Down the stretch we go

The Packers have hit the fourth quarter of the season at 8-4 and in good shape in the NFC. While I would like to have been 9-3 the fact is the Bears beat the Packers and we can’t do anything about that until January 2. Four more wins would mean a division title but they have to go to Detroit first and take care of business like they did Sunday.

The one thing that continues to be a little bit of a concern is the Packers’ offense and its slow starts. It seems like the Packers don’t wake up until the second quarter. Same thing yesterday. They looked awful for the first 15 then put up 14 points a piece in the second and third quarters to essentially put the 49ers away. Against the good teams on their remaining schedule they might not get away with that so easily. Case in point New England leads the Jets right now 17-0 after one quarter. Patriots aren’t losing this game no way no how.

The Packers are not worried about their current position in the playoff race and we shouldn’t be either. There is too much football left to be played. For instance the Eagles and Ginats are tied with the Packers and they still have to play each other. Also, the Eagles have to play the Cowboys twice yet, and the Cowboys might be playing the best football in the league right now. The Bears have the easiest schedule of everybody with their tough games both being at home – the Patriots and Jets.

The Packers’ defense took a big hit when it lost defensive end Cullen Jenkins to injury late in the game. Jenkins has been on fire since having the club removed from his broken hand and had two sacks against the 49ers. The Packers can probably get by this week without him but it sure would be nice if he could be back in time for New England, you need all hands on deck going against that offense.

I don’t think the Packers will take the Lions lightly after the struggle they had with them in early October. The Packers held on by the skin of their teeth in that game as Shaun Hill picked apart the Packers’ secondary. I don’t know who will be starting at quarterback this week but I bet the Packers’ defense feels like it has a score to settle. Combine that with the success Aaron Rodgers usually enjoys in Ford Field and the Packers should be able to get the job done fairly easily.

Going on record right now predicting a Bears win over New England next week, which will make the Patriots an angry team the following week when the Packers come calling. That makes the Lions’ game that much more important. You can’t look ahead in this league or it will bite you every time. We just need to stay the course. Play them one at a time. It’s the most important game on the schedule because it’s the next one. Did I miss any?

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  • No way do the Bears beat New England after witnessing how well the Patriots are dismantling the Jets defense tonight. Brady is on fire right now. I just don’t see the Bears keeping up with them. The Packers will face a very uphill battle when they go to NE. The good news is, the Packers can play in that weather. I don’t think the Bears have the easiest schedule going forward. Not by any means.

  • mel e mel

    The Only way to beat the Pats is to play good d and Run the ball. Watch what the Pats did to the Steelers. The Bears have more of a chance of colonizing Mars than they have of beating NE.

    • First sentance says it all. Get DET out of the way, heal Jenkins, then pound it with Starks and Kuhn until the clock runs out. Take the ball away from Brady. Who knows, the way our Specials play up and down, they might even win a ball game for us.

    • dave76

      Brady simply needs to be on the sidelines watching for any team to have a chance @ NE. He has a huge chip on his shoulder when media and some fans thought they were done without Moss. It started with Pitt, he is playing the most focused and intense football I’ve seen him play. To say he is on a mission is an understatement. First Detroit, divisional games are always tough and forget the 2-10 record. They aren’t as bad as the record shows. Starks looked great, can’t wait to see more!

  • Pierre

    Pats made a statement with annihilation of the 9-2 NY Jets last night; “who thinks they could stop our offense if they play us in the Superbowl”? Bears and Packers will both be hard-pressed to stay with the Pats in their upcoming games the way that Brady is playing. The Bears have the benefit of getting the Pats at home and on the short week after a Monday night game. Pack has to go to NE to play the Pats on Sunday night, where Brady has not lost a regular season game in the last 26. Packers also have the Giants who obliterated the Redskins 31-7…making them look like a USFL team… with two 100 yard rushers in the game! Do not take Giants lightly either.

