The similarities to 1995 were strikingly similar. The Bears held a one game lead over the Packers. It was November. At Lambeau. And one of the QB's was hobbling with an injured ankle. Thankfully, Kyle Orton is not Brett Favre. Orton looked awfully rusty or should I say Rexy. With that, the acclaimed C-Force left Green Bay both unjustified and illegitimate. Meanwhile, the G-Force celebrated as we gained momentum against our hated rivals.
Instead of "Air-In" it out, the Packers relied on a PUNISHING ground game. Ryan Grant made Mike Brown look like Kenny Stills. Brian Urlacher is still trying to shed blockers. Tommie Harris was non-existent. This Bears defense looked old and washed up. Or maybe, they were simply beat up. Hard to imagine yet fully real.
While the 37-3 victory was sweet and should be savored, there is still plenty of room for improvement. UNO-DOS! had Double-D wide open yet underthrew him on what would have been an easy TD. Once again, Spitz & College were both called for false starts. Michael Montgomery forgot to come on the field and he cost the Packers a timeout near the end of the 1st half. We wasted nearly 20 seconds on our last drive of the 1st half and then spiked the ball to stopo the clock, which forced us to settle for a 52 yard FG.
Nonetheless, there's no need to focus on the negative. Nor even to discuss. Not when you massacre your arch nemesis in a crucial game with our life on the line. It was great to confirm that the Bears do indeed, truly, still suck. Yes, the Bears still suck!
In my mind, with the exception of the interception, UNO-DOS! played the best game of his young career. He took what the defense gave him. He did not panic. He was quick in his release. Nothing was forced. He got Donald Lee involved. It was a thing of beauty.
Time to give props to John Kuhn and Korey Hall. Blowing up defenders and opening nice size holes for Grant. Briggs and Urlacher were no match. Hall and Kuhn made the Pro Bowlers look like amateurs. Hall and Kuhn were at the forefront of this dominant display.
Also, thanks to B-Jack for his fine effort.
And when you've got a 27-3 lead, you may as well throw a slant to J-Mike!
But, this week, it's up to the Packers to keep pace. Hopefully, the Bears gave us the confidence we need to be able to muster up a similar running game against the Saints. The Bears have an easy game against the Rams this week. The Vikes travel to J'ville to face the defeated Jags. Both the Bears and Vikes should win. We must hold serve. We will.
Ah, N'Awlins! God bless this City. Just not this Monday Night. Packers fans will forever love the Super Dome for our terrific 1996 memories.
The Saints are a tricky opponent indoors in a controlled environment. They have a number of offensive weapons. And they might be getting healthier this week as Reggie Bush might be returning from a 3-game absence. Regardless, I feel as though the Saints inability to run the football plays into the hands of the Packers.
T-Mon, Nintendo Nick, and Chuckie have been interception machines. I like their match-ups this week as well. I'd stick Al on Colston. Let them bang away at each other. Chuckie can jam Devery Henderson at the line as Henderson tries to get deep on the him. T-Mon can run with Lance Moore as Moore tries to run his fly routes. All the while, a tipped pass might fall into the lap of Nintendo Nick.
I'm sure the Saints will occasionally try to mix it up with Pierre Thomas and Deuce McAllister. I'd be surprised if they're successful. They may have some quality pass plays to Jeremy Shockey, but overall I expect his production to be limited by Chillar.
But, the Packers must recognize that Drew Brees is as accurate as any QB in the league. He's not mobile and therefore, we must trust our secondary and try to get pressure on him. If you give him all day to throw, he'll beat you. If you get a hand in his face, occasionally, he'll make a mistake.
Offensively, once again, we see the Ryan Grant show. The run opens up the pass. We tire the Saints defense. Keep Brees & the potent Saints offense on the bench. Then we go to work on the depleted Saints secondary. At one stage of his career, Aaron Glenn was beaten by Mark Ingram and Dan Marino. At this stage of his career, he'll experience the wrath of UNO-DOS! and Greg Jennings. At some point, the Packers will go empty and we will "Air-In" it out.
Driver will have 5 catches. Jones is slowly becoming more involved. Jordy Nelson is developing into an extremely reliable target. Donald Lee is a weapon.
The Packers get an early lead. The Saints try to make their comeback, but our secondary is too gifted.
Green Bay 37
New Orleans 27
Hey New Orleans, the 1st place Packers are marching in...we're cool. We're confident. We're ready to hit our stride and capture momentum at the right time. In the words of UNO-DOS!, "Let's play Packer football and let's have some fun." And after the victory, stop by Evelyn's Place on Chartres St. Hang out with Frank. Have a Hurricane. He'll make it stiff!
Harness in the energy,