Packers take on Bears in regular-season opener

Posted by Duke Bobber on September 13, 2015 – 9:05 am

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– The Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Week 1 for the first time since 1981.

– For the third year in a row and just the fourth time in 10 seasons under Head Coach Mike McCarthy (2010), the Packers open the season on the road. It is the first time since 1977-79 that the Packers have opened on the road for three consecutive seasons.

– The last time Green Bay opened the season with a road game against a division opponent was at Detroit in 2005.

– Including playoffs, the Packers have won five straight games at Soldier Field and six of the last seven at the stadium. Green Bay has held Chicago to 20 points or less in seven of the last eight games at Soldier Field.

– Today will mark game No. 191 in the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Bears hold a 93-91-6 edge in the series, which includes two playoff games (1-1).

– This will mark the 53rd time the two teams have met in the month of September, with both teams recording 24 wins (24-24-4). Only seven of those September matchups took place in Chicago, and the Packers were 5-2 in those games, including a 38-17 win last season in Week 4.

– The Packers have won four of the last five matchups against the Bears in games played in September.

– Under McCarthy, the Packers are 13-6 against the Bears during the regular and postseason, including 7-3 on the road.

– In all but one of the 13 wins under McCarthy, Green Bay has scored at least 20 points.

– Today will be the 22nd time the Packers open the regular season against the Bears (10-10-1) and just the third time the game has been played in Chicago (1979, 1981).

– Green Bay has played Chicago in Week 1 six times since 1970, with the Packers holding a 4-2 record in those matchups.

– Since 1990, the Packers are 7-4 against division opponents in Week 1, including 2-1 under McCarthy.

– The last division opponent Green Bay faced in Week 1 was Chicago in 2009, a 21-15 Packers win at Lambeau Field.

– Green Bay has 52 wins on Kickoff Weekend, second most in NFL history behind only the Bears (54 victories in Week 1). The Packers and Bears are the only teams in the NFL with 50-plus wins on Kickoff Weekend.

– Since 2006, Green Bay is 18-9 (.667) on the road against division opponents in the regular season, tied for No. 3 in the league over that time span.

– Green Bay has won its first road game in six of nine seasons under McCarthy.

– With a six-game winning streak in the first road game of the season from 2006-11, McCarthy joined Vince Lombardi (eight straight, 1960-67) as the only coaches in team history to win six or more consecutive road openers.

– The Packers hold the record for the most wins (53) in road openers in the NFL.

– In the 13 seasons of the NFC North (2002-14), the Packers (eight) and Bears (three) have accounted for 11 division titles.

– Today is the Packers’ lone NFC North game in the first eight contests. Green Bay will finish the regular season with five of the final eight games against division opponents.

– Since McCarthy took over in 2006, the Packers have a 19-12 (.613) mark in the month of September. Green Bay’s 19 wins are tied for No. 2 in the NFC and No. 5 in the NFL.

 

RODGERS AND THE BEARS
– With Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback, Green Bay is 12-3 during the regular and postseason against the Bears, with one loss coming in 2013 after Rodgers left the game with an injury after the first series.

– In the 15 games against Chicago, Rodgers has an overall passer rating of 106.2 and has thrown for a 100-plus passer rating in five of the last eight matchups.

– Rodgers has guided Green Bay to four consecutive regular-season wins at Chicago, throwing for a combined 1,208 yards, 12 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 115.2 in the four contests.

– In the two games against the Bears last season, Rodgers completed 40 of 55 passes for 617 yards, 10 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 149.0. He was the first QB in NFL history to throw 10 TDs and no INTs against an opponent in a single season. Green Bay scored 38 and 55 points in the two matchups against Chicago last season.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
– A win would mark the Packers’ 10th in the last 11 matchups against the Bears during the regular and postseason, including the sixth consecutive win at Chicago, which would be the second-longest road winning streak for the Packers in the series (11, 1994-2005)

– Green Bay is looking to score at least 30 points against the Bears for the fourth consecutive game.

– The Packers have held the Bears to 17 points or less in four of the last six contests.

– Seven of the last eight games played in Chicago between the two teams have been decided by 10 points or less.

– A win would improve the Packers to 6-4 in season openers under McCarthy, including 2-2 in season openers on the road.

– McCarthy will begin his 10th regular season as Green Bay’s head coach, passing Vince Lombardi (1959-67) and Bart Starr (1975-83) for the second-most seasons as head coach in franchise history behind Curly Lambeau’s 31 (1919-49).

 

OFFENSE
– QB Aaron Rodgers looks to throw for 300-plus yards for the fourth time in the last five season openers. In 2013, Rodgers tied the franchise record for passing yards in a season opener, with 333 at San Francisco.

– If Rodgers throws for 300-plus yards, it will be the 41st 300-yard passing game of his career during the regular season.

– Rodgers has thrown for at least two touchdowns in four of the last five season openers.

– Including the postseason, the Packers have won nine in a row against Chicago in games Rodgers throws at least five passes.

– WR Randall Cobb needs one reception to extend his consecutive games with a catch to 47, including the postseason.

– In the last three season openers, Cobb has recorded 243 yards receiving on 22 receptions (11.0 avg.) with two receiving touchdowns.

– Cobb has registered 100-plus yards receiving in two of the last four games he has played in against the Bears, including hauling in seven receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns at Chicago last season.

– Cobb has recorded five touchdown receptions in the last three games he has played in against the Bears.

– RB Eddie Lacy has registered a touchdown in all four games vs. Chicago and has totaled more than 100 yards from scrimmage in two of the contests.

– Including the postseason, Lacy has rushed for more than 90 yards in six of the last eight games.

– Lacy finished the 2014 regular season by surpassing 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the final nine contests, the longest streak in team history, and scored at least one touchdown in six of those games.

– WR James Jones set a career high with three receiving touchdowns at Chicago in 2012.

 

DEFENSE
– LB Clay Matthews has 6.5 sacks in the last four games he has played in against the Bears.

– Matthews recorded an interception he returned 40 yards at Chicago last season.

– Matthews has registered a total of 6.5 sacks in six season openers.

– From 2009-11, LB Julius Peppers recorded a sack in each season opener.

– Peppers registered a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and tipped a pass that was picked off by S Morgan Burnett in the Packers’ 55-14 win over Chicago last season.

– Burnett set a career high with 14 tackles in the 2011 season-opening win over New Orleans.

– LB Nick Perry registered career highs with nine tackles and seven solo tackles in the 2012 season opener against San Francisco, his first NFL regular-season game.

– S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix recorded six tackles (four solo) and a sack in the 2014 season opener at Seattle.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS
– K Mason Crosby (1,037) needs 18 points to surpass Ryan Longwell (1,054) for the franchise record.

– Crosby (268) is 10 field-goal attempts short of surpassing Longwell (277) for the most in team history.

 

TODAY’S CAPTAINS
– As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week.

– Today’s captains will be G T.J. Lang (offense), LB Julius Peppers (defense) and S Chris Banjo (special teams).

 

WEARING THE STRIPES
– Today’s officiating crew includes referee Craig Wrolstad (4), umpire Roy Ellison (81), head linesman Mark Hittner (28), line judge Julian Mapp (10), field judge Steve Zimmer (33), side judge Jeff Lamberth (21) and back judge Lee Dyer (27).


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