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BBAO: Brian Urlacher set for huge game?

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Now that it appears Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher will play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, public discussion has turned into whether he will play an exceptional game -- even by his standards -- in honor of his mother, Lavoyda Lenard, who died this week. Her funeral is Saturday.

It's a trite and cliché thought and implies that for some reason the player wasn't already performing at his highest level. Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com does a nice job balancing the issue but ultimately suggests Urlacher will have the type of otherworldly game that Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre had after the death of his father in 2003.

Greenberg: "The Bears need vintage Urlacher on Sunday, and I have a feeling he's going to play possessed, like Brett Favre did in 2003 against Oakland on the day after his father's death. It's trite, but so are a lot of televised moments."

Favre threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in that 2003 game at the Oakland Raiders. It's more difficult for a middle linebacker to pile up revealing statistics along those lines, and in truth it's impossible to predict how a week like this will impact Urlacher's performance. It is easy, however, to imagine Urlacher playing with more than his usual level of emotion.

Continuing around the NFC North: