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 five winning seasons and three NFC Central/North titles, including back to back titles in 2005-2006. The Bears also lost in the Super Bowl back in February to the Colts. Those numbers are pretty lopsided. Favre has been the major difference, especially when the two teams face each other. In the 30 games that Favre has played against the Bears, his quarterback rating is 86.4. Favre has thrown 52 touchdown passes against Chicago as opposed to just 34 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. And last year on New Year's Eve, and on a year the Bears were heading to the Super Bowl, many thought Favre would retire after his teary interview after leading the Packers to an impressive Green Bay victory. But Favre came back in 2007 and every Packer fan is glad he did. Through 4 games in 2007, Favre has thrown 8 TD passes to just 2 interceptions. Favre also is 2nd in the NFL in passing yardage and has a 97.3 passer rating.
The Packers-Bears rivalry is the most storied in NFL history. They have played each other since 1921 and have met 172 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 87-79. 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 will come into Sunday night's game at Lambeau Field with a 4-0 record. The Bears will come limping in with a 1-3 record. The Bears are also nicked up, especially defensively. Chicago has already benched starting QB Rex Grossman in favor of Brian Griese. A Packer win would really solidify the Packers position in the NFC North division and also put the Bears in a very difficult situation.
However, this is a key divisional game. This is also a huge game between the Packers and the Bears. The Bears have also won three straight games at Lambeau Field. Even John Madden is in town. 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 frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.