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2011 NFC Championship game predictions

Predictions: Packers vs. Bears

Devin Hester

Stop Hester. The rest will fall into place.

Steffen: If you’re like me, this past week of hype has been cringe-inducing.

On one hand, it’s pretty sweet to have just about everyone on TV or the radio gushing about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Of course, there are some detractors (Colin Cowherd spent most of Friday morning declaring Rodgers no better than Tony Romo), but by and large, people in the know are predicting a Packers victory this Sunday.

On the other hand, Chicago is already playing the “we get no respect” card. That can only serve to motivate an emotional team like the Bears.

I’m on the fence. I expect nothing less than another low-scoring, close game. I don’t expect a repeat performance of the Atlanta game from Green Bay’s offense. Chicago’s defense is smarter and faster than Atlanta’s and the notoriously crappy turf of Soldier Field will have an effect on the Packers’ receivers to cut and break open.

Overshadowed by Rodgers’ boffo performance last week, was the disturbingly shitty play of the Packers offensive line. Falcons defenders had several clean shots at Rodgers. He made them miss on a few occasions, but Julius Peppers and company aren’t going to whiff. If the Packers o-line plays like that again, the Bears will run away with the game.

The Packers will need a week 17 repeat performance from punter Tim Masthay and the punt coverage unit. Devin Hester was a complete non-factor in that contest. Of course, the offense could just not punt at all again. That would work too.

This game will be a huge test for James Starks. The Packers will be relying on him and the Bears will be keying on him. If the Bears nullify him early on, the Packers are in big trouble. Honestly, this is where we’ll find out if Starks is the real deal or not.

Dom Capers. I have to believe the 3-4 defensive mastermind has something up his sleeve. Jay Cutler is the type of quarterback you have to rattle and attack. If the Packers sit back and go vanilla for this matchup, again… trouble. For the most part, Capers rolls out some crazy looks in big games, but he went vanilla in the Minnesota games last season and the Packers got waxed. I don’t trust him yet.

I’m also worried about this Terry McAulay referee. He’s the same ref that nailed the Packers (third-fewest penalties in the league) for 18 penalties in week three, basically gift wrapping a victory for Chicago.

With McAulay back, here’s something to watch out for.

This week, the Bears discussed how “physical” their receivers are going to be in the game. Translation: the Bears receivers are going to run bullshit patterns to initiate contact downfield to draw cheap penalties. Watch for picks and blatant push-offs on deep throws.

The Packers defenders will have to be on their toes. Cheap penalties like this will extend drives for the Bears and they very well could be the difference maker.

To the naked eye and on paper, the Packers are far more talented and should win this game.

However, I’m worried the Bears will be motivated and will keep it close. Penalties will put them over the top for a controversial victory. What else could you expect from a team that’s stumbled into multiple cheap victories this season?

Bears 20, Packers 17

Shawn: I originally wrote about five paragraphs of analysis, but screw all of that. Anything can happen in this fricking game.

I believe this is the toughest game left for the Packers. If the Packers can win this game, then I’ll take them and seven points in a controlled environment in Dallas against any team in the league.

This is a different animal on Sunday. Amazingly, the team that plays in the coldest climate in the NFL isn’t built for the cold.

This game can go a lot of different ways, but I think a defensive ball game is the surest bet. Like most of the nation, I have to like the Packers. They have the momentum and the playmakers. They just need to play well on special teams, or play so well on offense again that special teams doesn’t matter.

The last team to win three straight road games on their way to the Super Bowl was the 2007 New York Giants and the connection between the Packers and Giants doesn’t end there.

The Packers are the first team to make two conference championships in four years with two different quarterbacks since the 1994 49ers. Those 49ers with Joe Montana at the helm, three years earlier, lost the 1990 NFC Championship game against… the Giants. The 1994 49ers, with Steve Young under center, beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Sunday’s game will be mostly a defensive contest. Charles Woodson picks off Cutler late and scores a TD to push the final score to a two-TD game.

Packers 28, Bears 13

Monty: Chicago Bears fans are bunch of loud-mouthed cunts.

The Green Bay Packers are going to win on Sunday because of that alone.

Karma’s a bitch, motherfuckers.

Get ready for a healthy dose of it from me Sunday afternoon.

