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2010 NFC North Champions.. The Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler In the Spotlight.. after the loss and knee injury in the "Big Game"
What was Jay Cutler Thinking?
"We always say in our locker room (that) we take guys for their actions and not their words. And a lot of guys in the NFL will give you a lot of smoke, and a lot of ' I love my team, I love this and I love that.' But their actions don't show it.
Jay won't give you a lot of smoke. He just shows you. Day in and day out at practices, he works, and you don't see him promoting himself. He just wants to be one of us. Guys can blow smoke and shake your hand and be your friend in your face and be a total (expletive). So we appreciate that about him."
Jay Cutler did try and return to the game, but the Bears took him out of the game. Because everyone saw him standing on the sideline, wasn't a problem according to Dr Neal ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles and a team doctor for the Dodgers. Only time will heal Jay Cutler's knee. And for anybody questioning why he did not return, ElAttrache said a Grade II MCL tear would be difficult for a right handed quarterback like Cutler to play through. Cutler's left knee is the he uses to "plant".
"I don't care if its golf or pitchers if its your front leg." ElAttrache said. "You can't perform at that level." Walking is another story. "It's very common to be able to walk and climb stairs, often able to jog straight ahead,"said ElAttrache, who also performed Tom Brady's reconstructive knee surgery in 2008. "The public reaction to his activity is understandable but misinformed. In reality, It's not appropriate."
"They don't know the type of guy Jay is. He's a competitor. For people to say he quit, that's definitely unjust for him."
General Manager Jerry Angelo..
"I think it's (crud). I thought they were a union. If that's the way they unionize themselves, they've got bigger issues than the one that they have with the owners (over absence of a collective bargaining agreement).
"I 'm very disappointed in that. That, to me is dirty pool. People are allowed to say what they want to say, but that doesn't mean it's right, and it's certainly not grounded."
"We wouldn't have been where we're at without him, and I want that to be made clear. We stand behind him."
"Can't speak for anybody. I would have had to be completely knocked out to come out of that football game."
Former Bear Dennis McKinnon..
"For certain people to say certain things about No. 6, that's insulting. He played his butt off, but he just couldn't help the team in the condition he was in."
Bears News and quotes, NFC Championship Game (Pre Game)
Game Photos from 2010 Monday Night game by Scott Krause
Head Coach Lovie Smith on the Green Bay Packers.
When he was hired, he made his goals very simple:
Win the NFC North Division..
Beat Green Bay..
Get to the Super Bowl.
He has never been in situation such as this.. One game from a second Super Bowl birth in four years. But this time, Smith and the Bears have to beat the Packers to get there February 6th.
Smith said he appreciated the seriousness of the rivalry even before he set foot in Chicago, but it was reinforced soon after he arrived.
"I'm a fan of the National Football League," said Smith, who is 8-6 vs. the Packers. "I grew up a big Dallas Cowboys fan (in the East Texas town of Big Sandy) and knew quite a bit about the Packers from that. I was always on the other side. I haven't ever been with a team where we were cheering for the Packers, so I had a little dislike for them, even way back then.
“I don’t think we really need a lot of motivation for this team,” Smith said. “It’s a game where everyone wants to talk about all the (history)—1941 is the last time, the only time, we played for the championship. This year, one of the things we talked about was bringing back some of our tradition. We talked about the Monsters of the Midway. That’s a period when we first started being known as the Monsters of the Midway. So all that comes into play. All the old time Packers and Bears fans should all pay close attention this week to what’s going on.”
"One of the first things (Bears chairman of the board) Michael McCaskey went over with me when I came here to interview for the job was to make sure that I knew about the rivalry. Believe me, we know exactly how we're supposed to feel about that rivalry."
"If you look at our history together, it does have a respectful tone," Smith said. "But it can be nasty also. It's going to be a physical game. We don't like each other. Believe me, there is not a whole lot of love for us up north. But games are supposed to be played on the field and in the end, if I felt like me doing a whole lot of talking would help us play better, I'd start doing a whole lot more of that.
Lovie Smith talks about the last game against the Packers
Lovie Smith likes to joke about not having a very good memory, but he recalls the regular-season finale just more than two weeks ago at Lambeau Field, where the Packers earned their way into the postseason with a 10-3 victory. It was the fewest points the Bears have scored in the Smith Era, a number they've hit four other times. And it wasn't anything the offense will want to replicate
Sunday in the NFC championship game when the rivals meet for a third time.
"It will come down to how we play, our guys realize that."
Since Smith has been in charge, he's emphasized the rivalry, and players get it, and they buy into it. But now it's more of a team vs. team, city vs. city thing.
Now, it’s Chicago against Green Bay for the NFC championship at Soldier Field, and the stakes have never been higher in a series that dates to 1921. These teams have played 181 times, with the Bears holding a 92-83-6 edge, but only once in the playoffs.
That was way back in December 1941, a week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Bears came away with a 33-14 victory at Wrigley Field. A week later, they beat Washington for the NFL championship.
The Coaches won't win the games, the Players will
Make no mistake, Cutler and Aaron Rodgers, Julius
Peppers and Clay Matthews will do more to decide the outcome than Martz or Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers. But unlike the last time these teams played, it’s the Bears that have the strategic advantage this time, and it could prove to be the difference.
If the first two games between these teams was any indication, however, Sunday’s title game will be decided by the slimmest of -margins. That means a dropped pass, a missed tackle or a clever play call by a coordinator who was able to gather an extra game’s worth of information before devising his ultimate plan of attack could play a significant role. “They’re going to be ready this time,” said former NFL scout Dave Razzano, who worked with Martz in St. Louis. “They’re going to do some things. I would think they definitely have things up their sleeve. They’re not going to play straight cover-2 again.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than this,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “To be in an NFC championship in the situation we’re in at home and then to bring Green Bay in on top of it just adds to it.”
“They’re a really good football team,” Cutler said. “They’re really hot. To go to Philly and to Atlanta and now to come to us in Chicago, they’re used to the road. I’m sure that their confidence is sky high.”
Cutler has developed a friendly rivalry with Rodgers. While they’ve battled on the field, Cutler has helped Rodgers’ younger brother, a junior quarterback who transferred from a junior college to Vanderbilt.
“He’s a guy who’s been great to my little brother,” Rodgers said prior to a Bears-Packers Monday night game in September. “As a big brother, it’s much appreciated the way he’s made my little brother feel comfortable down there and get the lay of the land down there in Nashville.
“It’s only helped to strengthen our friendship. I pull for him 14 weeks out of the season, and hopefully he throws us a couple in those other two weeks.”
Any plans to text Rodgers this week? Cutler said: “I texted him after the [Packers beat the Falcons] and told him ‘good game.’ I’ll probably have a few text messages from him, so we’ll have friendly banter I’m sure. It was an impressive win they had [Saturday] night. What they did on the road to an Atlanta team is hard to do, so we’ve got our hands full.”
“The hype’s definitely going to be there, with the rivalry and the magnitude of the game,” Cutler said. “We’re going to have to do the same thing we did last week. We can’t blow this out of proportion. It’s still a football game. They’re going to line up 11 guys and we’re going to line up 11 guys and whoever executes the best is going to win.”
Greg Olsen, who had a career game against the Seahawks..
On Scoring only three points in last game at Green Bay.
"You're not going to win many games scoring three points," tight end Greg Olsen said. "We made some uncharacteristic mistakes late in the season that we weren't doing. If we play a little more like (Sunday) than we did in Week 17, hopefully we'll give ourselves a better chance and take some of the pressure off of our defense."
"It's not that beating Green Bay wins you championships or anything like that," four-year veteran tight end Greg Olsen said. "I think it's more that it sets an attitude. (It says) 'Hey, let's start off with first things first.' To win our division, we've got to beat our rival. Green Bay is that rival. We play them twice a year, so let's get two wins.
"It's not so much that these two wins are our Super Bowl, and then we don't care about the rest. But it's just, 'Let's set this attitude. Let's beat our rival and then carry that momentum into these other games.' That's step one."
"I don't think there's personal animosity at all," Olsen said. "But I think it's a heated rivalry. The two teams want to beat each other. I think (the players) take a lot of pride in representing their city well. It's nothing personal against those players. We want to beat the Packers. It's not that we want to beat Aaron Rodgers or we want to beat Charles Woodson. It's not the players vs. the players. It's the team vs. the team.
"It's the Bears vs. the Packers."
Greg Olsen comments on Head Coach Lovie Smith
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a better leader, someone that the guys rally around better than Lovie,” said the Bears tight end. “It’s a long season. We’ve had some ups, we’ve had some downs. With coach Smith’s personality of being even-keeled, it’s never as bad as it seems, it’s never as good as it seems. It’s ‘let’s just keep on going down the path that he’s planned out for us.’ It can’t help but trickle down to the rest of
us. He sets the tone for this team, and it’s not a coincidence that he’s been so successful.”
“It’s our closest rival,” added middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. “They’re right up the street, so it’s a big deal. We have a lot of history with them. We don’t like them; they don’t like us. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of hype around this game building up to it.”
“We know what they are,” Urlacher said. “They have a great quarterback and a great defense. It’ll be a big challenge for us. We’ve played pretty well against them here, the last couple years we have at least."
In Green Bay’s lopsided win over the Falcons, Aaron Rodgers completed 31 of 36 passes for 366 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 136.8 passer rating.
“He knows where to go with the football,” Urlacher said. “He knows what coverage you’re in. You’re not going to trick him. They change up personnel a lot too. They run a lot of guys on and off the field trying to get you off balance and get you thinking about what they’re doing.”
Charles Tillman on the last game
“We started out fast, and we’re normally a second-half team,” cornerback Charles Tillman said. “But we have to make sure that we finish out the game. We didn’t finish the game the way we would like.” That’s how it goes; when you’re up a lot, you kind of sit back,” -Tillman said. “But we have to make sure we don’t do that the next
-opportunity we get.”
The Bears’ defense forced a three-and-out, and the offense scored a touchdown on its first possession as the team jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead. The Bears also scored a touchdown in the third quarter to take a 28-0 lead. But Seattle scored 24 points in the last 17 minutes.
The Chicago Bears Fans...Yes there will be Packer fans here.. if they dare.
Too little, too late for the Bears, Packers prove they are the better team Beat Bears 21-14
Advance to Dallas to take on the Steelers in the Super Bowl
Game Photos by Joe Paolella
Its The Green and Gold going to Dallas, Maybe next year for the Bears
The atmosphere around Soldier Field was electric heading into the game.. Bears fans mixed with a few brave Packers fans converged on parking decks early.
This was the NFC Championship Game. One win, and on to the Super Bowl in Dallas next month. For one team, ecstasy, the other agony.
It took little time to see who would feel the agony or the ecstasy.
The Bears downfall literally started after the coin toss. The Bears elected to “Defer”, as they have done so often this past season. In the regular season that’s fine, in the playoffs it can be the kiss of death.
A Bear Fan in Wolf's clothing
The Packers, on the other hand dominated from the start and led 14-0 entering the fourth quarter. The way the Packers came out firing on all cylinders, it looked to be a repeat of the previous game the week before in Atlanta. But after all, this is Chicago and not Atlanta.
The Bears stout defense struggled early, as they did on many occasions this past season. “I don’t think they did anything we didn’t expect,” said corner back Charles Tillman. “We were playing hard and fighting. They just executed more than we did.”
Good thing for Bears fans, the Monsters of the Midway woke up in the second half. But it was already too late, the damage was done.
“That’s a disappointing way to end the season,” said middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. “It’s not the way we wanted to end it. No one expected us to be here; we know that. But it doesn’t make it any easier for us to lose this game. We expected to win this game.”
“When you get down 14-0, that’s tough, 14-0 and you lose your starting quarterback,” Smith said. “But our guys just continued to fight, giving ourselves a chance to win the game at the end.”
“We played a lot better in the second half,” said
linebacker Lance Briggs. “Play-action was big key to that first drive when they scored. After that we really kind of settled down and got into the flow of things, started to get off the field and get the ball back to the offense.”
Jay Cutler’s injury set the tone for the downfall. Third Stringer nearly makes a comeback, and has highest quarterback rating of the game.
The Bears were actually in position to tie the score late, but Caleb Hanie’s pass intended for Johnny Knox on fourth-and-five from the Green Bay 29 was intercepted by Sam Shields with :37 remaining.. Game Over. No miracles this time.
“I feel real good about what Caleb was able to do,” Smith said. “As the third quarterback, you don’t get a lot of reps. But he stayed in the game mentally and really felt like he belonged there.”
Forte provided a bright spot on offense, showing his versatility by rushing for 70 yards on 17 carries and catching a game-high and career-best 10 passes for 90 yards.
Jay Cutler was quick to be criticized by his fellow football players..And others for not returning to the game after his knee injury.
For Fans and media, it came as a surprise when he came out of the game.. And the tweets and comments would soon follow.
Not all of his sports foes were harsh on Jay Cutler..
