The league announced Monday it would forgo the conventional opening night match up where the Super Bowl winner could host the first match of the season on the Thursday of Week 1.
Alternatively, one of the NFL’s classic rivalries will open the summer season on Thursday, Sept. 5 from Chicago’s Soldier Field in prime period (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC). The league also announced that the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will open up their season on Sunday night football in your home against an opponent to be ascertained.
“As an organization, we’re thrilled to be kicking off the 100th season of football in the NFL,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement. “As a charter company, we can’t think about a better way to begin our own centennial season by hosting our long time rival in prime time at Soldier Field.”
The announcement had been made at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix.
This past year, the Packers hosted the Bears at Lambeau Field to open the historical 100th season of football in Green Bay (the Packers were based before the NFL came to existence).
The Packers won this match but lost in Week 15 at Chicago, where the Bears clinched the NFC North title.
The Packers hold a 97-95-6 string advantage, including playoffs, but didn’t re take the series lead until they beat the Bears in Week 4 of their 20 17 season. That was the first time they held the string lead since 1933. The NFL opener will mark the first match for new Packers’ coach Matt LaFleur, that was hired in January.