Sep 13, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Phillip Merling (94) tries to tackle Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the game at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The smack talking started before the Packers left the field on that fateful Thursday when the Packers beat the Bears to start Week 2 of the season. Charles Woodson said “same old Jay” when talking about the Packers besting the Bears and getting four interceptions of Jay Cutler passes.
Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was virtually shut down, as the Packer went with a two-man coverage, bracketing him and limiting him to 2 catches for 24 yards. He was not pleased and marked Sunday on his calendar ever since. He called Sunday ‘personal’ and ‘the biggest game of his career.’ Possibly a little hyperbole, but it speaks to the intensity that the rivalry has been missing.
Brandon Marshall challenged the Green Bay Packers, trying to bait them and dare them into going man to man coverage on him. It’s unclear if they will with Charles Woodson expected to miss another week.
Speaking of guys expected to miss time, Brian Urlacher will continue to nurse his bum hammy, but Packers tight end Jermichael Finley doesn’t think the Bears will miss #54 and might benefit from Nick Roach playing the middle linebacker spot:
"“Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he’s playing a little slow out there,” Finley said, according to FoxSportsWisconsin.com. “I don’t think they’re losing too much if he’s out. Putting another guy (Nick Roach) in might help them a little.”"
Bears linebacker and Urlacher buddy Lance Briggs didn’t hesitate to reply to Finley’s comments and set the tone for Sunday:
"“He’s an idiot,” Briggs said. “Suit up and play ball.”Marshall said he would not shake the hands of Packers players, but the wide receiver is new to the rivalry. Briggs has been a part of it since being drafted in 2003.“I have a lot of respect for their team and their players and their accomplishments,” Briggs said. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t like the Packers and we gotta win.“This means the world right now. We have to win this game. So many reasons go into it. Playoffs, everything is on the line. We’re confident we can go out and get a win.”"
The stakes haven’t been this high since the NFC Championship game, as the Packers have a chance to clinch the NFC North at Soldier Field. It’s nice to see the rivalry heating up. Even though the Packers have won the last 5 straight, the rivalry hasn’t been this strong in years.