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Then and Now: Bears vs. Packers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 27: Robbie Gould #9 of the Chicago Bears celebrates with Kevin Shaffer #78 after Gould kicked a successful 19-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Bears a 20-17 win against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on September 27, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robbie Gould;Kevin Shaffer

    Back on a Monday night in September, the Bears needed a last-minute field goal to beat the Packers at Soldier Field. At the time, the Vikings were considered the best of the NFC North, the Packers were contenders and the Bears were pretenders. What else is different since that Bears win?

    Then: Both teams were undefeated. The Bears were coming off of their (at the time) surprising victory over the Cowboys, and the Pack had wins over the Eagles and Buffalo. Still, no one was really buying into Chicago's strength.

    Now: The Packers are 9-6, and fighting tooth-and-nail for playoff spot, while the Bears are 11-4 and have already won the NFC North, the second seed and a bye in the first week of playoffs, but still have their doubters.

    Then: A healthy Packers team looked like they could be the team to beat in the NFC North.

    Now: The team has been ravaged by injuries. Running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley were both put on injured reserve. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed a game due to sustaining his second concussion of the season.

    Then: The Packers were flagged for 18 penalties against the Bears.

    Now: Since then, the Pack has cleaned up their act, and are one of the NFL's least-penalized teams.

    Then: Linebacker Clay Matthews was on a hot streak, picking up six sacks in his first two games. Somehow, the still in-flux offensive line held him sackless.

    Now: Matthews has cooled off considerably. He has just one sack in his last five games.

    Then: Green Bay's Jordy Nelson was the best return man of the game. His 97 yards bested Devin Hester's 93, Danieal Manning's 44 and Johnny Knox's 47.

    Now: With Hester on a hot streak and the Packers giving up 1,627 yards on returns, Nelson doesn't stand much of a chance of being the best returner on the field.

    Then: Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari's relationship was just starting to bloom.

    Now: They share french fries. What says love more than a basket of spuds?