I admit it. I proclaimed it. I had totally, completely lost faith in the Bears beating the Green Bay Packers on November 4th. I kept faith in 2008, 2009, in the 2010 NFC Championship, in portions of the 2011 and 2012 season. Not so much the late games in those years. But this year I had to completely write off their chances. And the Bears finally beat the Packers for only the second time in five years. And I loved it. The MVP’s for the Bears were abundant: Marc Trestman for the game he called including the gutsy fourth-down attempt, the offensive line, Josh McCown‘s brilliant play, Matt Forte‘s execution, Shea McClellin, Julius Peppers. Who have I missed?
Speaking of McClellin, he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his three-sack performance. Way to come out of the shell for which he’s been criticized all at once. I don’t have the time to watch the “all-22″ coaches’ film, but I have heard that once again Julius Peppers laid it on the line in the background to sacrifice for the other linemen.
Certainly, Aaron Rodgers‘ first significant injury in his brilliant career as a starter was the difference in the game. I hate to see a player get injured, and Rodgers is a phenomenal player and seemingly a good guy. But the Bears have deserved a break to come their way in the Bears-Packers series for a long, long time. Let me explain. Of course the Packer organization deserves the credit for drafting and developing great players over the last 20 years. But there is no way anyone could claim they haven’t had some damn good fortune as well. In 1992 the Atlanta Falcons gave away Brett Favre. Yes, they got a first-round pick back, but don’t you think they’d re-do that trade in a heartbeat if they could? So Favre is a Hall of Fame quarterback and plays without missing a game for Green Bay for 16 seasons. In 2005, Aaron Rodgers drops in the draft all the way to the 24th pick. So the Packers are lucky as hell that 23 other teams passed on another Hall of Fame quarterback (including the Bears, who took Cedric Benson 20 picks before). Now Rodgers as well has been more durable than 99% of quarterbacks, which is part skill and conditioning but a large part good fortune as well. The Packers have had extremely good luck, and it’s about time the Bears received a little.
Jay Cutler is playing Sunday, just one game after a four-game injury diagnosis. Anyone else think he and the Bears might be better off starting Josh McCown for one more game?