Friday, November 14, 2008


This NFC North showdown means a lot to both teams, but especially the Packers. Despite a horrific offensive performance, they nearly knocked off the Vikings last week. For their part, the Bears played well in Week 10 but fell just short of picking off the undefeated Titans. QB Kyle Orton(ankle) may play against Green Bay, but how effective will he be? And can Chicago win with QB Rex Grossman if Orton isn't able to go? The Packers have concerns of their own. With LB Nick Barnett having suffered a season-ending knee injury, the Packers' sagging run defense could have more trouble containing stud rookie RB Matt Forte. A great rivalry game with huge division and playoff implications.

This is a HUGE game. Whoever wins on Sunday is going to take the division - either Green Bay or Chicago has won the NFC North since it was created in 2002 when the NFL switched to eight divisions.

With Barnett out, the Packers should have a tough time stopping Forte. He's leading the NFL rookie class in rushing with 713 yards and GB ranks a crappy 28th against the run.

"To play Green Bay, to play your division rivals in November," Chicago quarterback Kyle Orton said. "We're in first place, and these are huge games from here on out. This is what I put the effort in for, so I can do everything I can to be out there."

Is it just me or does Orton sound like a real QB? If you remember his quotes from pre-season (like "i'm here to be a game manager" and "my focus is on limiting mistakes and letting the defense dictate the game"), this is a monster change in tone. The guy has become a leader on the field and is letting his play and the team record speak for itself. I don't want to lather on the praise too much but Orton has really matured from a last option QB with no upside and limited ability to a consistently above average producer who can win big games and doesn't make mistakes down the stretch. Hell, I'd take Orton in the 4th quarter this year over almost anyone outside the top 5 in the league.

We will need our secondary to step up and win this game. We're going to score some points on offense and we should be able to own the clock with the run game.  Ryan Grant is slow, hesitant and a total pussy. It's Aaron Rodgers vs Nathan Vasher. This is big time.  This is what rivalries are made of. This is when the real men step up and become game changers. Let's do this.

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