CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 23: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers hugs Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears after the Packers 21-14 victory against the Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23 2011 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The NFL Network isn't bothering to wait until Thanksgiving to broadcast weekly Thursday night games this year. Following the regular season opener last Wednesday -- originally scheduled for Thursday night until the league realized that the President was speaking at the Democratic National Convention and the league wouldn't want to upset their exemption of Federal Antitrust Laws -- the NFL Network settles down with a weekly game-of-the-week between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.
Talk about a historically epic meeting between two of the league's oldest teams. This will be the 185th time both teams have met, including in the playoffs. Most in NFL history. The Bears currently lead the regular season series 91-85-6. However the Packers have won six of the past eight, including five straight with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback.
The Chicago Bears are coming off an offensively explosive performance against the defensively-deficient Indianapolis Colts whereas the Green Bay Packers were largely overwhelmed by San Francisco's physical play. Packers quarterback Rodgers may be without one of his weapons, wide receiver Greg Jennings, currently listed as doubtful with an injured groin against the 49ers.
"They put him through everything," McCarthy said. "Testing in a number of different drills and then his endurance through the drill. I’ll get the evaluation and then, frankly, (Thursday) will be the deciding factor."
In other storyline news: This will be the second time that former Bengals running back Cedric Benson will square off against the team that drafted him fourth overall into the NFL. The Chicago Bears. The first time on December 25, 2009, was complete domination. Benson ran the football 20 times in the first half alone for 98 yards rushing, with 70 of those yards in the first quarter. He eventually finished the game 189 yards and a 5.1 yard/rush average and the Bengals won 45-10.
The game's broadcast will start at 8PM, called by Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan on the field. Yes, there will be an open thread.