Packers 28, Bears 17

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. packerlandmike January 22, 2011

    The Packers’ defense is the key. Get to Cutler, force him into poor decision making, and the rest will take care of itself.

    Yes, the Bears can run the ball. But if Green Bay gets up early and forces the passing game, Chicago cannot keep up.

    Packers 27, Bears 20.

  2. tequila January 22, 2011

    Monty, at least you have your head on straight this week.

  3. Vijay January 22, 2011

    As much as I love my Green Bay Packers, I can’t help but focus on three things in this match up for the ages.
    #1. These two teams seem to share a history of splitting victories with one another. In fact, the last 10 meetings have resulted in a split 50/50. So, if we go with the odds there, the Bears are due this time around.
    #2. All week I have had to listen to prognosticator after prognosticator talk about the greatness of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers during this ‘magical’ playoff run. Looking back on recent history, teams that have had this ‘magical’ tag placed on them have, for the most part had their runs ended (exceptions for the 2007 Giants & 2005 Steelers).
    #3. The oddmakers from Vegas have not helped our cause. Inexplicably, or maybe because people in Vegas secretly hate people from WI and are trying to motivate them even more than normal. They have made the Bears underdogs at home after they have already won the division and earned a number two seed. The Packers have been great on the road of late but during the regular season they were not (3-5 road vs 7-1 at home). I think that this Vegas bandwagon jumping is a major concern because I agree that a highly motivated Bears squad is more dangerous than ever.

    With all that being said, last week I picked them to lose and this week I will go the other direction. I like the Packers steady confidence in themselves and I hope the veteran leaders will step up BIG in this one and deliver us the victory.

    Pack 17 – Bears 10

    One final note – turnovers and not penalties will determine the final outcome of this game.

  4. iltarion January 22, 2011

    I am not concerned about penalties. It is the NFC Championship Game, the NFL will have told the refs to keep the flags in their pockets. Considering how physical the Bears were with the Seattle WRs, they have just as much to worry about as far as contact down field as the Packers have. The Bears WRs saying they are going to be physical can be translated thus- “We know we can’t get open against these guys, but throw it to us anyway and we’ll outmuscle them for the ball.” Good luck with that.

    People are making too big of a deal out of this “Bears will be motivated” notion. It is the NFC Championship Game. The Bears are at home against their most hated rival. It doesn’t matter if they are favored by 10 or underdogs by 10; they will be motivated to play, as will the Packers. If anything, both teams have to temper against being overly emotionally committed to the game. Emotions can get in the way of execution, cause tightness, and lead to stupid mistakes. That is part of the reason why so many Super Bowls used to be blowouts. In the biggest games, things can go the other way on you very quickly.

  5. Ryan January 22, 2011

    I was thinking we’d beat Philadelphia, I knew we’d beat Atlanta – I’m very, very worried for this game.

    The Bears are a good team and we seem to struggle against them. There defensive line is exceptional and our offensive line is mediocre to average, at best. Our wide receivers are great, but their turf might nullify that. Our defense is great against the pass but weak against the run – the Bears have a great run game. Finally, our special teams unit is very inconsistent; the Bears have arguably the best punt returner in the history of the game.

    I smell trouble, but will pick the Packers in a close one. To be honest though, this might be my heart over my head.

    One final note: Yes, Terry McAulay is the referee for this game, however, his crew is not necessarily comprising the rest of the officials. As McCarthy said in his presser earlier this week, the crew is an “all-star” conglomerate, made up of officials from different crews. So, in reality, this isn’t something to worry about – except that there were a few questionable offensive holding penalties called on the Packers and these were (probably) called by McAulay.

    GO PACK!

  6. ay hombre January 22, 2011

    I think the idea that we “struggle” with the Bears is a little blown out of proportion. I think we employ a strategy that gives the Bears the respect they deserve as a defense, while playing to our biggest strength which is in fact….our defense.

    Let’s put it like this: when you have a defense like the Packers, the Bears offense doesn’t necessarily make you toss and turn at night. That’s a matchup we should be able to dominate like we have throughout Cutler’s time in Chicago.

    So if we can play a smart, slow, running based attack, limit Hester’s returns by punting out of bounds/directionally, and eliminate the big mistake on offense we should win the game.

