Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers: NFL Week 17 Pre-Party Open Thread

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears are trying to take down the Packers to get into the playoffs; we're getting you ready for the game!

Three weeks ago, we thought the Bears were out of the playoff hunt, only they weren't. Last week, they could have been the champion of the NFC North... only they weren't. Now, thanks to the rule requiring division matchups in Week 17, the Bears have one more chance to take the division. All they have to do is beat the Green Bay Packers.

It's not something that's come easy to the Bears in recent years - they won their last matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the green and gold, but prior to that had lost seven straight matchups - but it's something they'll have to do if they want to go to the playoffs this year. Playoff teams win tough games, especially games like this with everything on the line.

Aaron Rodgers returns. Randall Cobb was activated off injured reserve. Eddie Lacy may play. Clearly, the Packers are pulling out what stops they can to make the playoffs. The Bears don't have any such reserves to spring, but that's part of the challenge of getting to the playoffs. Lance Briggs returned last week, but didn't look particularly effective.

If the Bears pull this one out today, it'll truly take a playoff-team-style effort. They've got the offense to do it.

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In case you missed it: Extensions handed out around Christmas time: Tony Fiammetta [LINK] and Robbie Gould [LINK]

Kev exchanged five more questions with Acme Packing Company.

Here's the injury report from this week.

Kev's also got your TV information and stuff. It's on Fox, a later game today.

Pro Bowl designations were announced. Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte are in. Alshon Jeffery is not.

I dropped a late "Ugh, You Again" on you yesterday. Here it is.

And Spongie dropped the Bears Den on you yesterday... which makes every day feel like a holiday.

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The pre-game stream this week features myself as well as Kev H, as we're breaking down everything including the Bears' Pro Bowlers, extensions, their playoff chances, "Should Jay Stay or Should Jay Go," just what the hell that Eagles game was, and how best the Bears can beat the Packers en route to the playoffs. The stream starts at 9:30 AM, will go till 11:30 AM, and should be all kinds of fun. If you have comments, questions, insults, and any or all of the above, you can leave them here in the comment section, over at my Twitch channel at twitch.tv/sjs_illini, or over on our Twitters - I'm at @SJS_illini, and Kev is at @Kev_WCG.

Watch live video from SJS_illini on www.twitch.tv

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