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Thursday (Bears, Packers and panic in Wisconsin) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football Updated: September 13, 2012 - 10:44 AM

 

Let's start here: The Packers are obviously a very good football team. They went 15-1 last season, and while they didn't completely address their deficiencies in the offseason, any team with Aaron Rodgers remains a viable Super Bowl Contender. We don't even loathe the Packers as much as we once did -- probably because of Rodgers and because the rivalry with the Vikings diminishes when one of the teams is outclassed.

 

And: We think Green Bay will win tonight against the Bears.

But: If the Packers do not -- an angst-filled sentiment shared by multiple Green Bay fans lurking in our midst -- the uneasiness that crept in during last week's opening loss against the 49ers will approach full-fledged panic.

Even then, we think panic would be premature. But there is this: It would be Green Bay's fourth loss in its past six games, including playoffs, dating back to last season (and the fourth in five games with Rodgers at QB). It would also put the Packers in an 0-2 hole, with both games having been played at Lambeau. No matter how good you are, starting with two home losses, even to good teams, can create some doubts.

These stats are a little old, but from 2002 (when the eight-division format started) to 2010, only 10 percent of teams that started 0-2 rebounded to make the playoffs. Again, we'd put the Packers in the category of teams primed to do it, but that shows you how the odds are stacked against them -- and just how important tonight's game against a suddenly potent Chicago offense is.

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