The last time the all-time series was tied between the National Football League’s longest and most storied rivals was September 1933.
After the Chicago Bears defeated the Packers in Green Bay 14-7, the series was deadlocked at 11-11-4.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. A gallon of gas cost 10 cents. A loaf of bread was 7 cents. Unemployment in the U.S. was at a staggering 25.2% in the midst of the Great Depression.
With a victory, the Packers can knot the all-time series at 94-94-6, including playoffs. Green Bay and Chicago meet for the 194th time at 12 noon Sunday at Soldier Field. The game will televised exclusively in Western Wisconsin on FOX 25/48.
As Lee Remmel, the Packers legendary former public relations director, once put it: “It’s a great rivalry between venerable neighborhood enemies.”
The 7-6 Packers have playoff aspirations to play for Sunday; the Bears are playing for pride. Mike Ditka, former Chicago head coach and hall-of-fame tight end, expects a hard-fought game.
“I mean this, throw out the records—a Bears-Packers game always means something,” Ditka said. “It’s special. You’re playing for pride. This is the longest rivalry in the NFL. You want to win this game no matter what your record is.”
For Chicago to emerge victorious, Ditka said the Bears must accomplish one objective: “If the Bears defense can control Aaron Rodgers, they have a chance. What he does best, he does on the move. He’s not Superman, only human.”
Rodgers, despite hamstring and calf injuries, has played superb in the past month as Green Bay has won three straight games. The Packers trail 9-4 Detroit in the NFC North Division and are tied with the Minnesota Vikings.
This is the first of three straight division games for Green Bay, which will define their season. They host the Vikings at Lambeau Field on Christmas Eve day and travel to Detroit for the season finale on January 1st.
But the task at hand is Chicago. The Bears lost a close game, 20-17, in Detroit last Sunday, while the Packers demolished Seattle, 38-10, at home. Green Bay won the first contest with Chicago in convincing fashion, 26-10 on Oct. 20 in Lambeau Field.
Soldier Field is going to be a tundra Sunday, with game-time temperature predicted to be below zero. The winds off Lake Michigan will make it seem much colder and also affect the passing attacks for both teams.
Chicago and Green Bay have both been ravaged by injuries in 2016. Bears quarterback Mark Barkley has performed well since taking over for Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer in the past month. Rookie running back Jordan Howard has provided a consistent rushing threat and the defense—a sieve early in the season—has improved since mid-November.
Green Bay’s defense, after yielding 38.3 points in a four-game losing streak, has stiffened and is allowing only 12.0 points in the past three games. In a statement performance against Seattle, the defense created six turnovers.
Week 15 NFL Picks
Will there be a hangover after the blow-out of the Seahawks at home? The Packers are focused on the task at hand: a feisty Bears team in Chicago that pushed the Lions to the end Sunday. The run continues as long as Aaron Rodgers continues his stellar play.
Packers 24, Bears 16.