In the 100th NFL season, the league’s two longest-standing rivals square off for the 200th time, when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears. But the teams will likely be focused less on history than on the game’s playoff implications. For the 6-7 Bears, grabbing a win over the NFC North leaders is their last chance to keep their postseason hopes alive. Chicago must win all three remaining games to even have a chance of grabbing the sixth and final NFC playoff seed from the Minnesota Vikings, according to NFL.com.
A loss officially ends the Bears’ playoff chances, if either the Vikings or the Los Angeles Rams win on Sunday. Minnesota faces the Los Angeles Chargers on the road, while the Rams travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.
As for Green Bay, after a one-sided loss to the San Francisco 49ers three weeks ago, the 10-3 Packers are also in a position where they need to win their remaining three games to have a shot at unseating San Francisco from the top seed.
The Bears head into the matchup on a three-game winning streak, spurred by the resurgence of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The 2017 top overall draft pick out of North Carolina has tossed six touchdowns in the team’s last two games –wins over the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, according to Pro Football Reference.
Watch a preview of the 200th Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers NFL game in the video below, courtesy of NBC Sports.
Despite the Bears’ winning ways over the last three weeks, oddsmakers still see Green Bay, playing at home, as the favorites to take the game and likely eliminate Chicago from playoff contention. According to odds compiled by CBS Sports, the Packers enter the contest as 4 1/2-point favorites.
Recent history appears to support the oddsmakers’ pick. At Lambeau, the Packers have won nine of their last 11 games against Chicago. Future Hall of Fame Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has historically had little difficulty picking apart the Bears defense. In his last eight games against Chicago, Rodgers has tossed for 23 touchdowns with only two interceptions, compiling a passer rating of 116.0.
Not only has Rodgers dominated the Bears, according to CBS Sports, he has also dominated the months of December and January, with the highest regular season passer rating for those cold-weather months of any quarterback in NFL history, at 110.7.
When the Bears and Packers meet on Sunday, they will become the first NFL rivals to face each other 200 times. The series has been evenly matched, for the most part, with Green Bay winning 98, to 95 for Chicago. They also tied six games along the way, since first meeting on November 27, 1921 in the American Professional Football Association, the precursor league to the NFL.