Being the only sport with total revenue sharing and nearly equal payrolls, the margin for error is very narrow in the NFL. It leaves too much parity to have performance drop in even small areas.
The Green Bay Packers had a stretch of 19 straight wins. They came into this contest against their oldest rivals having dropped three of five and two in a row at Lambeau Field. And the primary difference was the drop in big plays—something the Chicago Bears defend well.
A loss would signal that recent troubles are not easily remedied, and left the team in a battle two games and a tiebreak back of a very good team.
The revamped Bears offense was going to test the vulnerable Packers defense. The tougher game Green Bay was coming off was going to leave them more battered, starting with the best receiver on the roster.
The stout Chicago defense would neutralize the anemic running game in Green Bay. Once the offense became one-dimensional, the heavy four-man pass rush would be let loose on a shaky offensive line.
That's why they play the games. Let's take a look at each unit's contribution to the Packers victory...