A Legendary Championship Game - Part IIOur neighbors to the north did their part last night. The Green Bay Packers travelled to the Georgia Dome and destroyed the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons to advance to the NFC Championship Game. I expected a good game, but not a 48-21 trouncing. Yet, I'm hesitant to call that an upset. On paper, yes. But, if you go back to the start of the 2010-2011 campaign, a number of sports writers predicted the Packers as serious Super Bowl contenders. Now, it's up to the Chicago Bears.
At noon today, the Bears will play host to the Seattle Seahawks. I'll admit that at the beginning of this NFL season, I didn't see many signs of hope for the Bears. If you recall, I posted a blog early in the season where I predicted four or five wins. Little did I imagine they would win 11 games, be crowned NFC North Division champions and earn the second seed in the NFC playoffs. With the elimination of the Falcons, the NFC Championship Game could be played in Chicago next weekend. That of course depends upon the outcome of today's game.
Today, the Seattle Seahawks will attempt to extend their good fortune and live on borrowed time. The Seahawks are the only team to advance to the playoffs with a losing record (except for a strike shortened season in 1982). Seattle won their division title with a 7-9 record. The Bears and Seahawks did meet earlier this season on Sunday, October 17. The Seahawks won 23-20. Though the score looks close, outside of the opening drive, the Bears were never in that game.
To further complicate the situation, many of the Bears will be playing in their first playoff game. That includes the quarterback, Jay Cutler. Still, I don't think the Bears will lose this game. The team is playing better than they did in October. Of course, the Seahawks did defeat the defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints, last week. I guess that's why they play the games.
If the Bears can advance and meet the Packers in the NFC Championship next week, the television ratings will be through the roof. We're talking about the equivalent of a Yankees/Red Sox ALCS.
Again, the Bears and Packers have only meet in the postseason once. Back in 1941.