The Chicago Bears will make history when they take the field against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but they’ll also be hoping to reverse some more recent history as they try to make the NFC playoffs.
The game Sunday will be the 200th regular season meeting between the two teams, according to the NFL. That ranks the rivalry as the most-contested in league history, with the Packers currently holding the edge with a 99-94-6 record against their rivals from the south.
In addition to being an historic milestone, the game Sunday will also provide the Bears with a unique opportunity, as a victory over the Packers would clinch a playoff spot for Chicago. That playoff spot would make them just the third team in league history to make the postseason after losing six consecutive games during a season, according to the NFL.
In order to achieve that feat, the Bears are going to have to do something that they haven’t accomplished in 37 years. According to NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, the Bears are currently on a five-game losing streak to the Packers in season-concluding games, with their last win in such a scenario coming in 1983.
That recent run includes the 2013 season, when the Bears gave up a late touchdown to the Packers and missed out on an opportunity to reach the postseason under former head coach Marc Trestman.
The Bears will get into the postseason if they beat the Packers, but even if they lose, they still have a chance at making the playoffs. If the Los Angeles Rams can beat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, then the Bears would still get into the postseason, securing the seventh seed in the event of that outcome.
A Packers win would clinch the top seed in the NFC for Green Bay, giving them an all-important bye week. Thanks to the NFL’s expanded postseason, only the top seed in each conference earns a bye week this season, with the Kansas City Chiefs already securing the top spot in the AFC.
Kickoffs for both the Packers-Bears and Cardinals-Rams games are scheduled for 3:25 p.m., with the Bears game airing on Fox and the Cardinals game airing on CBS in the Chicago area.