CHICAGO (CBS) — The struggling Bears say they have to “take a stand” against the Green Bay Packers when they head up to Wisconsin on Christmas Day.
“Green Bay is our rival, but lately, we haven’t been holding up our end of the deal. It’s kind of simple as that,” said Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith. They’ve dominated the rivalry here lately, and we have to take a stand. A great ball club – whenever you go that many games without losing, you’re saying a lot about what type of football you’re playing.”
The Packers are 13-1 this season. But the Bears have gone 0-4 since quarterback Jay Cutler had to leave with a broken thumb.
The Bears announced earlier this week that Josh McCown will start as quarterback against the Packers Sunday night, rather than the struggling Caleb Hanie.
McCown signed with the Bears after the injury. He hasn’t started a game since 2007 when he was with the Oakland Raiders.
But linebacker Brian Urlacher said the Bears can be competitive against the Packers regardless of the teams’ respective records.
“There have been times when they’ve been terrible and we’ve been good; we beat them. We’ve been good, they’ve been bad, they beat us. It doesn’t really matter; I hope it doesn’t matter this week either. It’s a big game for us going on there on Christmas Day, which will be the main focus of everyone’s game. It should be fun,” Urlacher said.
Linebacker Lance Briggs emphasized that the game is more about the team’s ability to salvage this season than the Bears-Packers rivalry.
“Even though we split during the season last year – they went ahead and won the championship game and went on to win the Super Bowl – I look at it as a big game. It’s a huge game,” Briggs said. We’re driving up to Wisconsin to play our rival, so I think it’s more than just taking a stand in the rivalry. It’s more taking a stand in the season.”