5 Things To Know For NFL's Opener Between Bears and Packers

John Healy
September 05, 2019 - 9:20 am

Football is back as the NFL season kicks off its 100th season with a matchup between NFC North rivals the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. The two teams will take center stage at Soldier Field in Chicago at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

Here is what you need to know about the two teams as they open the 2019 NFL season:

The NFL’s Oldest Rivalry

The Bears and Packers have been playing each other since 1921 and will meet each other for the 199th time in NFL history. The Packers lead the all-time series by a slim margin, 97-95-6, with the two teams splitting their matchups last season. They are dead even, 13-13-1, when playing each other in the season opener, which includes last year’s 24-23 Green Bay victory in which Aaron Rodgers led the Packers back from a 20-3 deficit in the fourth quarter.

Matt LaFleur’s Debut

Thursday night’s game marks the head coaching debut of Packers coach Matt LaFleur. The 39-year-old is one of the youngest head coaches in the league and joined the Packers after spending last season as the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. He has also worked on the staffs of offensive gurus Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, so it should be interesting to see how he can get the most out of a two-time MVP in Rodgers.

Eddy Pineiro’s Debut

Pineiro’s name may be unrecognizable to the average fan, but the Bears’ new kicker may be under the most pressure of the entire team. Last year, the Bears lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card round courtesy of kicker Cody Parkey’s “double doink” missed field goal, which hit the upright and the crossbar, costing the Bears a victory.

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