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NFC Championship Game: Green Bay Packers Vs. Chicago Bears Preview & Prediction

When the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears kickoff at 1:00 p.m MT on Sunday, Jan. 23, it will be in the low-20s with some clouds. That'll be some great weather to determine the NFC Championship between these two NFC North rivals.

The Packers started their playoff run by winning the second Wild Card spot with a 10-6 record. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles during the Wild Card weekend and then pulled off a mild upset over the No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons last weekend.

The Chicago Bears won the NFC North with an 11-5 record and received a bye for being the No. 2 seed in the conference. In the following week, quarterback Jay Cutler led the Bears to 35 points and the defense held off a late charge by the Seattle Seahawks, winning 35-24.

They split the season series, as the Bears won the first game (Sept. 27) and the Packers won on the last week of the regular season (Jan. 2).

Prediction: Packers 30, Bears 21

The Packers appear to be a steamroller, and the Bears should be the next team to be paved over on the road to the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers went into Atlanta, threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another score. Playing in Soldier Field should be no problem for Rodgers, nor should the weather be an issue since Rodgers is used to the cold weather in the Frozen Tundra that is Lambeau Field.

Running back James Starks will face the Bears' No. 2 rushing defense, which places added pressure on Rodgers to win the game through the air. And the Bears do have formidable defenders in Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher.

Equally as important, Jay Cutler faces the No. 5 pass defense, which means the former Denver Broncos quarterback will need to be better prepared when under center. He threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks last week, but they have the No. 27 pass defense. Packers cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson will be thorns in Cutler's passing game all afternoon long.