Ancient and sometimes bitter rivals Green Bay and Chicago have played in a lot of big games over the course of their 179-game history.
Monday night's Packers-Bears showdown at Chicago, however, will be arguably only the third big game between these teams since the glory years.
Only fleetingly over the last 45 years have the Packers and Bears been good at the same time. The last time both teams even had a winning record was 2001, when the Bears finished 13-3 and won the division while the Packers finished 12-4 to grab a wild card. Green Bay earned a season sweep, including a 17-7 win at Lambeau Field on Dec. 9 that created a first-place tie atop the NFC Central at 9-3.
With Brett Favre at quarterback from 1992 through 2007, the Packers continually beat the Bears like a drum. From 1994 through 2003, Favre and Co. beat the Bears in 18 of 20 matchups. Only four other teams in NFL history enjoyed a better 20-game stretch against an opponent.
In fact, from 1992 through 2000, the Packers and Bears both reached the playoffs in the same season just once, 1994, when they both finished 9-7 and earned wild-card berths. Heading into their Dec. 11 clash at Lambeau Field, the Packers were only 6-7. The Bears opened the scoring with a field goal. But that was it, with Green Bay winning 40-3 behind three touchdown passes by Favre and 106 rushing yards and a touchdown by Edgar Bennett.
From 1984 through 1991, the Bears won at least 11 games in seven of eight seasons. The exception being 1989, the "Majik and the Miracles" season that marked the Packers' only winning record during that span. Of course, the "Instant Replay Game" is one of the most memorable in the history of the rivalry, but it wasn't necessarily big. Before that game, the Bears were 5-3 and the Packers 4-4. The teams went in opposite directions after that game, with Green Bay finishing 10-6 and Chicago 6-10.
The Packers won Super Bowl II following the 1967 season but reached the playoffs only twice in the next quarter century, 1972 and a strike-shortened 1982. Chicago was terrible in both of those seasons.
In 1963, the Bears (11-1-2) edged the Packers (11-2-1) for the West Division title. The Bears won both games, 10-3 at Green Bay to kick off the season and 26-7 at Chicago in November, with Zeke Bratkowski starting that one in place of Bart Starr.
In 1962, the Packers won their second consecutive NFL championship. En route to a 13-1 regular-season finish, the Packers demolished the Bears twice, including 49-0 in Week 3 behind Jim Taylor's three touchdown runs. That year, just like this year, both teams entered the game 2-0.
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Bill Huber is the publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com.
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