    First off it’s the Lions, and Al is right, GB really needs to come out and start this game strong and productively in the beginning by getting into the endzone in the first quarter…and then don’t stop! See how Brady and the Pats kept pouring it on with TDs against the Jets? They never took their foot off the Jets’ neck and let them entertain a thought of coming back. Belichick has won three Superbowls. It seems MM tends to let up with the scoring effort, hence the close games, and the losses that get determined by one play. Keep the pedal to the medal Mike and keep the offensive pressure on the opponent with the strength of your superior passing game. Packers better be prepared to “out offense” other proficient teams as they head down the stretch where each game will have “play-off” intensity and implications.

  • Rick

    Bears versus Patriots may be a good game but GB only needs eyes on beating the Lions.

  • Monty

    I think NE and NYJ test just how good the Bears are. Brady is playing lights out, I would not bet against them to win the AFC and be in Dallas. Dont really see anyone over there beating them if they get the #1 seed. They have faced all the top teams in the AFC (how they let Cleveland beat them??) and beat them. I think someone pointed it out earlier last week, our playoff game really comes against the Giants, because the winner of that game, Packers vs Giants, will probably have the last wild card. If the Bears beat the Patriot & the Jets, then they deserve the division title. But as someone said, now is the time to go, four games left three for sure winnable. Did McCarthy have a Saul experience where he saw Jesus or God?? Wasnt he quote as saying well now I have four options at running back after Starks put up some good numbers?? Its like Hello, we’ve only be harping for you to play someone else but Jackson…..they should have started him against Atlanta. Arod is 0-2 against Matt Ryan, both because of one turn over. If we would have had a running game in either of those games, Atlanta has beat by 3 points the last two times we played them….but then save for 12 points we are 12-0 and you know when you lose 12 games (remember ARod is 2-12 in games decided by 4 points or less) if you would have had a running game, that number goes way down, it just shows how close we are to being an elite team. I hope McCarthy’s new found eye sight (ie oh I can run the ball now cuz I dont have to give it to Jackson and watch him fall down or get 2.2 years per carry (in a high squeaky voice lol) and they let Nance and Starks run the ball. It would be nice to play Packer football the rest of the way. Can you imagine what our passing game would look like?? One final note, Larry where did you get your blonde wig? Being in Germany now it would fit right in.

  • Mark Troy

    NO WAY the Bears beat NE…
    I think we’ll catch NE having down week when they play the Packers and we beat them!

  • mel e mel

    The slow starts are an issue. Start slow vs. NE and you can hang it up. MM must learn killer instinct.

  • Steve Cheez

    Anyone still mad that TT didn’t go after Haynesworth?

    • Monty

      never wanted hayensworth….wanted Lynch after grant went down. But knew that tightwad wanted to see what he had in Starks. They should have started him in Atlanta but wtf….life goes on..hoepfully he gets better each week and can keep the running game average so we can open up other things and beat whom we need to beat.

    • In the only game I can remember him playing in, Harrell totally outplayed Haynesworth.

      I’ve been around a while and being born in Chicago know what a “shiv” is, but what the hell is a “shiver”? Never heard of it!

      • Monty

        do you think the Packers will really bring back harrell next year? you know we’ve had so many injuries this year its like two different teams, I mean we have had enough to almost make two teams…..its gonna be an interesting off season to see who makes the club for 2011.

        • I’d say depends on the $. One would have to assume he has “fresh” legs. Heh, heh. But seriously he did have a very good game against TEN.

    • dave76

      No way, Haynesworth was high risk the second he stomped on a helmetless Cowgirl in the head with his cleats in Tenn. He now would make an interesting psych study. Raji has improved, I’m happy with his potential and future with us.

  • Larry

    Guys, Haynesworth does not WANT to play in a 3-4. That much is clear. He was probably never considered. He just doesn’t fit the TT mold. IMO Harrell will probably be back next year. At least into the OTA and maybe training camp. He does fit the mold…he’ll get the veteran minimum if he signs with GB, is a large body, knows the system and is YOUNG. But I don’t expect him to make the grade and he’ll eventually be cut or traded. Neal looked good, Jolly will be given a chance, Green is more dependable, Wilson is coming along and we’ll draft another big body or two under the best available scenerio.

    • Frankly, if Harrell could be healthy, I think he is better than any of them, BUT! Nobody is considering Haynesworth for the 3-4 Larry, just kicking the can down the street. Harrell off the edge will be awsome if he can get thru camp.

