staff predictions

Most pundits feel Bears will spoil Packers' playoff hopes

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 13-2
Sunday's game: Bears 17, Packers 6
Comment: Based on how I see things shaking out, the Packers won't have anything to play for come Sunday night, which will sap the juice out of the NFL's move to flex this game to prime time. I can't see the Rams losing to the Vikings, even though every other team in playoff contention will lose. Lovie Smith will play his starters long enough to make it difficult on the Packers' offense, which is why the Packers' defense will have to rise up and win another game. Should the Packers be out of contention, Mike McCarthy would be wise to sit Donald Driver and Charles Woodson for much of the game. Both players have gutted out shoulder injuries the past month and there is no need to jeopardize anything long-term. Even at 7-9, a decent season for the Packers.

Ken Stills, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 11-4
Sunday's game: Chicago 26, Green Bay 17
Comment: One of the greatest battles I've ever been involved in and I still have the scars and memories that will last a life time. One thing I know about football and that's defense wins Championships. Chicago has a excellent defense, not that the Packers are bad, but this time I have to say Chicago will be a little better.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 10-5
Sunday's game: Bears 24, Packers 17
Comment: Well, if the Bears were playing at their best and the Packers were at their best this would be a no-brainer. I'd say Bears in an easy win, but that's not the case. Will the Bears rest people and if so at what point do they do it? Then, I have the problem that some of the Bears' backups might cause more of a threat than some of the starters. For example, in the quarterback position. Then we have the ‘if the Giants win or lose.' How much mentally will that affect the Packers? I might as well mention the rivalry that still exists. I remember Lovie's comments. So with all that being said it will be the Bears beating the Packers to end the season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 10-5
Sunday's game: Chicago 23, Green Bay 20
Comment: I really hope I'm wrong. You'd like to think that a motivated Packers squad will march onto Soldier Field and find a way to win against a Bears team that will be resting its starters sometime into the second half. You'd like to think Al Harris and Charles Woodson harass Rex Gross-Man into another single digit quarterback rating. You'd like to think Donald Driver and Brett Favre put on some aerial fireworks worthy of a New Years' Eve game. But the Bears really want to go 12-0 in the conference. And Lovie Smith doesn't want to see his team losing to the Packers at home, regardless of the circumstances. The Bears are beat up, but they're still a very good team. Better than the Packers. At least on the last day of 2006.

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 10-5
Sunday's game: Bears 20, Packers 13
Comment: The Packers have won three in a row to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, while the Bears are playing to stay healthy. Nonetheless, when kickoff arrives Sunday night, the Packers will know they can't make the postseason. This takes enough out of their sails to fall at Chicago, finishing the season 7-9. Maybe not the way to end 2006, but the finish of the season gives Packers fans hope in 2007.

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers season prediction record: 10-5
Sunday's game: Pack 23, Bears 21
Comment: I stated a few weeks ago this team would finish 8-8, leaving us all talking about the couple that got away during the off-season. And even though they beat the Bears Sunday night, the Pack won't get lucky enough on all the different factors needing to take place to make the playoffs just to leave us a little more frustrated at the end of the season, but a lot of optimism for next year.

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers season prediction record: 8-7
Sunday's game: Packers 13, Bears 10
Comment: It may be an ugly night weather-wise with rain and blustery conditions in the forecast. This will keep the scoring down, but not the Packers. Look for Brett Favre and Green Bay's defense to play well enough to beat the Bears and finish with an 8-8 record. With any luck, that may be enough to sneak into the NFC playoffs.

Bob Fox, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 8-7
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Bears 17
Comment: Just a few weeks back, the Packers were 4-8. Beating the Bears on Sunday night can even their record at 8-8 and possibly get them into the playoffs. You have to like the karma. Prime-time game. Brett Favre. John Madden. Soldier Field. The Packers need to play well in all three phases of the game. The Bears will probably sit their starters in the second half. Bottom line, the Packers have much more to play for and will get the job done. I also expect that the Giants will lose to Washington Saturday night and either the Rams will lose to the Vikings, or Carolina will beat New Orleans as the Saints have nothing to play for. Hello playoffs!

Laura Veras Marran, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 8-7
Sunday's game: Packers 20, Bears 13
Comment: The Bears have nothing to gain, the Packers have nothing to lose. The Bears' top-notch defense has to think twice before putting themselves on then line in a meaningless game. Although the Packers will know by then if their slim playoff hopes are still alive, they had better step up and prove to Brett Favre that this team is worthy of him sticking around one more year. Ten years ago, the Packers took on a Denver team that was resting for the playoffs, and Green Bay won 41-6 in a game that wasn't even that close. Of course this year's Packers cannot be compared with the '96 team that killed the Elway-less Broncos, but a win over a semi-interested Bears team this year would be something to celebrate.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-8
Sunday's game: Bears 13, Packers 6
Comment: The Packers couldn't score against the Bears in Week 1. They could barely score against Detroit and Minnesota the last two weeks. Don't expect anything too different this time.

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-8
Sunday's game: Chicago 24, Green Bay 21
Comment: Bears Coach Lovie Smith will be walking a very fine line this game. Though he'd surely love to eliminate arch-rival Green Bay from the playoff picture while tuning his own team up for the post-season, he doesn't want to expose his starters to undue risk of injury. How long he plays his starters will tell a lot about this contest. The Packers have been improved in recent weeks but beating the Bears in Chicago is probably asking a bit too much. If the Packers can't get off to a great start and turn around their sluggish habits in the red zone, the Bears defense and special teams will simply take over. I look for the Packers to put up a good fight but come up a little short.

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