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Michael Taylor 22nd Dec 2008 - 15:14

Chicago need to scrap like Bears

The Chicago Bears must win against fierce NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers, otherwise the Illinois franchise will be eliminated from the NFL play-off race.

Lovie Smith's Super Bowl XLI runner-up Bears have been something of a surprise package this season after pundits had written them off before the action started sixteen weeks ago.

However, Smith put his faith in quarterback Kyle Orton following Rex Grossman's terrible 2007 campaign and, to an extent, it has proven to be the right decision.

The Bears have recorded impressive wins against Indianapolis (before they got hot), Philadelphia, Minnesota and, most recently, New Orleans, and, while they don't have the most gifted roster in the NFC, Lovie Smith has shown them how to keep games close.

Second round draft choice Matt Forte (9/2 first touchdown) has been one of the finds of the season, managing over 1,100 yards in his rookie season and, in Devin Hester (8/1 first touchdown), the Bears have an accomplished wide receiver and a premier special teams kick returner.

The biggest problem for the Bears is that if Minnesota beat the number one ranked New York Giants at home next week then Chicago cannot qualify as NFC North champs, no matter what their results are in the last two games.

However, this is not the only issue Chicago face, another being the 37-3 hammering Green Bay dished out to the Bears just over a month ago.

It seems unlikely the result will be so one-sided again, with the Packers eliminated a few weeks ago despite a strong start and the Bears apparantly unable to dominate games.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has looked impressive at times this season and you would not put it past him to produce one more strong performance; one he may be saving for the national TV cameras.

He will once again look towards the duo of Greg Jennings (8/1 first touchdown) and Donald Driver (10/1 first touchdown) to drive the Packers down-field, so either or both of the pair could be good value to reach the End Zone first in the game.

In terms of match betting it should be closer than the prices suggest, Chicago are the clear favourites at 10/21 with Green Bay at 7/4, so the real value looks to be on the Packers.

While the 7/2 about Chicago winning by 1-6 points and 9/2 about Green Bay winning by 1-6 points could be extremely interesting propositions.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears betting

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