Brandon Marshall became the Bears story of the day with an anti-Packers rant that had to warm the hearts of longtime Bears fans and former Bears players -- and every reporter on the Bears beat.
''This is the biggest game of my career,'' said Marshall, who was just warming up with the first Packers question of his weekly press conference. ''I had this game marked since we played them last. I heard exactly what the corner --Tramon [Williams] -- I heard exactly what he was saying after the game. [Charles] Woodson, those guys do a lot of talking. So this is personal for me.''
What did Woodson and Williams say that riled Marshall? Woodson tweaked Jay Cutler in a post-game interview, telling ESPN's Rachel Nichols ''it's the same old Jay'' after the Packers held Cutler to 126 passing yards and a 28.2 passer rating in the Packers' 23-10 victor on Sept. 13 at Lambeau Field.
But Woodson's comments on The Jim Rome Show that apparently irked Marshall.
''They do have some big receivers over there, but they're not fast receivers,'' Woodson told Rome. ''There's no Calvin Johnson on that team that's going to stretch a defense. Yeah, there are some big guys, physical guys and they like to push and pull and grab and get behind guys, but we weren't going to let that happen, so it worked in our favor.''
The ''they like to push and pull and grab'' part seems to be the source of Marshall's ire. ''I want [Woodson] out there because of some of the things that they say,'' Marshall said. ''I take it personal when someone takes jabs at the way I approach the game or my career. I'm excited to see him out there at full speed.''
Woodson, who has missed the last six weeks with a broken collarbone, was ruled out of Sunday's game.
Williams took his shot at Marshall in an interview with Foxsports.com in November prior to facing Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.
''If there's anybody who likes to bend and break the rules, it probably would be Marshall,'' Williams said. ''Obviously a big receiver, you want to be physical. Some of the things he does he shouldn't be able to do against press coverage. He's one of those guys where he wants you to put your hands on him so he's going to grab you and throw you. I'm like, 'Mr. Ref, he's not fast enough to get on top of me. How do you think he got on top? He has some tricks in him.''
Williams was not as bold immediately after he helped the Packers hold Marshall to two receptions for 24 yards -- both in the fourth quarter -- in the Week 2 game.
''We know Jay was looking to go to Marshall,'' Williams said. ''You want to take that away from him early. He stopped looking at him, and at that point he probably didn't start looking back at him until the end of the game. We got what we wanted out of the scheme.''
The overlooked element in the imbroglio is that Cutler started it. Asked prior to the Week 2 game if it would be a gamble for the Packers to be physical against the 6-4 Jeffery and 6-3 rookie Alshon Jeffery, Cutler dared the Packers to use press coverage against the Bears. ''Good luck,'' Cutler said sardonically. ''We invite press coverage.''
The Packers not only shut down the Bears' passing game with a ''two-man'' defensive scheme -- cornerbacks in man-to-man coverage at the snap, with safety help over the top -- but they made Marshall disappear.
Marshall, who had nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown against the Colts in Week 1, did not even have a ball thrown his way in the first half against the Packers and finished with two catches for 24 yards. As it turned out, Williams caught as many of Cutler's passes as Marshall did. He had two interceptions for 38 yards in returns.
''It's tough to shut down a guy like that,'' Williams said. ''It's a total defensive effort to shut down a guy like that. I think that's what what it was more tonight. The front seven [did] their job, and it makes our job that much easier in the back, as we want to play aggressive.''
Asked what Woodson and Williams said that riled him, Marshall said, ''I'm not sure. You have to go on Google or something.''