      • Rick

        Harrell is done in the league. He is all potential but also all injury. He will look good in camp and get hurt again in the season. No team wants to keep dealing with that.

        Haynesworth will go wherever the D coach of the Titans goes. Probably a 3rd or 4th round pick and Haynesworth follows the one man that got him to play.

  • Jeff

    Befor you make any stupid statements about the Bears beating New England , Bill Billichek owns Mike Martz’ offenses , he shut down his Ram offense in the super bowl and the Bears have no offense. When the Bears play against good healthy defenses they cant move the ball and Cutler is always on his back.

    • Rocky70

      No doubt, GB & da Bears will be tied at 9-4 after this weekend ….. The ‘real’ Bears will surface & go 1-3 to finish the season …. They may be hard-pressed to even make the play-offs …. Bank on it.

      • Steve Cheez

        I like the way you think, Rock!

      • iccyfan

        Your “bank on it” calls don’t exactly carry the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval…

  • roy jamison

    Let’s face the fax..the BEARS STILL SUCK!!!!

  • Monty

    Yeah but they currently lead us by a game and have the tie breaker. As of today, 12.8.2010 they have played better (choke cough cough) or at least caught the lucky breaks. We would all like to win the next four, but realistically, Im saying we take 3/4 because Brady is Brady and we have to play them there. That puts us at 11-5 because we have two home games we should win now that McCarthy can see again and has found his running game with Starks and hopefully Nance. As you saw once again Sunday, Jackson great on screens or check down sucks as a running back, just toooo slow compared to Starks and Nance. They have to run the ball well against the Giants as the Giants do that well. I dont know where 11-5 puts us but I think it gives us the division because I really dont see the Bears beating both the Jets and Patriots and if we beat them well….so will have to see how it all plays out. Lets just pray and hope no one else goes down. As I mentioned before, and I think someone else did too, position by position, we really have had two teams this season which means when the powers that be put it all together for 2011 we will be an elite team. I think we still draft a decent runner in the top rounds as we have seen how weak we are there. I think it will be interesting to see which of his own FA’s Thompson chooses and which ones leave. If you saw Mike whats his name’s article from the Gassette he thought Jenkins was the top pick to sign….I agree, he’s been a hoss for sure. I agree with Larry, Harrell will be back but whether they select him or not as they have other fresher guys… be continued for sure. Go Pack!

  • Rocky70

    Per Rick …..
    “Harrell is done in the league.”

    What an asinine statement ……. Harrell is 6’4″, 315# & is only 26 years old ….. Both he & Jolly will be at TC – 2011 …… Harrell may not make the 53 for GB but he’ll get a chance with someone, somewhere …… He could end up a 15 year vet if things start going his way ….. There are many players who struggled out of the gate …..

    Monty ……
    Is there even the slightest chance that you could use a few paragraphs? ……… Your posts are unreadable (not that there’s anything worth reading) but …… Just say’in……. Thanks.

    • Rick

      @Rocky –

      Injured in his senior year. Drafted first round. Injured in preseason and misses first year on IR. Second Year plays a little in camp and needs a surgery again before preseason and is shut down on IR again. Third Season makes it through camp and into regular season and guess what??? Injured and on IR again.

      I believe he has played less then 50 snaps in 3 years with the Packers you putz.

      Stumbled out of the gate. Horse puck. He has not even made it to the gate.

      In this league someone will look at a late round draft pick then keep wasting time on injured goods. If he wants to stay in any league he has to stay healthy. He hasn’t done it yet. He has a bad back and his back is needed to be effective in his position on the field.

      He may grow wings and fly away as likely as he becomes a 15 year vet in the league. Unless you mean with the Omaha Nighthawks.

      • Rocky70

        Coming from someone who wanted to draft Sergio in rd. 1 …. Yea, I’m listening …. LOL.

    • Rocky, without that stupid 1st round contract Harrell would have been cut in year 2. He’s just been dead weight that’s cost us money and roster space.

      • Rocky70

        Another one who has it all figured out ….. Do you use the ‘alignment of the planets’ to support your theories? ….. At least I’m not predicting what would have been or what will be ….. You ‘crystal ball people’ are funny …..