NFL’s Annual Meeting Sets Packers Against Bears In the NFL’s Kickoff Game
- The 4-day NFL Annual Meeting is occurring until March 27 in Phoenix.
- The Bears and Packers are set to open the regular season of the NFL.
- Ideas to review penalties and rework the overtime rules are also being discussed.
NEW YORK – In the NFL’s annual meeting this week, the league announced their plans for the NFL Kickoff Game, which does not contain the Super Bowl Champion for the third time since its 2002 introduction.
Instead, on the 100th anniversary of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers will travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears. The game will be broadcasted on NBC on Thursday, September 5 at 8:20 EST.
"As a charter franchise, we cannot think of a better way to begin our centennial season than by hosting our longtime rival in prime time at Soldier Field,” said George H. McCaskey, Chairman of the Chicago Bears.
This is the 6th time the Bears will begin their season in the prime-time lights and the 14th straight season the Bears will go against the Packers in a prime-time battle.
The storyline last year was focused on the Bear’s head coach, Matt Nagy, traveling to Lambeau Field to coach in his first-ever NFL game. This year though, the attention will be flipped, focused on the first-ever game for the new Packers’ head coach, Matt LaFleur.
Packers Vs Bears Rivalry By The Numbers
The first match between the two NFC North teams took place in 1921.
The Packers have a 97-95-6 series lead over the Chicago Bears. Since their week 4 victory over the Bears in 2017, the Packers are holding the series lead for the first time since 1933.
In the last 19 games between the two, the Packers have won 15 of them.
This will be the 34th time the Bears and Packers will open the NFL season. In those games, the Packers are 14-17-2 but have won the last three. This includes the 2018 opener when they came back from 20 points down.
The Packers and Bears have now played Week 1 against each other in three of the last five seasons. The Packers won 31-23 the last time they started their seasons in Soldier Field (2015).
The last time the Bears beat the Packers on a season opener was in 2006 when the Bears shut out Brett Favre and the Packers 26-0 in Lambeau Field. This was the only home shutout in Favre’s illustrious and long-lived Packer’s career.
For the first time since 2010, the teams will battle during the nighttime at Soldier Field. The Bears were victorious in that game 20-17, scoring all of their points in the final 16 minutes of the game.
Other Notes From The 2019 NFL Annual Meeting In Phoenix
The defending Champions, the New England Patriots, were informed that their first game would take place at home in Gillette Stadium. An opponent has yet to be set; however, the possibility of a Browns vs Patriots battle has been discussed.
"The NFL is hard. You play for the challenge that lies ahead,” said John Dorsey, GM for the Cleveland Browns.
Moving onto the owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft is in attendance and will continue to be a part of the committee assignments, according to Boston Globe writer, Ben Violin. Kraft’s March 28 court appearance will affect any extra punishment brought forth by the league in the case of fines and/or suspension.
The league is also looking to reflect on changes to instant replay challenges. After a no-call in the NFC Championship Game, owners are set to debate the possibility of reviewing penalties. On the table, anything granting 15 yards or a first down would be reviewable.
“The goal is to correct clear officiating errors on impactful plays,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s EVP of Football Operations. “Our credibility is on the line.”
The remainder of the regular season schedule is expected to be released in less than a month.
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