Charles Barkley was at Soldier Field on Sunday for the NFC Championship Game, and he said he knew Jay Cutler was going to get criticized for leaving the game in the third quarter with a knee injury.
What caught Barkley by surprise was the criticism of other players around the league via Twitter.
"I was mad at the players, to be honest with you," Barkley said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy's heart. Now reporters, they're going to do what they want to. They're entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don't think it's appropriate to question another guy's heart.
"That crosses the line, because you don't know. If you go back and start looking at all the stuff that's been said, and clearly one of the more vocal critics was Maurice Jones-Drew, and then you find out he missed the last two games with a bad knee. And he was really the first guy who crucified Jay. You have to be careful, because in the two most important games of the year, he sat out with a bad knee. And then it really makes him look like an idiot now."
Jay Cutler did not have the same game as the week before against Seattle
Jones-Drew subsequently said he was just joking and was taken out of context.
"I just think it's inappropriate," Barkley said. "It's fair to criticize guys when they don't play well, but it's 100 percent unfair to criticize guys ... if a guy says he's hurt, you have to respect that."
Where was the team support?
"I was very disappointed that he (Cutler) wasn't standing beside that young kid," Barkley said. "I was very disappointed he wasn't there trying to work with that young kid. There were a couple of shots of them on the sideline, with (Hanie) looking at pictures, and (Cutler]) was just disengaged. That's a fair criticism."
Barkley was told Hanie said Cutler was offering advice and support.
Caleb Hanie nearly pulled of the comeback.. in the fourth quarter
"I don't think Caleb Hanie wanted to throw him under the bus," Barkley said. "If it had been me, I would have been in his ear the whole time. I would have been standing by him the whole time. Not just he said a couple of times he came and talked to him.
"I've been in that situation before with a rookie or whatever. I'm going to be in his ear the whole time. That's a legitimate criticism of Jay Cutler."
The Packer’s performance was far from “Super”
Rodgers completed 17 of 30 passes for 244 yards with two interceptions and a 55.4 passer rating. Starks rushed for 74 yards on 22 carries.
Had the Bears come out like they did against Seattle, the outcome surely would have been different, and the Bears could have been on the way to Dallas.
The End of the game and the season for the Bears
Well for Jay Cutler and the Bears, they have a long wait and off-season to ponder what went wrong and what can be done to get them over the hump next season.
“Our goal is to win the Super Bowl,” Cutler said. “We put ourselves in a good opportunity at the end of the year to do that—one game away. We can take some positives from this and grow from it. But right now I know everyone is devastated, including me.”
For Green Bay. its on to Dallas to face the Pittsburgh Steelers
Player's game quotes.
“It’s very disappointing,” defensive end Julius
Peppers said quietly, sitting with his head down in
front of his locker. “I don’t know what else to say
much more than that. We worked very hard for a long time to get to this point. To come up short is disheartening. But we’ll regroup and we’ll be back.”
“We accomplished a couple of goals, but a successful season is holding the (Lombardi) trophy up at the end of the year. We didn’t do that, so you can’t say this is acceptable. We did some good things, things that we can be proud of, but the main goal we wanted to accomplish, we didn’t get done.” said Peppers
“After tonight it will be a successful season,” tight end Greg Olsen said after the game. “Right now, it’s hard to really say it was successful, when you lose like that, when you’re that close to being in the Super Bowl.
“It’s definitely a tough one to swallow here at home. I know our fans were really counting on this one, as were we. It’s disappointing, but I think a week from now we can look back and say for a young team we made a lot of progress, and let’s come back next year and try to make it that next step.”
The Last Green Bay-Bears Playoff Game
Chicago 33, Green Bay 14
Wrigley Field -- December 14, 1941
After falling behind 7-0, the Chicago Bears scored 30 consecutive points to jump out to a 30-7 halftime lead, en route to a 33-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers to determine the NFL’s Western Division title.
The Bears rushed for 277 yards and four touchdowns on 48 carries (5.8 yards per catch) in the contest. Clarke Hinkle’s one-yard touchdown plunge for Green Bay gave the Packers an early 7- 0 lead in the first quarter.
Hugh Gallarneau had an 81-yard punt return to start the scoring for the Bears, but the extra point attempt was blocked keeping the Packers in the lead at 7-6. Bob Snyder’s 24-yard field goal gave the Bears a 9-7 in the second quarter, a lead they would never give up the rest of the way.
FB Norm Standlee scored on two second quarter runs from three and two yards as the Bears stormed to a 23-7 lead. Chicago HB Bob Fisher added a nine-yard touchdown run before the half came to a close.