    I think 24 points will win this game a really high percentage of the time…so we don’t need to press. We play smart and let our defense take over…which they should.

    I look for the Packers to run 25+ snaps out of the 3-RB set…predominantly in the first half. I feel this approach gives the Packers feasibly two ways to win the game. If they can pound the ball with Starks with any level of success, I think it’s safe to say that the Bears are pretty screwed.

    If it doesn’t work in the early going, we’re certainly capable of turning it up a notch and coming from behind the Bears if they happen to get up by 10. (Will they score 10?) A few punts back and forth in the first half is fine with me…just don’t let that front four of Chicago make an impact play in the first couple series. Let the defense take over and if Chicago can move the ball on us…1) I’ll be surprised 2) Move to plan B and throwing more.

    Watch for MM to mix in some big play action pass out of the 3-back formation…possibly even on our first play from scrimmage. Although I anticipate we’ll go with a verrrry conservative approach, I could absolutely see us taking a shot right off the bat.

    I was sold on the Packers coming out on top all week, but some things on the injury report have me very concerned. Something smells amiss with AJ Hawk and John Kuhn. Call me crazy, call me a cynic, call me long-winded…but I think it’s likely (especially Kuhn) that one or both of these guys could be limited.

    Fuck! Who knows.

    Packers 20 Bears 17

  7. Buddy January 22, 2011

    Cutler throws three picks, Forte has a good game on the ground, and Green Bay has no trouble hauling in passes and moving the ball.

    GB- 35
    CHI- 33

  8. Andy January 22, 2011

    Gb 17 Chi 14 it might actually be a scary game but the bears can’t stop the packers and aaron rodgers. Go pack!

  9. Tyko Steamboat January 22, 2011

    i might throw-up before kick off…

  10. Dirty Sanchez January 22, 2011

    The only way the Bears win is if Obama enforces and executive order with the officials. Which could very well happen with that dirt bag chicago slime ball politician.

  11. Joe January 22, 2011

    a predict a sloppy, defensive game. I can honestly say im nervous…. but i need the packers to win because i sit near 3 bears fans at work and i dont need that shit come monday if we lost. with that said..

    packers – 7
    bears – 3

  12. ay hombre January 22, 2011


    a predict a sloppy, defensive game. I can honestly say im nervous…. but i need the packers to win because i sit near 3 bears fans at work and i dont need that shit come monday if we lost. with that said..
    packers – 7
    bears – 3

    If you’re not nervous, you’re not a real fan. We’ll be ok Joe.

  13. Andy January 23, 2011

    I think different. I am kinda like.. nervous if anyone gets hurt or devin hester.. if that means anything

  14. average fan January 23, 2011

    Packers 35 , bears 17

    1. Kozak January 24, 2011

      Suck it.

    2. Kozak January 24, 2011

      Sir I apologize I misread and thought you had the Bears scoring 35. My awful mistake.

  15. Colorado Pack Fan January 23, 2011

    I am cautiously optimistic…just like last week. Cutler will feel the pressure of this game and the Packer defense and blow any chance the Bears have of winning. We have kept two pro bowl QBs in check the last few weeks, Cutler should not be a problem.

    Packers 21

    Bears 13

    1. Sheegan January 23, 2011

      Wow you almost had it, one point off… great call

  16. jeremy January 23, 2011

    Just went out to shovel some light snow. And I can tell you it’s a lovely day for January in Chicago. There is just a little wind, and the air is about 20 degrees. If this weather holds for the next 5 hours Rodgers , Culter, and the kicking game will not be affected at all.

  17. Gary January 23, 2011

    Steffen makes a good point with the bears receivers, if they get some bullshit calls this will turn the game. Field position and getting at least a few first downs on every drive will tip the field in the Packs favor. At this point with the injuries they’ve had this year they are playing with house money, MM should play balls out and get after them on both offense and defense.

  18. Ryan January 23, 2011


  19. Killa January 23, 2011

    I like MM and TT now. You happy homgay and Ilitarion???

  20. Ryan January 23, 2011


  21. Killa January 23, 2011

    I was just Joking. LOL!!!! Fuck ya’ll

    1. Killa January 24, 2011

      GO PACK GO!!!