A blessing in disquise?

Packers better off playing in Dallas in potential NFC Championship showdown than frigid Green Bay, says PackerReport.com's Todd Korth

If the Green Bay Packers proved anything Sunday afternoon at windy and cold Soldier Field, it's that they are built to play in warmer weather. While the Packers were shivering, trying to stay warm on their sideline, the Bears seemed to mentally conquer the weather and proceeded to turn the game into a laugher.

For the most part, the Packers appeared to be like they were from Tampa Bay rather than Green Bay. Prior to the game Brett Favre told Troy Aikman, one of the Fox television announcers, that he would be 'lucky to complete five passes.' Through the first half, Favre completed two. Even Favre, who has experienced numerous cold weather games, appeared ready to mail it in before the game began.


Packers huddle up and try to keep warm Sundat at Soldier Field.
Associated Press
Except for today's game, the Packers (12-3) have proved that they can win on the road this season and they have proved that they are a much better team than the one that showed up at Soldier Field. But now they also have proved that they freeze up in nasty conditions, and the conditions get nasty in Green Bay this time of year. In fact, the weather was much worse a few hundred miles to the north today in Green Bay than in Chicago, so if the Packers thought they were cold at Soldier Field, it would have been much colder and snowier at Lambeau Field.

The Packers are 6-2 away from Green Bay with one of those losses to the Dallas Cowboys. If the Packers can regroup from their loss to the Bears and should happen to reach the NFC Championship Game against the Cowboys, chances are the weather will be warmer than the minus-1 wind chill conditions today in Chicago.

"Sure we'd much rather play 'em in Green Bay, I guess," said Favre, "the way we played today we may be better off playing somewhere else. I have no idea."

Packers fans do. It was painfully obvious that Favre and many of his teammates were going through the motions against the Bears, and the weather conditions had a lot to do with it. So, the Packers probably will be better off playing on the road in the playoffs simply because they operate better in warmer conditions. Ryan Grant, who rushed for 100 yards and a 66-yard touchdown against he Bears has proved to be a reliable threat, however, the Packers still lean heavily on Favre to find open receivers and score points.

Favre and the offense perform best when it can pass the ball, and the conditions at Soldier Field made it difficult to accomplish any kind of rhythm. Despite losing to the arch-rival Bears, this loss can easily be forgettable as long as the Packers bounce back next Sunday against the Lions and head into the playoffs with some momemtum.

"Maybe this will be a good thing for us," said defensive end Aaron Kampman. "We try very hard, our team does, to deal with reality. We talked about some of the things that happened in the St. Louis game last week. We thought we had addressed those. We will continue to look at what we need to do as a team to be hitting on all cylinders."

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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