GREEN BAY – The NFL will open its 100th season with the league’s oldest rivalry.
The Chicago Bears will play host to the Packers on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7:20 p.m. CT, at Soldier Field. The opener will be televised on NBC. This past year, Green Bay opened its own 100th season at Lambeau Field with a 24-23 comeback win over the Bears.
Historically, the NFL begins the season with a game featuring the defending Super Bowl champion. However, the NFL passed legislation last year for a one-year exemption to do something unique for its 100th season.
With the Packers and Bears playing in the Thursday night opener, the NFL announced Monday the New England Patriots open their season on Sunday Night Football.
“We were excited about it. I thought it would be good for us,” Packers President/CEO Murphy said. “I think it’s obviously good for the league. You have traditional rivals, the longest rivalry in the NFL. … It should be a great way to kick off the season.”
Murphy added it should be a great time for Packers fans who travel to Chicago, with the NFL is planning to put together festivities leading up to the game in Grant Park and the surrounding areas.
It's also Murphy's understanding that participation in the Thursday night opener doesn’t preclude the Packers from having to play another Thursday night game later in the season.
It’ll be the 199th game in the historic rivalry. The Packers hold a 97-95-6 edge in the series, which includes two playoff games (1-1). It’ll be the 14th straight year the two division rivals have squared off in prime-time, the NFL’s longest active streak.
The league's full 2019 schedule will be announced later this spring, but Green Bay's opponents have already been determined:
- Home opponents: Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings.
- Road opponents: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings.
Take a look back in time at memorable photos from prior Packers-Bears matchups in Chicago.