By Kevin McGuire
One of the most storied rivalries in football resumes this Thursday night at Lambeau Field when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears in the first regular-season meeting of the year between the two rivals. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have held the upper hand in the series for the last few years and look ready to keep that trend going at home this week, but the Bears hope they can pull off a second-straight upset after topping the Steelers on Sunday.
Packers and Bears each coming off wins against AFC North
The Green Bay Packers rallied to force overtime at home against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, before winning the game in overtime. Meanwhile, the Bears were pulling off an upset at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, also in overtime. With both teams needing overtime to take a win on Sunday and a short week to prepare for Thursday Night Football, fatigue will once again be a concern on a short week.
Who will finish drives better?
The Packers still have room for improvement when it comes to scoring points on their offensive possessions, but the early portion of the NFL season has seen the Packers score points on 36.4 percent of their possessions. The Bears, on the other hand, have struggled to do much with the football, scoring points on their drives just 25.8 percent of the time. The Minnesota Vikings, for example, have had the most success in the division with points coming on 43.8 percent of their drives. The Detroit Lions have scored on 38.2 percent of their possessions.
Key Players Not Named Aaron Rodgers and Mike Glennon
Ty Montgomery, Packers RB: The Packers may not run the ball much, but when they do, they will trust Montgomery to carry it. Montgomery has rushed for 124 yards on 41 attempts without a fumble this season, and eight of his runs have resulted in a first down.
Tarik Cohen, Bears RB: Cohen leads the Bears with 126 receiving yards and has caught 20 of the 25 passes thrown in his direction this season. Four times he has caught a pass for a first down, and he has scored just one touchdown so far. He has also contributed nearly half of the rushing production alongside Jordan Howard, who takes charge in the touchdown department.
A grand total of 16 points separates the Bears and Packers in all-time series
The Bears and Packers have met on the field 192 times, and the series has been split almost exactly right down the middle as thinly as possible. The all-time series is tied with a record of 93-93-6 and the Packers have scored exactly 16 more points than the Bears in all of that time, outscoring the Bears 3,300-3,284. You won’t find a series this old quite that well-balanced. The Packers swept the two games played in the regular season last year, outscoring the Bears by 19 points between the two games. Green Bay has won six of the last seven meetings in the rivalry as well.