Hal Van Every’s 10-yard touchdown reception from QB Cecil Isbell cut the Bears lead to 30-14 in the third quarter but the Bears defense shut down the Packers the rest of the way and Snyder added a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the game’s final points. George McAfee led the Bears ground attack with 119 rushing yards on 14 carries (8.5 yards per catch). Sid Luckman only attempted nine passing attempts, completing four for 41 yards.
Snyder added seven passing yards on one completion (three attempts). The Bears defense held the Packers to just 33 rushing yards. Isbell was eight of 19 passing for 107 yards and a touchdown but the Bears forced interceptions for Van Every (two of six for 75 yards) and Tony Canadeo (one of two for 40 yards). Both picks were by Bears E George Wilson.
Both teams entered the playoff contest with a 10-1 regular season record and split the head-to-head matchups during the regular season 1-1. The Bears won the first meeting of the regular season 25-17 in Green Bay and the Packers won the rematch 16-14 at Wrigley Field. With both teams having the same regular season record and spliting the regular season series, the NFL’s first non-championship playoff matchup occurred.
In 1932, the Bears and Portsmouth Spartans finished the regular season with the same record and played in a contest to determine an extra game to break the tie, but it was not considered a true “playoff” game as the result counted in the regular season standings. After their playoff victory over Green Bay, the Bears went on to capture the 1941 NFL Championship with a 37-9 win over the New York Giants.
Green Bay Packers News and Notes
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers(notes)came to Rodgers' defense: the very woman he ignored, Jan Cavanaugh. was under fire this weekend when a local news station showed a clip of him brushing past a cancer patient desperate for his autograph. But just as the criticism was intensifying, an unlikely source
This led to a bunch of self-serving hand-wringing in the media, particularly from NBC's Mike Florio, who wrote that Rodgers treated Cavanaugh like a "panhandler with leprosy" and insinuated that the quarterback was a bad person for ignoring the autograph request.
The video has drawn criticism but the only people Jan is critical of today are those creating the chatter.
"I am very unhappy with people making so much out of this, because this really isn't that big of a deal. It's up to the players to decide who they want to give an autograph to, and that's their prerogative."
Just a week earlier, Rodgers autographed Jan's pink jersey bearing the number 12 as the team departed for Philadelphia. A few years ago the now-star quarterback signed a number of things for her, too.
Not surprising that a woman fighting cancer with a positive outlook has a solid perspective on things.
The Florios of the world are correct when they say that NFL players owe their fame and riches to fans and, as a result, should be accommodating to them whenever possible. But to suggest that Aaron Rodgers needs to sign every single autograph for every person isn't a reasonable request.
Don't judge Rodgers based on this one incident. Are you perfect every second of every day? Would you want people forming opinions about you based on how you live every second of your life? Maybe he had just gotten into an argument with his girlfriend. Maybe he ate some bad sushi. Maybe he was late for the plane. There are plenty of reasons he could have brushed past Cavanaugh, all of which are more plausible than "he doesn't care about cancer patients."
When I first read about this incident, I immediately thought of a touching "Make-A-Wish" segment that aired on "SportsCenter" earlier this year. You know, the one where Rodgers went above and beyond to make sure that a 13-year-old heart transplant patient had the time of her life at Packers training camp. Strange that nobody who's ripping Rodgers is mentioning that clip this week.
A.J Hawk on playing Jay Cutler..
"He has done a really good job of capitalizing on the defense's mistakes," Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "He seems like he just has great command of the offense, great command of the game. Whoever he's working with over there, I
think they're doing a great job. He's just growing into being a great quarterback."
Beating The Best in the Game
The Green Bay Packers have beaten Eli Manning,
Cutler, Michael Vick and Matt Ryan in consecutive weeks and are the Super Bowl favorite in Las Vegas. "That (Bears game) was three weeks ago," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said.
"A couple of weeks before that we were losing games. We feel good about where we're at."
The Field Condition will not give either team an advantage
Packers receiver Greg Jennings called the turf at Soldier Field “probably the worst in the league.” “It’s rough,” he said. “At the same time,” he said later, “you have to go out before the game and kind of get a feel of what you’re working with, what you’re dealing with, get your footing, because that’s going to play a huge, huge role.” Added Bears tight end Greg Olsen, “You don’t have to be a scientist to know that grass doesn’t grow in these conditions.”
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