What a gift the Chicago Bears gave to their fans yesterday by defeating the 7-9 NFC West Champion Seattle Seahawks 35-24 to advance to the NFC Championship game next Sunday at Soldier Field. An even better present that Bears fan are dying to unwrap is a victory over the "rival" Green Bay Packers to advance indeed to their first Super Bowl since 2006. Jay Cutler took another step in his football career by playing an outstanding game in his first ever postseason trip. In fact Jay Cutler played so well he can now be mentioned in the same breath as the Hall Of Famer Otto Graham as the only two quarterbacks in NFL postseason history to throw and rush for multiple touchdowns in a single game.
While Cutler still has awhile to amass a career like Graham's, the Bears defense stepped up to the occasion for three quarters of the game. The game completely out of hand by the start of the fourth quarter as the Bears led 28-3, the 21 points allowed in the fourth quarter may be the only negative from the entire game itself. Other than that the Bears played a great game in all phases against a team considered to be one of the worst playoff teams in NFL history. What did we learn from this game as the Bears moved one step closer to a possible return trip to the Super Bowl? It is so hard to tell since they played an inferior opponent like the Seattle Seahawks. In fact I was two years old (1983) the last time the Seahawks won a road playoff game and the entire week leading up to the game itself there were very few who believed in the team that took down the defending Super Bowl Champions the week prior.
So here come the Green Bay Packers to Soldier Field for the second time this season as a 3/3.5 point favorite which was predictable. So far in less than 24 hours I've heard/read the following already:
"The greatest rivalry in professional sports"
"This is the way it is supposed to be"
"The greatest event in Chicago sports history"
I know the Monday following a NFL weekend is reserved for extreme over-reaction by fans and media alike, but the hype machine is already on overload and we are not even 24 hours in.
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