The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will go head-to-head in their second and final matchup of the regular season in Week 15 with the NFC North division title on the line. The Packers will have the edge coming into this game at Soldier Field only needing the win over the Bears to clinch the division crown.
If Chicago fails to come out on top in this weekend’s showdown in the Windy City, the Bears will be hoping for a playoff berth with the NFC Wild Card. Basically, the season will be on the line on Sunday as the Bears may struggle to clinch the Wild Card and therefore may miss out on the playoffs entirely.
Fortunately for the Bears, quarterback Jay Cutler appears to be healthy enough to get the start under center in Week 15 after suffering a neck injury in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings last weekend. Cutler hasn’t been putting up Pro Bowl caliber numbers this season, but has been crucial to the team’s success offensively with the chemistry rekindled with former Denver Broncos teammate Brandon Marshall.
Cutler said the following about his playing status against the Packers in Week 15 via Dan Hanzus of via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com via Twitter:
Jay Cutler said he “should be ready to go later in the week.” #JayCutlerShow
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) December 10, 2012
After winning seven of the first eight games of the season, the Bears have dropped four of the last five. The recent struggles have come as a result of injuries and stiff competition with three of the last four losses against some of the best teams in the league.
Chicago has lost to the Houston Texans (13-6), San Francisco 49ers (32-7) and Seattle Seahawks (23-17 OT) over the past five weeks. As the competition has improved, the Bears have begun to struggle and may be on the verge of losing an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot if they can’t come out on top against the Packers on Sunday at home.