Buffone's Reaction to the Action

While Rex Grossman obviously brought excitement with his performance against the Falcons, don't forget Kyle Orton did his part to put the Bears on the verge of clinching the NFC North.

There's not doubt the offense started to deteriorate with Orton under center. Even though the Bears were leading 6-3 at the half, Lovie Smith finally decided it was time to make a move at quarterback.

Not only did Grossman spark the offense in the second half, but it gives the team high hopes heading into the postseason. You can't go into the playoffs without putting some points on the board and now the Bears have that capability.

Smith couldn't make the move any earlier because Grossman wasn't ready. Orton tried to keep it together and he did a great job for a rookie. He helped the Bears to nine wins, including eight straight victories at one point.

To be honest, I didn't think Grossman would see the field against the Falcons. It seemed like it would be against Green Bay where he could go into a full week of practice as the starter.

There was doubt about Grossman's game. Is he healthy? Can he play? There's a resounding "yes" to both questions. The interception wasn't pretty, but aside from that he had a heck of a half.

The Bears now have a shot to clinch the division with a win at Lambeau. They're also currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC and winning out would clinch a first round bye.

It would be a huge advantage to get an extra week of rest and to play at least playoff game at Soldier Field. The Bears went 7-1 at home this season and the defense truly dominated in front of their fans. The unit gave up 61 points in eight games, which is 7.65 points per game.

After getting beat up by the Steelers in an embarrassing performance at Pittsburgh, the defense proved it was just an aberration. They had Michael Vick on the run and pounded him the entire game.

At one point it looked like Vick quit. Tank Johnson nearly took him down for a sack, but when he escaped Alex Brown closed in and the quarterback just went to the ground.

It was great to see the unit play at such a high level without three starters. Mike Green had a big game after being put out to pasture for his poor effort last week. He came up with an interception and laid a heck of a hit on a receiver to help jar the ball loose for a Nathan Vasher interception.

The Packers aren't going to gift-wrap the NFC North crown on Christmas. There's no way Brett Favre wants to be swept by the Bears, so the same intensity has to be brought next week.

It will be interesting to see how a defense goes after Grossman with a full week to prepare for him as the starter. How much will Green Bay blitz and can he take punishment to his ankle?

Grossman answered the first round of questions, now if he can get past the next round the Bears should be doing the same in the playoffs.


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