The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have met 192 times, including in the playoffs, the most-played matchup in NFL history. Amid this Rivalry Week, the Bears and Packers take center stage as the NFL’s pre-eminent rivalry.
Other matchups have certainly burned hot in the NFL due to quarterbacks (Brady-Manning), home proximity (Bengals-Browns), divisional standings (the entire NFC East) or just general dislike (Ravens-Steelers), but none match the history of the Bears-Packers matchup. The rivalry started in 1921, and since then the two teams have combined for many big games and big moments. Below is a look at that history.
Who has the edge?
In regular-season play, the Bears hold a 93-91-6 edge against the Packers, but only three points separate the teams. The Bears scored 3,247 points to the Packers’ 3,244 points in those meetings.
Despite playing each other since 1921, the teams have met only twice in postseason play: the 1941 and 2010 seasons. Each time, the winner went on to win the championship.
The Bears started the rivalry with a 7-1-3 record against the Packers, shutting out Green Bay in four of the first five games. The Packers won the next seven meetings, which included five straight shutouts, but the Bears controlled the rivalry until the 1960s, posting a 49-26-6 record in that time.
In the '60s, there was the rise of Bart Starr (and the Packers), as they won 20 of their next 25 games against Chicago.
Things tilted back in the Bears' favor for much of the '70s and '80s, with the Bears winning 10 of 11 during the mid-80s. The Packers have taken control since 1992, though. Since then, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have started every game against the Bears, posting a 35-14 record against them (including playoffs). The Bears have started 15 quarterbacks against the Packers in that time.
In one stretch under Favre, the Packers went 18-2 against the Bears. Favre also won 11 consecutive games in Chicago from 1994 to 2005. Rodgers won 10 of 11 against the Bears at one point.
Much of the Packers’ success in the rivalry has centered on their star quarterbacks: Starr, Favre and Rodgers have a combined .685 winning percentage against the Bears, and every other Packers starter has a combined .378 winning percentage.
Favre’s 22 wins against the Bears as a member of the Packers are most by any quarterback in the rivalry.
Favre has the higher career totals, but Rodgers has been the Bears’ worst nightmare. Rodgers is 13-4 in his career against the Bears, which includes a win in the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
Rodgers has completed 67.2 percent of his passes against the Bears with 35 passing touchdowns (11 interceptions). In 2014, Rodgers threw 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in two games against the Bears.
Walter Payton was equally good against the Packers. Payton played 24 games against the Packers (17-7 record) and averaged 100 yards rushing in those games. Payton rushed for 2,484 yards (4.7 yards per rush) with 19 touchdowns against the Packers.
Naturally a rivalry as long-standing as Bears-Packers would get heated at times. Things appeared to hit their peak in the '80s…
In 1980, after a 61-7 Bears victory, Starr -- then the Packers' head coach -- charged across the field to confront Bears coach Neill Armstrong for blitzing heavily in the fourth quarter.
In 1985, the Bears’ Super Bowl-winning season, the Packers left horse manure in the Bears' locker room when Chicago traveled to Lambeau Field. The Bears won that game 16-10.
A year later, Packers defensive tackle Charles Martin had a “hit list” of Bears numbers on a towel he was wearing. During the game, Jim McMahon threw an interception, Martin grabbed McMahon from behind and slammed him into the turf, injuring McMahon’s shoulder and ending his season.
Odds and ends
- The rivalry started Nov. 21, 1921, with the Chicago Staleys defeating the Packers 20-0. The Staleys became the Bears the next year.
- The last time the Packers and Bears didn’t face each other in a season was 1982. The strike-shortened season prevented the divisional rivals from facing off.
- The highest-scoring game in the rivalry occurred in 1955, when the Bears beat the Packers 52-31. The lowest-scoring game was a 0-0 tie in 1932. There were also two games decided by a final score of 2-0 (1932 and 1938).
- The largest blowout was a 61-7 Bears victory in 1980. The biggest shutout victory was 49-0 by the Packers in 1962.
- One of the few 99-yard passing touchdowns in NFL history occurred in a Bears-Packers game. Favre hit Robert Brooks for 99 yards in 1995.
- Rodgers is the only player to throw for six touchdowns in a Bears-Packers game. He did it in the first half of a 55-14 victory in 2014.