Bears

View from the Moon: Packers in Super Bowl XLVI?

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View from the Moon: Packers in Super Bowl XLVI?

Monday, Feb. 7, 2011
11:04 a.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Former ChargerPatriot and current NFL analyst Rodney Harrison told The Dan Patrick Show on Comcast SportsNet that of the Steelers and Packers, he saw the Packers as the more likely to be playing next February in Indianapolis. Part of the reasoning was what Green Bay accomplished this year having lost the likes of Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant from an offense that was still among the NFLs best.

Agree very much with Harrisons take. More than just the young age of the Packers, the chemistry and organization within that team points away from the kind of personality issues that pulled the 85 Bears and others down.

The media needs to let go of the Brett Favre thing. Now. It was an issue several years ago when Favre could still play and he was capable of a good season with Minnesota or letting one ebb away for the New York Jets. That monkey may have been on Aaron Rodgers back in 2007 but it certainly isnt now. And why there needs to be a choice made between Rodgers and Favre somehow makes zero sense...

The big worry, if youre a Bears fan or a Bear, is that Rodgers once again played his best in the biggest game. His post-season passer ratings, in a year when his regular-season rating was 101.2, were 122.5, 136.8 and 111.5 in the Super Bowl. Add to that the 121.4 he posted in the 2009 wild-card loss and you have a disturbing pattern in an opponent.

The one game not in that cluster was the 55.4 that he struggled to against the Bears in the NFC Championship game. Rodgers threw 2 INTs and zero TD passes, the only one of his post-season games without a scoring toss. And those were the only interceptions Rodgers threw this postseason.

But heres the rub: The Packers still won. And under Rodgers they are 5-2 against the Lovie Smith Bears. The Jay Cutler brouhaha (Rodgers outplayed him for the first half anyway) overshadowed another trend line, that Rodgers is a winner.

And that is indeed a problem-in-waiting for the Bears.

Kudos to legendary NFL scrivener Peter King for Sports Illustrated, who got into the difficulties involved in voting for the Hall of Fame. This year the process put Richard Dent in the Hall but Peter makes an interesting case for transparency in voting while also acknowledging the problems that would come with a shift to open-balloting.

Good friend Jim Trotter takes you even a step further inside the process and deliberations, and how the selections are going to be harder, not easier, to make in the coming several years.

Peter also shares the result of his informal Twitter poll as to what fans want in the way of games in a season. His stepping-off point was Commissioner Roger Goodell declaring that 18 games is what fans want, which Peters research didnt confirm. What fans do want is an end to meaningless preseason games that cost regular-season prices for tickets.

Assuming there will be a 2011 season starting on time, Peters best guesses for the Packers 2011 season-opener opponent (the NFL has the Super Bowl winner open at home now): New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and the Bears. Given that the league loved hooking the Saints and Vikings up to start the 2010 season, after the two had squared off in the 2009 NFC Championship game, easy pick for the likely favorite for the NFL:

Bears at Green Bay, Sept. 8.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

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USA TODAY

Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

The Green Bay Packers managed to pull off a dramatic comeback victory on Monday night, defeating the Detroit Lions 23-22 on a last-second field goal from Mason Crosby. But after the game, it wasn't Aaron Rodgers usual clutch ways that people were talking about, it was the officiating crew, who had two controversial hands to the face penalty calls against the Lions that all but killed any momentum they had going. 

As you can see in the clip above, both hands to the face calls seemed questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst. What makes the calls so tough is the timing. The first hands to the face penalty on Lions DE Trey Flowers came after he sacked Rodgers on third-and-10 and the penalty both took away the sack and provided the Pack with an automatic first down. Later in the drive, Rodgers dropped in a great 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within two points 

The second questionable hands to the face call came on third-and-4 and it was the most costly call of the game. The Packers received another automatic first down and ran down the clock—Detroit was out of timeouts—to set up the eventual game-winning, walk-off field goal from Crosby. 

And it didn't take long for many people, everyone from former NFL greats to NFL reporters, to chime in on social media with their thoughts on the officiating that seemingly cost Detroit a crucial win. 

With the Green Bay win, the Lions moved to last-place in the NFC North, while the Bears now sit 2.5 games back of first place heading into their Week 7 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

NFC North Standings: Bears 2.5 games behind Packers entering Week 7

The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers pulled off another incredible (or maybe controversial) victory over the Detroit Lions in Monday night's NFC North slugfest, 23-22, to advance to 5-1 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

It was the worst possible outcome for the Chicago Bears, who could've used a little help from the Lions to keep pace with Green Bay entering Week 7.

Instead, the Bears (3-2) are now 2.5 games behind the Packers ahead of their showdown with the New Orleans Saints Sunday at Soldier Field.

It could be worse for Chicago. Detroit's loss drops their record to 2-2-1 on the season and moves them into the division's cellar. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings had arguably their strongest showing of the season in their 38-20 victory over the Eagles and improved to 4-2 on the year. Their four wins slot them ahead of the Bears for second place in the North even though Chicago currently owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Here are the NFC North standings heading into Week 7:

1) Packers (5-1)
2) Vikings (4-2)
3) Bears (3-2)
4) Lions (2-2-1)