Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/12/12

The 2012 installment of the Packers-Bears NFC North rivalry is set to kick off on Thursday, and there are plenty of enticing story lines. For starters, the Packers will be looking to rebound from a tough loss against San Francisco and cannot afford to drop their first two home games of the season. Aaron Rodgers did not look like the same guy who threw 45 touchdowns and only six interceptions last season, although the Niners are the toughest defense in the NFC. To make matters worse, Green Bay could be without Greg Jennings (groin injury).

Then, there are the Bears. Jay Cutler seems to have a renewed confidence with his old buddy Brandon Marshall in town. He showed that on Tuesday when asked about the Packers potentially jamming his receivers and playing press coverage.

“Good luck,” Cutler said according to CSNChicago.com. “We invite press coverage. We invite man.”

Brandon Marshall, who has already made a very bold prediction about the Bears, echoed Cutler’s confidence.

“It’s all about matchups,” the receiver said. “I’m 6-5, 230 pounds and there’s not too many DB’s walking around that big. If they want to get physical, I do welcome that.”

Cutler and Marshall each had a big game against the Colts, but it was the Colts. They aren’t exactly an NFL powerhouse anymore. Confidence is a good thing, but they would be wise to not look too deeply into Green Bay’s loss to the Niners. If anything, that game will only serve as further motivation for the Pack in a game they already knew they had to have.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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