The Bears/Packers game last Sunday was not simply a game that started at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This monumental battle began moments after it became known that the greatest rivals in NFL history would be facing each other for the NFC Championship. I began wearing my Bears apparel early last week, dealt back the trash talk that the horrid Packers fans threw out and whole-heartedly agreed with those who called me obsessed with the Bears, because I am, in fact, a die-hard fan.
Sunday was a day full of excessive nerves, excitement and team pride. While the result of the game was far from what I, along with Bears fans everywhere, had hoped, I will defend my team ‘til the end. Granted, I’ve seen the Bears execute their plays and fight for the win harder in previous games, but overall I would argue that regardless of what critics may say, the Bears deserved to be in that game and held their own due to the circumstances that resulted.
While Packers fans may boast and flaunt the win, it was evident that neither the Bears nor the Packers played in a very impressive fashion. The game was littered with flags and fouls, and neither team played to its full potential.
Here’s what happened: Chicago’s fairly inconsistent quarterback, Jay Cutler, started the game and was unable to connect with receivers or make significant gains. This started the team off on the wrong foot, which became even more of a hindrance due to Cutler’s knee injury. The injury caused him to be even more ineffective, and eventually he left the game in the hands of backup quarterbacks (who had a combined start of only one game this season).
I’m proud to say, despite the quarterback drama surrounding Cutler, third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie surprised us all with an excellent playoff debut. In the short time that Hanie played, only a little over a quarter, he had a 65.2 passer rating and passed for 153 yards. His strong performance—as well as our aggressive second-half defense—managed to keep the Bears in the game all the way up until the final seconds.
Obviously the game didn’t turn out how I wanted, but I have to say everyone seemed to be so sure that this game would be such a blowout and that the Packers would simply dominate. But I know that when it came down to those final minutes and the Bears were bringing it back, Packers fans were scared. We weren’t expected to be anything this season, but look how far the Bears went! As a true Bears fan, I look to next season and plan to come back stronger than before.
The Bears and Packers rivalry will intensify, and the Bears will be back next season for revenge.