodgers loose” this game. What does that mean for the Bears? Nothing good. Throw in Eddie Lacy going against a historically poor Bears’ run defense, and the Packers offense could have a field day. Unfortunately, the Bears could do the same against a Packers’ defense without Clay Matthews. They MUST find a way to get pressure on Jay Cutler and force him to make some of his customary poor throws. The Bears have two outstanding WRs in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and Dom Capers had better have a plan in place to slow them down. The Bears also have one of the best RBs in the league in Matt Forte, and Capers needs to account for him as well. This will be a battle of two excellent offenses versus two less than spectacular defenses. The Packers get the nod, because Rodgers is back, and earn their third consecutive division title in the process.
Packers 44 Bears 31
Ross Uglem (@rossuglem)
I would just rather have Aaron Rodgers more than Jay Cutler in a big spot. The Packers and Bears both have bad defenses this season. The Bears supposedly have this great offense now, but with Randall Cobb back, you can try to tell me that Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, Bennett and Forte are better weapons than Nelson, Jones, Cobb, Q, and Lacy but I’m not going to believe you. All things being equal (and they’re not, the Chicago D is historically bad) give me the best QB in the league over the perennially disappointing Cutler. The Bears still suck.
Packers 38 Bears 31
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.