|More than one reason for Bears fans to worry this weekend|
|Written by Kevin Massoth, Daily Vidette Sports Columnist|
|Thursday, 13 January 2011 22:47|
An extra week to prepare, an under .500 opponent and home field advantage are all on the Chicago Bears’ side. So why am I so nervous for Sunday’s NFC playoff matchup against the Seahawks?
The obvious reason would be the Seahawks’ dispatching of the defending champion Saints last weekend in Seattle, but my fingernails are bitten to my cuticles because of something the Bears can’t even control anymore: the Green Bay Packers.
Every week during the regular season, I was petrified of the Packers reaching their full potential, and every time they didn’t, I took the opportunity to let my Packer fan friends know it.
But 17 regular season games down, an NFC North division championship by the Bears, countless injuries to their rivals and the Packers still found a way to squeak into the playoffs?
That’s what scares the living crap out of me. The Monsters of the Midway couldn’t ask for a better road to the Super Bowl, but it still doesn’t look good enough to me because I can feel Clay Matthews’ breath on the back of my neck as I write this column.
I didn’t even feel good about the Bears’ chances when they had a chance to knock the Packers out of the playoffs in the 17th and final week of the season. For heaven’s sake, Lovie. It wasn’t just good enough to compete against the Pack for a full game, you needed to knock them to the ground and spit in their faces!
As everyone else was cringing with fear every time Jay Cutler got knocked on his backside, I was writhing with agony knowing the Packers were that much closer to the playoffs. If half of the Bears’ team would’ve suffered torn ACLs but still have beaten Green Bay, I would’ve jumped for joy (and torn my ACL again).
But now the Packers are flashing their lights in our rearview mirror and honking their horns as if to say, “You know you don’t belong ahead of us, and we’re going to prove to you why.”
Our hands are trembling on the steering wheel (football) hoping our rickety, old truck (team) holds up long enough to outlast the Packers. And by that I mean we hope the Falcons beat the Packers on Saturday to allow a friendlier matchup in the NFC Championship game.
OK, obviously no game in the NFL is friendly, but my point is I’m afraid of this Packers team. The Bears can beat them as they showed earlier this season, but there is a reason I picked them to go to the Super Bowl this year. They are darn good when they are clicking, and right now they may have found their rhythm.
The Packers have their latest savior in Aaron Rodgers at the helm of their offense and an ambitious team around him. The Bears have an inexperienced group with a receiver and kick returner that can barely put together a sentence (sorry, Hester).
If the Packers beat the Falcons to march into the NFC title game and the Bears shove the Seahawks to the side, I don’t know how Cutler and the Bears’ young team would respond to such a big stage against a rival.
With all of that being said, a Chicago-Green Bay NFC Championship game at Soldier Field would be electrifying. If that falls into place, let’s just hope Matthews’ hair gets in the way of his game, some Packer betrays Rodgers (like Judas and Jesus, get it?) and our rickety old truck doesn’t break down on the highway.
Or maybe Matty Ice and the Falcons will relieve all of our troubles on Saturday. My fingernails could definitely use that break.