NFL NFC Championship Game Preview: Green Bay Packers (-3) at Chicago Bears
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Online Sportsbook Overview
The Chicago Bears brought the fairy tale to an end when they beat the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round of the playoffs. Most people that have been betting on NFL football all season know about the adjustments that the Bears have made to create a winning team.
The Bears improved their Super Bowl betting odds by making upgrades at offensive line and taking Devin Hester off the field as a full-time wide receiver and making him a special teams weapon again. Those changes worked against the Seahawks, but they may not be enough against the Packers.
The Packers’ defense swarmed all over Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan in the divisional round of the playoffs as the Packers beat the Falcons to move on to the NFC title game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was brilliant, and running back James Starks did his part to carry the Packers offense to victory.
The Packers did not just beat the Falcons in Atlanta; the Packers embarrassed the Falcons in front of their home crowd. It seems that the Packers are well-suited to win on the road in the playoffs.
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler was extremely impressive in the Bears win over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. On the third play of the game, Cutler hit tight end Greg Olsen for a touchdown pass. Cutler was methodical and completely in control during the entire game. He was also untouched for the most part.
Running backs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor added some punch to the offense when they ran for a combined 124 yards and one touchdown from Taylor. This was an extremely efficient Bears offense that has been improving all season long.
The Packers offense was simply on fire against the Falcons. Aaron Rodgers threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns as the Packers put up a total of 442 yards of offense against a very good Falcons defense.
The Packers offense runs completely by the will of Aaron Rodgers. As long as Rodgers is able to find space to operate, the Packers offense is one of the most lethal in the league.
The Packers defense is a fast group that sacked Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan five times. The Pack limited the Falcons to a total of 194 yards of offense. The domination on both sides of the ball was apparent from the opening of the game.
Defensive Player of the Year candidate Clay Matthews had two of the Green Bay sacks, and safety Tramon Williams had two interceptions. This is an active defense that will give the Bears offense problems.
The Bears defense completely owned the line of scrimmage against the Seahawks. Chicago defensive lineman Tommie Harris picked up two sacks as the Bears put relentless pressure on Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
That is the approach that the Bears will need to take against the Packers. The Bears are capable of putting pressure on Aaron Rodgers, and they will need to if they want to win the game.
The Bottom Line
The Packers just may be a little too much for the Bears on both sides of the ball in this game. Jay Cutler can get the ball downfield, but the Packers have a secondary that is able to take away the long ball.
The Bears will come with pressure on Rodgers, but Rodgers has shown an ability to beat any rush with his arm and his legs.
Pick: Green Bay Packers
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