The NFL is set to kickoff their 100th season this week. There is no better rivalry to start the NFL’s historic season than with Packers vs Bears. This will be 199th meeting in this storied rivalry between these two teams. Does the start of the NFL season get any better than this?
The pre-season, which seemed to drag on forever, is finally over. The 53 man rosters have been set and teams have filled out their practice squad. New Packers head coach Matt Lafleur is set to finally coach a game for the Packers that actually matters.
Last season, the Packers and Bears kicked off their seasons in week 1 at Lambeau Field in a Sunday night thriller. Aaron Rodgers was injured in the second quarter of the game but returned to start the second half. The Packers were trailing by 20 points (23-3) in the fourth quarter, before Rodgers lead a comeback for the ages.
As if any additional hype is needed for this rivalry to start the season. NBC couldn’t resist doing a promo for the game that referenced the Bears “Double-Doink” in last years playoff game to hype the game and start of the regular season.
In the promo, the “Da Bears!” superfans are holding what appears to be “an adorable Bears kicker doll.” There is only just one problem; the teddy bear is being sold in Green Bay, so when they squeeze it, the bear says “double doink.” Here is Sunday Night Football on NBC twitter post:
It’s a new era in Green Bay. This won’ be the same offense and defense that we have seen in previous seasons. New head coach Matt Lafleur has brought in a whole new offense that will see shifts, motions, bunch formations and screen passes. This has rejuvenated the future hall of fame quarterback, who is finally healthy after two injury plagued seasons.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst also upgraded the defense during the off-season. He dipped into the free agent market to do so signing Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith and Adrian Amos. Something the Packers haven’t done in previous years. This should provide Rodgers with a defense that is a difference maker and one that can actually carry the team if needed. Rodgers and Lafleur are ready to unleash the new Packers offense on the league, while defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is eyeing a top 15, top 10 defense in his second season with the improved talent on that side of the football.
Are you ready for some football? It’s the Packers and the Bears at Soldier Field on Thursday night at 7:30pm to kick-off the NFL’s 100th season. I will have my prediction in my Thursday post. What is your prediction for Thursday night?
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag