Monday, September 7, 2015

Packers vs. Bears, Edition No. 189

Image by
As the Packers approach their season-opener at Chicago, expectations are running high.  A month ago, various web sites were picking the Packers to go to, and maybe win, the Super Bowl.  Since then, the Packers lost Jordy Nelson for the season, and at times looked "iffy" on defense, especially that old bugaboo, run defense.  On the other hand, they seem to have found a good backup QB in Scott Tolzien, and a very promising third string rookie QB in Brett Hundley.  And, as always, some undrafted rookie free agent gems made the roster, RB Alonzo Harris, and DB LaDarius Gunter.

So where are we today?  After a post-Jordy Nelson injury lull in Super Bowl projections, 6 out of 13 writers pick the Packers to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and 5 of them pick the Packers to bring back another Lombardi trophy.  Not bad for a team that lost its best receiver in the first quarter of the first pre-season game.

Any time the Packers play the Bears, there is a lot of history to take in.  My wife and I moved to California in the summer of 1980.  One of the downsides of moving here was the knowledge that we would only occasionally get to see Packer games on TV.  1980 was right in the middle of the post-Super Bowl II drought for the Packers, so in general we could only expect to see a handful of Packer games each year.  This was long before DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket, and if sports bars showing every game existed at the time, I did not know about them.

But 35 years ago today, as I write this post, was opening day, and surprisingly, we got to see Chicago at Green Bay on local TV.  I really only remember the end of the game, but from the score, it must have been an exceedingly boring game.  Two Chester Marcol field goals accounted for the Packers' 6 points, but the Bears also only had 6 points, so the game went into overtime.  Chester Marcol lined up to attempt a 35 yard field goal in overtime, but the ball was blocked, and miraculously ended up right in Marcol's hands, where the bespectacled kicker caught it, and raced around the left end to score the winning touchdown.

There is lots to read about the Packers in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback column (including his pick of the Packers over the Ravens in the Super Bowl) , and I commend it to you.  But just in case you don't get around to clicking the link, this is the most amazing piece of information in it:

Stat of the Week
Next Sunday, the Packers and Bears will play in Soldier Field. It will be the 189th meeting in the rivalry that began in 1921. No two pro football teams have played each other more.
The average score in the 188 meetings: Chicago 17.06, Green Bay 17.02.
The composite score in those 188 games: Chicago 3,207, Green Bay 3,200.
So just think, it will only take a 7 point victory margin for the Packers to even up the score for all time.  

I think the Bears will improve under new head coach John Fox.  I don't know how fast the improvement will become evident, but I don't expect it to start in Week 1.  Jay Cutler, despite his innate talent, will continue to be an albatross around the neck of the Bears.  I see his record against the Packers going to 1-12, as the Packers win by a score of something like 28-17.

1 comment:

  1. Sloppy. Nelson was injured in the second game. The Packers wouldn't "even up the score for all time." They would even up the composite score for at most 2.5 months until they play again.