Interview after interview, analyst after analyst, picks and predictions favor Green Bay. The Bears still get their spotlight, as is necessary to remain unbiased, and even get their praise. But the Packers are getting the votes.
Obviously it’s not quite unanimous. Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” did pick the Bears…ironically to the dismay of the Bears’ fans. Greenberg (Greeny) is infamous for incorrect playoff picks this year. The Bears can’t catch a break.
The funny thing is though, I think the Bears like not having support so they can play the “us against the world” card. It makes it easier to get up for a game with a chip on your shoulder. New York Jets‘ coach Rex Ryan rants all the time about how no one thinks the Jets can beat these good teams and waves the underdog flag loudly. Lovie Smith, Bears head coach, is not a ranter. He is content fueling his team with the bulletin board and locker room speeches.
It’s been that way all season for the Bears and even a little before the season. Ex Bears’ great Gayle Sayers said pre-season that he didn’t expect the Bears to be any good. With almost all the focus on Brett Favre in Minnesota and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, the Bears almost silently won the NFC North Division. Though they are the NFC North Champions and #2 overall NFC seeded team, the Bears just do not have the momentum and appeal the Packers carry.
The Packers are coming off a dominant performance over the #1 seeded Atlanta Falcons on the road. The Chicago Bears beat the 7-9 (8-9 including wildcard victory) Seattle Seahawks in Chicago. Jay Cutler is always talked about in terms of potential. No one really trusts him yet. NFL analysts describe him like a ticking time bomb for interceptions. All good comments about Jay sound like, “He really has the arm to make any throw on the field, but you just know he’s going to throw the defense 3-4 balls a game and it comes down to whether or not they can take advantage.”
Definitely, the Chicago Bears enter their own house this Sunday as the underdog. They haven’t seemed to mind the doubt thus far.