Dec 25, 2011; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to throw a pass to tight end Jermichael Finley (88) as Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Roach (53) pursues during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears: No strangers to Week 17 matchup

Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown (15) is taken down at the one-yard line by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 35-21 The Packers and Bears renew their long rivalry this Sunday with the NFC North title on the line. Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports photograph

 

Many important, late season games have been played between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

Recently, the Packers have had the Bears’ number when it comes to week 17 matchups between the two.  Since 2000, the two teams have met three times in week 17 and the Packers have won all of them.

In 2004, it was a meaningless matchup that brought a 31-14 rout upon Chicago. In the game, they sacked Chad Hutchinson nine times. Brett Favre, who started in his 205th straight game, went over 4,000 yards passing in a season for the fourth time in his career. He also threw his 30th touchdown pass of the year before being replaced in the second quarter. Chicago’s offense was ranked last that season.

In 2006, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 26-7 on New Year’s Eve at Soldier Field. In a virtually meaningless game for the Packers, Brett Favre threw for 285 yards, a TD, and one interception.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester and Green Bay Packers linebacker Rob Francois at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Favre also moved into a tie with Dan Marino on the all-time victories list with 147. It was truly a vintage performance from Brett as the Packers were up 23-0 at the half against the number one seed Chicago Bears. Also in this game, Ahman Green ran for 71 yards and became the first Packer to rush for at least 1,000 yards six times.

The most recent week 17 matchup once again brought another Packers victory. This game was a winner-take-all at Lambeau Field on a cold January afternoon. The game ended 10-3 in favor of the Green Bay Packers, allowing them to win the NFC North title. After trailing 3-0 at halftime, Aaron Rodgers threw the lone TD pass to tight end Donald Lee in the fourth quarter. On a late drive from the Bears, Nick Collins was able to intercept Jay Cutler to ice the game for the Packers. The same season the two would meet again for a trip to the Super Bowl. The Packers came away with a 21-14 victory that included a 18-yard interception return for a TD from B.J. Raji.  The rest was history in 2010 …

There is no doubt that these two teams have a storied rivalry and it will continue Sunday in another NFC North title game. I know it’s early but get your popcorn ready, the playoffs are up for grabs and the Packers have the Bears in their sights.

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