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Recent posts by Michael Blunda
Here is a look at how Sunday's Packers-Bears NFC championship game could unfold from a fantasy perspective:
When the Packers have the ball: The Pack have become a more balanced bunch since the playoffs began, but the aerial attack is still their bread and butter. Considering how well QB Aaron Rodgers is playing, that's no surprise. The sharp passer completed 31-of-36 throws for 366 yards and three TDs in last week's win at Atlanta, absolutely picking apart the secondary. The Bears will provide a more difficult challenge Sunday; they held Rodgers to one TD toss and one interception in each regular-season meeting. But A-Rod is playing his best football of the year and should have success in this one. He spread the ball around very well last Saturday, as WRs Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver and James Jones all had at least 75 yards. Jennings is the safest bet of the bunch for production (he had 4-97-0 vs. Chicago in Week 17), but any or all of the other three could emerge as quality options. Rookie RB James Starks got 25 more carries last week (for only 66 yards), giving him 48 through two postseason contests. Unless Green Bay can mount a sizable lead, he's unlikely to see that much work this Sunday and could be stuffed by a Bears defensive front that gave up a mere 34 rushing yards to Seattle last week. Brandon Jackson is virtually a nonfactor at this point. Meanwhile, John Kuhn scored twice last week and is always a good bet to get goal-line carries.
When the Bears have the ball: Chicago's balanced attack couldn't have worked much better last week, as the offense scored 35 points in its win over the Seahawks. The Bears have now scored at least 35 points in three of their past four contests. RB Matt Forté tied a season high with 25 carries last Sunday, grinding out a tough 80 yards. He'll be active this week vs. a Packers team that he had 151 total yards against in Week 17 and that ranked 18th against the run. Chester Taylor will see some work in relief. QB Jay Cutler threw for a solid 274 yards and two TDs last week without turning the ball over, and he'll need to be at least that good vs. Green Bay. Cutler had one TD and three interceptions in his two regular-season meetings with the Pack and could struggle taking on elite CBs Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams. TE Greg Olsen burst on the scene last week with 113 yards and a TD, and he could be a big part of the game plan in the NFC title game. He had 5-64-1 against Green Bay in Week Three. WRs Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester will need to make some plays for the offense to succeed, but none of them is likely to go off vs. this secondary. Knox, who put 4-94-0 on Green Bay in Week Three, has the best chance to make a big play.