Bears-Packers Game Has Passion Flaring Already Amongst Players

Bears-Packers Game Has Passion Flaring Already Amongst Players

Justin Jones on Packers game: ‘We owe them something’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Throw records out the window. Forget that fact that both teams have lengthy injury reports. It’s Packers week and the Bears are fired up.

“They’re trying to come in here and take what we have and our guys look at it the same way,” said Alan Williams. “That we’re playing the Green Bay Packers and that means a ton to our guys… Rivalry means a great deal because of the history behind it, because of who’s playing, because the people– I think our guys respect the people who’ve played in the game ahead of time.

“Our guys are up for it and ready for the challenge of the Green Bay Packers coming in here. So they feel it. They feel it.”

That wasn’t always the case, however. There was tons of turnover from last year’s roster to this year, so many players didn’t have a full appreciation for the animosity between the two franchises and fan bases. That changed when the team traveled to Lambeau Field in Week 2, and lost 27-10.

“We left the field and (fans) were saying, ‘Bears suck,’” said Justin Jones. The new defensive tackle had just been blown away by Bears fans’ intensity in Week 1, against the 49ers. Obviously, heading to Lambeau for a Bears-Packers game was even more intense.

“I never really understood the rivalry until then,” Jones said. “That’s when it kicked in for me.”

Jack Sanborn grew up watching Bears-Packers, so he doesn’t need to be told how important this game is to Chicagoans.

“It’s gonna be wild,” Sanborn said about the opportunity to start in his first Bears-Packers game.

Sanborn and the rest of the Bears defense are glad to hear that Aaron Rodgers is playing this week. He was incredibly efficient in Week 2 and completed 19-25 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. The defense wants another crack at him, and they’re confident that they will play better this week than they did back in September.

“I want him to be out here to experience it,” Jones said.

Of course any defense needs a great plan to prevent Rodgers from going off, but Jones’ plan is surprisingly simple.

“Hit him. Hit hard. Hit him often. You hear me? That’s the plan.”

Jones has only played one game against the Packers, but one was all it took for him to be all-in on the rivalry. He feels the passion, he understands it, and now he’s using it to fuel him.

“You can’t play this game against Green Bay and not have that type of anger for him. I didn’t really get it Week 2, but after that game, I feel it now.

“You just gotta remember what it was like, taking the L back in Lambeau Field. You gotta remember what that feeling was when we were walking off the field going into our locker room and what the fans were saying and chanting and laughing at us. You have to remember that. I don’t forget it.

“I feel like we owe them something.”

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