The American Professional Football Association was founded in 1920. A year later the Decatur Staleys moved to Chicago, becoming the Bears in 1922. Meanwhile a small team from a meat packing company in Green Bay, Wisconsin that was formed in 1919 joined the new league in 1921. The two teams became instant rivals and the bedrock foundation of the league that would become the NFL. The two have remained rivals for 90 years meeting 181 times. On Sunday they will meet for again, in the biggest game in the history of the rivalry; at stake a trip to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
In just their second playoff match up ever and the first since 1941 the Bears will play host hoping to slow down the red hot Packers offense which lit up Atlanta like General Sherman. The two split their two games this season, with the Bears winning at home earlier in the season while the Packers won in Green Bay to finish the regular season and secure the final spot in the playoffs. That game in Green Bay was a battle of defensive wills as the Bears who had nothing to play for held Aaron Rodgers in check most of the game, as the Packers won 10-3.
It won’t be shocking to see the game go the same way, as both teams defenses are playing well. However, the Packers finding a running game in the playoffs has helped open lanes for Rodgers and only made the Packers offense stronger. The Packers would be hard pressed to match what they did last week, especially on the less than idea field in Chicago. Though with the Packers defense also playing on a high level they won’t have to. The game will be close and tight through out, but in the end it’s the Packers who have more weapons and a deeper stronger team who will prevail.
Here the Jets are again, on another amazing playoff run. Quarterback Mark Sanchez in just his second NFL season has already tied the record for career playoff wins on the road. This time they are hoping to add one more game as they face the Steelers for the right to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
This is a rematch of a game in December from Week 15; in the game the Jets won 22-17 earning their first win ever in the Steel City. In that game the Jets jumped out early on a 97 yard kick return by Brad Smith on the opening kick off and held on late repelling a late drive by the Steelers. That game was a must win for the Jets who entered with two straight painful losses to the Patriots and Dolphins. The Jets enter this time with wins over the Colts who eliminated them last year and the Patriots who beat them in December 45-3.
Things are also different for the Steelers who have not lost since than, and have smoked the Panthers, Browns and Ravens. The Steelers are also healthier this time around as Troy Polamalu who missed that game on December 19th is expected to start this time around. Without Polamalu the Steelers are 6-7, when he plays they are 16-4. The Steelers have one of the best run defenses in the NFL adding Polamalu at safety allows them to add more pressure up front, as the All-Pro safety covers much of the field. This is bad news for the Jets who helped establish ground and pound in the first two rounds.
The Steelers offense also has their problems with injuries to the line, and Ben Roethlisberger will need plenty of time to find an open receiver against the Jets secondary. It should be close again, with defense dominating throughout. However, at the end of the day the home crowd, the hair of Troy and the terrible towels will be too much to overcome as the Steelers head off to their eight Super Bowl appearance.