Packers News Briefs: Bears concentrating on trash talk before Sunday's gameWisconsin Sports
-- There’s a lot of trash talk leading up to Sunday’s NFC North battle between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.
There’s a lot of trash talk leading up to Sunday’s NFC North battle between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.
Today, Bears’ linebacker Lance Briggs slammed the Packers, a day after his teammate Brandon Marshall started the barrage of tough talk. Marshall said he’s no fan of the Packers – and it was the coaching staff, and not the players, who shut him down the last time they played in September. Marshall also said he never disliked a team as much as Green Bay, and he said Sunday’s game would be “personal” for him. Briggs said he agreed with all that. And he also slammed Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley for what he said about injured Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher. Finley said Urlacher was nearing the end of his career, and whoever replaces him on Sunday will probably be an improvement. Briggs responded by calling Finley “an idiot.”
Bears’ receiver Brandon Marshall spent 25 minutes cutting down the Packers yesterday Marshall – whom the Bears signed last spring as their featured wide-out – only caught two passes for 24 yards in the Packers’ home win over the Bears in September. Today, Marshall brought a small Christmas tree to the podium, and he gave the Packers a ton of “bulletin board material” they can chew over before playing him and the Bears. He said he took issue to comments by Green Bay defensive back Charles Woodson and others about the receiver’s physical style of play. And Marshall said the Packers had no right to brag about their performance in September – because the credit should go to defensive coordinator Dom Capers for calling a masterful game. Marshall also refused to call corner Tramon Williams by name, calling him quote, “Tray-mon.” The Bears’ receiver said Williams was also mouthing off – and Marshall said Sunday’s game will be personal to him, and it’ll be the most important game of his life
The Bears are a game behind Green Bay in the North – and Chicago needs a victory to remain in playoff contention. The Packers can win the division title with a victory at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Packers’ offensive lineman T.J. Lang continued to look better today, as he gets over an ankle injury from two weeks ago. Coach Mike McCarthy said Lang looked fine at today’s practice. If all goes well, he’ll start at either left guard or right tackle on Sunday at Chicago. McCarthy said he would not answer lineup questions until tomorrow. Meanwhile, defensive end Mike Neal is still making good progress in getting over a shoulder injury. McCarthy said he wants to find out how Neal’s doing tomorrow before deciding on his game status for the Bears. Also, rookie safety Jerron McMillian was added to the Packers’ injury report today with a back problem. McCarthy said he didn’t want to risk further injury – and McMillian will most likely return to practice tomorrow.
Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler is only 1-7 lifetime against Green Bay in the regular season. He says the Packers have run some good schemes against his offense – and he has not played his best football against the Pack for a number of reasons. Cutler says he just has to play better. He has completed 54-percent of his passes against Green Bay for 13-hundred-83 yards, eight touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. That includes seven contests with Chicago, and one when he was with the Denver Broncos. In his last outing against the Packers, Cutler threw four interceptions in a 23-10 Thursday night win on September 13th. He suffered neck spasms last Sunday against Minnesota, but he expects to play against the Packers this weekend at Soldier Field.
The Green Bay Packers don’t need to beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday to clinch their second straight NFC North Division crown. But Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy says he’s focused on winning the next chapter of the NFL’s oldest rivalry. He says he’d love for the Packers to wrap up the division this week, and then go for an even better playoff spot in the final two weeks of the regular season. Right now, the Packers are just a half-game behind San Francisco for the Number-two spot in the NFC – which would give Green Bay a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round. After Bear week, the Packers close out at home against Tennessee and on the road against Minnesota – while the 49’ers have tough road games coming up at New England and Seattle. Even if Green Bay loses at Chicago on Sunday, the Packers can still clinch the North Division crown with victories over the Titans and Vikings. That’s because the Packers would own the tie-breaker over Chicago, based on a better divisional record. If the playoffs were to begin today, Green Bay would host the Bears on Wild Card Weekend.