In one of the greatest rivalries in all sports, the Packers and Bears play each other Sunday and for the first time since 1941, it's more then a game. Win and your in, to the Bowl, the Super Bowl that is.
Football fans know about these two and their hatred for each other. While neither team finds itself in the media bashing the other current Bears coach Lovie Smith said, "It may not be heard, but these two teams do hate each other, badly."
Well, with all hate put aside, both parties must come together with their teammates and take on the challenge of holding down emotions and simply winning a football game.
Problem is, that is all easier said then done. Sure there will be a few plays in which players will have a small confrontation or when a questionable call will go in favor of one team and the other fans boo, but what's at stake is most important.
What's at stake is a date to face the winner of the AFC Championship game between the Jets and Steelers in the Super Bowl. For the Bears this would bring the city of Chicago and all nay-sayers to realization that all the preseason talk of the Bears not having "good enough wide receivers" was just doubt.
For the Packers, it means a lot. Aaron Rodgers as well as Jay Cutler both have a shot to make their first-ever Super Bowl debut, Cutler was taken throughout the league as a cry-baby and football analysts said he wasn't an elite quarterback.
For Rodgers, he was stuck behind a guy named Brett, and is now making more then a place at the top of the game's best quarterbacks.
While the Packers are filled with injuries, the Bears are filled with guys who would be role players on other dominant NFL teams. As the game comes near, no label will effect either team or any player, coach or front office member.
A quick breakdown preview of the game is simple as is most NFL games. Whichever team makes the least amount of mistakes, to be exact, whichever quarterback doesn't throw interceptions, puts themselves in a better position to win the game as we all know.
The Bears defense will need to rely on a heavy rush from Julius Peppers and Co. to throw Rodgers off his game. The Packers defense will need to come at Jay Cutler from every angle and whoever can capitalize the most will find themselves playing in Dallas on Feb. 6, 2011 in the Super Bowl game against either the Jets or Steelers.
Each team in a way has it's own weapon of mass destruction. For the Packers they find themselves having one of the best linebackers in the NFL, Clay Matthews who will certainly be disrupting nearly every single play.
The Bears, they have a game-changer in one Devin Hester, who's lighting quick speed and ability to return kicks for touchdowns will certainly become a major factor.
Defense and special teams win championships, but both the Bears and Packers have offenses that can do some damage to their opponents.
One thing's for sure, this rivalry game has more at stake then ever, and while it may get dirty, it promises to be one of the most exciting games in recent NFL memory.