Since 1992, Favre has led the Packers to 12 winning seasons, six NFC Central/North titles, two NFC titles and one Super Bowl championship. Over that same period, Da Bears have had three winning seasons and one NFC Central title. Those numbers are pretty lopsided. Favre has been the major difference, especially when the two teams face each other. In the 26 games that Favre has played against the Bears, his quarterback rating is 93.8. Favre has thrown 51 touchdown passes against Chicago as opposed to just 25 interceptions.
Favre always seems to come up big against the Bears when the odds are against him. Who can forget the game in 1995 at Lambeau Field when Favre had a severely sprained ankle and had very limited mobility? Favre managed to lead the Packers to a 35-28 victory that day while throwing 5 TD passes and 0 interceptions. How about the 1994 Halloween Monday night game in Chicago during a driving rainstorm? The Bears retired the numbers of Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus at halftime, but Favre spoiled the celebration by leading the Pack to a 33-6 win. Favre showed off his running skills that night as he scored on a 36 yard scamper. Even in 2001 when the Bears won the division title, Favre led the Packers to a two game sweep of Chicago.
The Packers-Bears rivalry is the most storied in NFL history. They have played each other since 1921 and have met 168 times. Before Favre arrived in Green Bay, the Bears had a large victory margin in the series with 79 wins to 57 losses. Favre has helped cut that margin to 84-78. There have also been six ties in the series. There is no doubt that Favre has changed the landscape of this bitter rivalry.
Favre and the Packers have obviously had their struggles in 2005. The Bears, on the other hand, have had a very nice 2005 campaign so far leading the NFC North with an 8-3 record. On paper it would appear that the Bears should win this game. But games aren't won on paper. They are won on football fields, whether it is Soldier Field or Lambeau. Favre has proven time and time again that he loves competing against the Bears, especially in Chicago where the Bears last won in 1993. The Packers are not going to the playoffs in 2005. That is stating the obvious. But the Packers aren't as bad as their 2-9 record would indicate and some would say that the Bears aren't quite as good as their 8-3 record would indicate. What does this all mean? If the past is a roadmap to the future, expect Favre to come up big and be the difference maker.
Bob Fox is a longtime Packers fan and a freelance writer from the Tampa, Fla. area.