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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bears-Packers, A Brief History

A couple years ago I tried doing the whole "head to head" unit matchups during Hate Week, even though I think those are really pointless for the most part (well the Bears are winning 4 to 2, because their returners, kicker, tight ends, and uniform colors are better than Green Bays, even if Green Bay has the edge in offense and defense...) and after I of course made the conclusion that the Bears were better the Packers went ahead and bitch-slapped them 37-3. So instead of making any bold predictions or examining the matchups (Bears have better RBS!!! Lolz), I'm going to just review the recent Bears-Packers series.

Packers 21 @ Bears 14
This game wasn't as frustrating as the opener last year, given that it wasn't a turnover-plagued mess and most of us had abandoned all hope anyway, but it was still painful. The sad part was the the Bears' battered and bruised defense once again held the Packers offense to a relatively low yardage total, forced two turnovers, and had three sacks. The offense just had absolutely no rhythm at all. Were there sacks? Oh yes, 3 of them. How about a total ineptitude at running the ball? Oh yes, just 59 yards on the ground, senor. And how about a complete lack of discipline in general? 13 PENALTIES FOR YOU! When you have nearly half as many penalty yards (109) as you do total offense (254), you, sir, have a terrible offense.

Bears 15 @ Packers 21

I'm not even sure I can or need to recap this. 4 interceptions in Cutler's debut. The single dumbest turnover on downs I've ever seen when Pat Mannelly snapped the ball to Garret Wolfe on 4th and A Million in Green Bay territory because he thought he saw 12 men on the field, which would have given the Bears less than half of the yardage needed for a first down. Urlacher snapping his wrist in two and ending his season after 2 quarters. Chris Collinsworth beginning his reign of terror in the broadcast booth. Nathan Vasher falling on his ass and allowing the easiest touchdown pass of Aaron Rodger's career. I give you all of these things without further comment. Now excuse me while I try to drill into my own skull to let the bad thoughts out.

Packers 17 @ Bears 20
This victory for the Bears was the final one in what is, arguably, the ugliest 3 game winning streak in Bears history. The Bears beat the Jaguars, Saints, and Packers, while being out gained in 2 of those 3 games and failing to gain 300 yards of offense in any of the three. Orton posted a QB rating under 50 against the Packers (he also posted a similar rating against the Saints the week before), and somehow, true to Orton form, was the beneficiary of the best defense the Bears played all season long and a blocked field goal and won the game. This win set the Bears up at 9-6 and enabled them to kick us all in the crotch once more by laying an egg in Houston and missing the playoffs.

Bears 3 @ Packers 37
The Bears were awful against the pass in 2008 and were 5th in the NFL in run defense, while the Packers had been struggling to stop anything on defense and their run game on offense was struggling as well. The Bears were 5-4 after a close loss to the Titans without the red-hot Orton, while he had returned to face the 4-5 Packers. Outside of 2006, I'd never been more confident that the Bears would get a win in Lambeau. Instead, they got brutally assaulted in Roethlisbergian fashion as they sold out to stop the pass and instead gave up over 227 yards on the ground. The horror. The horror. Rex Grossman also made his last ever appearance in a Bears uniform during this game. So, there's that. Now let's never speak of this gain.


Packers 7 @ Bears 35
The most disappointing Bears team of my lifetime (when considering my preseason expectations, God knows I wasn't counting on the 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, or 2004 teams to do much of anything) was somewhat mitigated by an inexplicable sweep of the Packers. You want to talk about inexplicable? How about racking up 35 points off of just 240 yards of total offense? Favre threw two picks, one of which Urlacher returned 85 yards for a TD (something a good friend of mine once called the play that he thought was going to "finally determine who the biggest dick in that pissing contest was") and Corey Graham also returned a blocked punt for a TD. The Bears thus had the joy of being 2 of the 3 losses the Packers suffered during their 13-3 season, returning the favor that Green Bay had given the 2001 Bears.

Bears 27 @ Packers 20

The Bears somehow won this game despite the fact that Cedric Benson rushed for just 64 yards on TWENTY-SEVEN ATTEMPTS (2.4 YPC), or that Green Bay actually outgained them 439-285, or that Brian Griese lived, breathed, and played quarterback for the Chicago Bears that day. Fortunately Brett Favre was Brett Favre and threw two picks that cost Green Bay the game. This brought the Bears up to 2-3 and gave us hope that they'd possibly right the ship. Instead they let Adrian Peterson set the NFL record for rushing yards the next week as they dropped to 2-4 and I became hopelessly addicted to black tar heroin.

