Packers, Bears officially expected to kick off NFL's 100th season

Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots will not open the new season in a break from tradition

Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots will not open the new season in a break from tradition

The league announced Monday that it would forgo the traditional opening-night matchup in which the Super Bowl victor would host the first game of the year on the Thursday of Week 1.

The game will be played the Thursday before the first Sunday of the season on NBC.

The Patriots, who are the defending Super Bowl champions, will open on Sunday night instead.

The Bears and the Packers have played each other 199 times in the NFL
The Bears and the Packers have played each other 199 times in the NFL

Last year, the Packers hosted the Bears at Lambeau Field to open the historic 100th season of football in Green Bay (the Packers were founded before the NFL came into existence). Green Bay leads the all-time series - which began with Chicago's 20-0 shutout in 1921 - by a margin of 97-95-6.

Putting that matchup in prime time in Week 1 to open the season only adds to the juice that already comes with every Bears-Packers game. The Bears would finish the rest of the season by winning 12 of 15 games, including the rematch against the Packers in December, to capture their first NFC North title since 2010.

It's nice timing too, with the Packers rebooting a bit over the last two years and now looking to take advantage of the final years of Aaron Rodgers' career by adding Matt LaFleur as their new head coach.

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