Posted on: January 23, 2011 5:21 am

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears: Bears 27 Packers 18

Aaron Rodgers is playing the best out of any of the four quarterbacks left in the playoffs. Last week, the former University of California Golden Bear threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns. He has now thrown for 10 touchdowns in three postseason games; not bad for a player who, just two weeks ago, was criticized for "never winning a playoff game". Rodgers led the Pack to a 10-3, playoff-clinching victory at Soldier Field week 17. It is worth noting, however, that, with the number two seed already in hand, the Bears had essentially nothing to play for. For some reason, no one has really ever believed that Chicago was an elite team at any point this season. Although they finished with a respectable 11-5 record, most believed that Philadelphia and Atlanta were both more likely to make it to Dallas. But here are those Bears, on the brink of their second Super Bowl appearance in the last five years. Their defense may not be as terrifying as 2007, with players such as Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Charles Tillman losing a step or two, but this team may be just as dangerous. Jay Cutler actually has weapons - tight end Greg Olsen as well as wide receivers Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are all legitimate threats. And I haven't even mentioned Matt Forte, who has proven himself as an effective runner and pass catcher. This Sunday, I see Forte playing a key role: if the Packers have to stack the box for the run, Mike Martz will give Jay Cutler more freedom to throw the ball down the field. If Green Bay can sit back in coverage, you can expect at least one interception from gunslinger jr. Chicago just needs to play smart, turnover-minimizing football. Most importantly, however, they need to force the Packers to settle for field goals. With his arsenal of receivers, Aaron Rodgers is going to convert first downs. The key for Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will be limiting Green Bay to field goals. The Bears can beat the Packers, but they can't outscore them.

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com