Packers 26 @ Bears 7
This was the game where Rex Grossman lost all but his most ardent supporters (and most of them deserted after the Superbowl, leaving me and Lovie Smith until the Cowboys abortion the next year) as he threw 3 picks, had a 0 rating, and admitted he didn't take this meaningless game seriously and was simply looking forward to enjoying New Year's Eve. Yeah, that shit was ugly. Favre racked up great numbers against a Bears defense that only played it's starters in the first half, then got all weepy afterwards and pulled his first offseason cocktease by saying how nice of a final game it would be to go out after beating such a great team (that didn't play it's starters for more than a half and had absolutely nothing to play for. This cannot be stated enough). I'd say that this game really sucked to watch, but, hell, it was New Year's Eve and it was a meaningless game. I was getting drunk.

Bears 26 @ Packers 0
The most satisfying win, in my opinion, that the Bears have enjoyed over Green Bay in my lifetime. Not even the division clinching win at Lambeau on Christmas Day the year before could compare to handing Favre his first ever shutout and kicking off a Superbowl run with an absolutely dominating performance. They outgained Green Bay 361-267. The defense forced 3 turnovers. Grossman threw for 262 yards and a TD and temporarily silenced the idiots who'd wanted to bench him for Brian Fucking Griese during the preseason. God, it was glorious. What a time to be alive.

Bears 24 @ Packers 17
Regardless of what I said above, this game was still really fucking satisfying. The Bears held Favre without a TD pass and let him gift wrap their divsion title with 4 interceptions. Grossman returned in time to throw the first touchdown pass the Bears had seen in something like a decade, if I remember correctly, and all seemed well, as none of us knew then that Steve Smith was going to tie our grandmothers to a chair and force us to watch as he slowly and methodically committed unspeakable acts of depravity and horror.

Packers 7 @ Bears 19
I'm just going to post Brett Favre's statline for this game: 31/58 for 277 YDs, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 2 sacks, 2 fumbles.

Actually, here's Favre's statline for both games against the 2005 Bears:
2 GS, 0-2, 61/109 (56.0%), 594 yds, 0 TDs, 6 INTs, 5.5 YPA, 48.5 rating, 6 sacks, 2 fumbles lost.

Giggity. There used to be a highlight reel of nothing but the 2005 Bears molesting Favre before the NFL bastards had it removed for copyright violation. If that was still on Youtube I'd probably never have needed a woman.

Packers 31 @ Bears 14.
By the time this game rolled around the Bears, who actually had the #13th ranked scoring defense in the NFL, had lost 16 players to the IR, including Brian Urlacher, Rex Grossman, Mike Brown, John Tait, Ruben Brown, and pretty much every other starter they had at the beginning of the season (or so it felt). Thus we were left to watch Chad Hutchinson throwing 5 yard outs 29 times despite a 28-7 halftime deficit. The Bears also suffered the wrath of Craig Nall, as he torched them for 131 yards and a touchdown on just 13 passing attempts, as Favre hit the bench early in a meaningless game. Guh.

Bears 21 @ Packers 10
Long before that season ending debacle, however, the Bears gave us hope with this stunning upset at Lambeau. Thomas Jones burst into our hearts by 152 yards and a TD while the defense forced Favre into 2 interceptions and caused an Ahman Green fumble in the redzone that Mike Brown returned 95 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately Brown tore his Achilles tendon on the play and began the injury streak that would ultimately doom his career. That was just the first of many season-ending injuries for the 2004 Bears, as Grossman would go down the next game against Minnesota and Brian Urlacher would suffer a near-fatal injury to his leg later in the season against the Titans.

So there you have all 12 games the Bears have played against the Packers in Lovie's era. Each team has had a few outright dominant performances (The Bears in Lambeau in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and Green Bay's total ass-whipping of the Bears in Lambeau in 2008) while each team's also preyed on the other in meaningless season-ending games featuring decimated or disinterested roster (the Packer beatdowns of 2004 and 2006, and the Bear's 35-7 rape in 2007). And each team has suffered some close losses in games they should have won (Green Bay's loss to Brian Griese, both Bear defeats last year). What this should tell you about Monday, well, I don't know. But fuck Green Bay.

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