How Chicago Bears versus Packers tells us everything about a season
Each year, the Chicago Bears season can be exemplified in one matchup.
In the NFC North, there is a lot of bad blood between teams. To the east, the Chicago Bears face the Detroit Lions, a team that hasn’t been great historically but has had dirty players like Ndamukong Suh who keep the rivalry heated. To the west, there’s the Minnesota Vikings. This is a team that’s been comparable to Chicago in recent years and likely holds the most respect between themselves and the Bears.
Turn your head to the north though, and you’ll find Chicago’s biggest rival. The Green Bay Packers have become the team to beat in the NFC North with the prolonged success that has only been matched by one other team in the league – the New England Patriots. And with the departure of Tom Brady in the offseason, the Packers could be the only team left standing with this type of success.
That success is precisely what has made Aaron Rodgers and the Packers such an important target on the Bears’ schedule each and every season. It’s as simple as this: beat the Packers and you have a leg up on the rest of the division.
And when you look back on recent years, the results of the two Green Bay Packers matchups have been a direct indicator for the rest of Chicago’s season. When they look bad against Green Bay, they look bad against every other team. When they play well against Green Bay, they have a strong season start to finish.
This may seem obvious. After all, good teams play well and bad teams play poorly, but you won’t find this type of consistency with the matchups against any other team. The results don’t translate and there are flukey performances each year against the Lions and the Vikings.