Green Bay Packers: 10 Reasons Why They Will Win the NFC Championship Game
As the Green Bay Packers (12-6) roll on from two straight road rematch playoff games, so does their Super Bowl aspirations.
A date with the Chicago Bears (12-5) for the third time this season makes for all the classic battles and matchups we've come to know of the two NFC North heavyweights.
But for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, the NFC Championship game will serve as a symbol for everything that has transpired this season—including massive injury lists and countless misfortunes.
But for the most part, Green Bay approaches their next matchup as just another game in what may go down as one of the most memorable seasons in Packers' history.
So without further ado, here are 10 of the most considerable reasons why the Packers will not be denied a Super Bowl berth from the Chicago Bears.
Green Bay Has All the Momentum
As we've come to know more than ever in recent memory, it pays dividends to have your entire football team rolling during playoff contention—and the Packers are doing just that.
Aaron Rodgers has now solidified himself as one of the best in the business in defeating the No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons, along with clutch performance after clutch performance to boot.
It's a simple fact—momentum is. However, the importance of playing your best football when it matters most is what teams crave for the most in the NFL.
Green Bay has the momentum this postseason.
The league's leading punt-returner and future Hall of Famer, Devin Hester has proved to be one of the biggest factors in Chicago's success this season.
In their first meeting this season, Hester returned a punt for a touchdown against Green Bay's special teams coverage unit. In the second meeting, however, Hester was a complete non-factor in the punting game for Green Bay.
Look for Green Bay's Tim Mathsay to prove once again how much of a difference it makes when Hester is taken out of the equation.
If defense wins championships, then Green Bay should book their ticket to Dallas.
In their two playoff games this season (Philadelphia and Atlanta), the Packers defense has allowed just 273.0 yards per game against two of the most prolific offensive teams in the league.
Melting "Matty Ice" was just one of the many accomplishments this Packers defensive unit has achieved this season—a pretty impressive feat given the fact Ryan threw just nine interceptions during the regular season.
However, the fact remains that Green Bay will be sending three defensive players to the Pro Bowl in safety Nick Collins, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews. Not to mention, the "snubbing" of cornerback Tramon Williams who may just be Green Bay's defensive MVP so far this postseason.
Dom Capers has pressured Jay Cutler before, and who's to say he won't do it again?
Penalties Will NOT Be the Same as in Week 3
During their Week 3 Monday night meeting in Chicago, the Packers were penalized 18 individual times for 152 yards—ultimately leading to a Bears victory.
This Sunday, however, will be a completely different story.
Green Bay has reduced their penalties to minimal since then, and the Packers offensive line has had time to gel and grow as a unit.
If there is something to be proved Sunday afternoon, it is the misconception Green Bay's mistakes will be little to none.
Respectable Running Game
Bursting onto the scene this postseason, Packers running back James Starks has made a name for himself as a reliable back capable of balancing out an already dangerous offense.
Rushing for 189 yards on 48 attempts has proved to be the difference in Green Bay's offensive attack—most notably in the Packers victory over the Eagles in the Wild Card Round.
When the Packers hit the field Sunday afternoon, expect Mike McCarthy and the Packers to give Starks at least 20 carries—hopefully making the Bears defense bite on play-action calls later in the contest.
Green Bay's ferocious defense was not hindered by Jay Cutler in their Week 17 meeting at Lambeau Field.
Throwing for just 168 yards and two embarrassing interceptions against an opportunistic Green Bay defensive squad was just a preview of what is to come this Sunday.
When the pressure is on, Cutler has proved to make untimely throws—giving the Packers the initial advantage.
The unsung hero in Green Bay's success this season, running back John Kuhn fought for everything he's been able to accomplish so far this season.
Kuhn racked up two more all-purpose touchdowns against the Falcons Saturday night, along with 47 yards receiving for Aaron Rodgers and company so far in the playoffs.
The fan-favorite back in Green Bay has quietly become the Packers best-kept secret; and if Lovie Smith plans on winning next Sunday, he'll have to account for Kuhn on every play.
Good luck, Chicago.
Aaron Rodgers torched the Atlanta secondary Saturday night, throwing for over 340 yards and three touchdowns against a respectable Falcons secondary.
Now, Chicago does attain a great run-defense with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. However, the secondary and cover corners are a totally different story.
Ranked 20th in the NFL in yards allowed per game through the air in the regular season, Chicago has given up 224.4 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks.
When Rodgers spreads the football around affectively as he does, defenses have stood no chance. Look for that on Sunday, as well.
Of all the coaches remaining in the playoffs, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has had as much to do with his team's success as any of them.
From an extensive injury list, to instilling and developing role players, McCarthy's résumé and accomplishments this season have gone severely unnoticed—without question.
However, the fact Green Bay now finds itself playing for a trip to the Super Bowl speaks volumes about McCarthy and the entire Packers coaching staff.
From what began primarily as a pass-happy offense at the beginning of the season to a now balanced and prolific offensive attack, McCarthy is the utmost centerpiece to Green Bay's successes.
When the green and gold invade Solider Field on Sunday afternoon for the right to the Super Bowl, expect McCarthy to be as influential as ever for the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers Will Be Clutch
Alright, I'm sure you saw this coming.
In his two postseason games this season, Rodgers has yielded 546 yards, six touchdowns, completed 77.8 percent of his passes and (most importantly) has thrown no interceptions.
Talk about dominance, huh? Well, it's true.
As the Packers attempt to march onto their first Super Bowl since 1997, so does the legacy and legend that is Aaron Rodgers.
Considering the roll both Rodgers and the Pack are currently on, Green Bay could be on their way to a much anticipated and deserving Super Bowl appearance.
With Rodgers at the helm, who's to say they won't do it?