One thing that could be a big factor in Sunday’s NFC Title Game in Chicago appears to be against the Packers, and that is the guys that wear the stripped shirts and make the calls that truly could change the game.
Terry McAulay, who was the referee at Soldier Field in Week 3 when the Packers set a franchise record with 18 penalties during a 20-17 loss to the Bears, will be the head referee Sunday when the Packers meet the Bears at Soldier Field in the NFC Championship Game.
Mike McCarthy didn’t sound too worried about McAulay being the ref for the game, and that also could be because McAulay’s regular-season crew won’t be with him for the contest.
“I don’t think you can really look at the first Bears game,” McCarthy said. “I understand we had 18 penalties, they had five penalties, but we finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in penalties…. The 18 penalties in one game, we look at that as more of an anomaly. I know it is more of an all-star crew. Terry is the referee. He has obviously been selected for this game for good reason.”
The Packers’ 152 penalty yards against the Bears were a season-high. Green Bay’s next highest total was 66 against Atlanta in Week 12.
Geen Bay had 6 points taken back by a holding call, an interception erased with a roughing the passer penalty and another interception wiped out by a pass interference call.
“Hopefully, we’ll play a cleaner game,” Packers left guard Daryn Colledge said. “Hopefully, we won’t give them the opportunity to throw the flag 18 times. We as an offense have grown since then. We’re a smarter offense. Hopefully, we can play much better football. And we have played much better football since then.”