If you want the NFL’s oldest and most historic rivalry, look no further than the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. The two franchises have played more than any two teams in league history with over 200 all-time matchups. As bitter division rivals for much of that time, there have been countless heated moments between the Packers and Bears over the years. While it wasn’t easy, we picked out the five wildest and craziest moments from the Packers-Bears rivalry that prove it’s not only the NFL’s oldest but also one of the league’s best rivalries.
Packers 24, Bears 23 (2018)
The Bears looked like a team making a statement in Week 1 by taking a 20-0 lead and knocking Aaron Rodgers out of the game with a knee injury.
However, Rodgers returned from his injury in the second half and threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, turning a 20-3 fourth-quarter deficit into a 24-23 Green Bay win. It was the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in franchise history, and it fittingly came against the Bears.
Packers 35, Bears 28 (1995)
With a one-game lead over Green Bay in the NFC Central standings heading into this game, the Bears had a chance to seize control of the division with a win, especially with Brett Favre’s status up in the air because of a sprained ankle.
But Favre played, and he played like a Hall of Famer, throwing for 336 yards and five touchdowns. Erik Kramer did his best to match Favre with 318 passing yards. But Kramer’s last-second heave into the end zone fell incomplete, giving the Packers a narrow win behind Favre’s heroic performance.
Packers 14, Bears 13 (1989)
When this game kicked off, the Bears had won eight in a row over the Packers. They were 41 seconds away from their ninth in a row with the Packers trailing 13-7 on fourth and goal at the 14-yard line. On fourth down, Green Bay quarterback Don Majkowski scrambled out of trouble and somehow threaded the needle to Sterling Sharpe in the end zone.
However, the officials threw a flag claiming that Majkowski had crossed the line of scrimmage before he released the ball. Using a VCR, replay officials reversed the call, giving the Packers the touchdown. With the PAT, Green Bay won the game and snapped its eight-game losing streak against the Bears in what is still called the “Instant Replay Game.”
Packers 21, Bears 14 (2010 NFC Championship Game)
Somehow, the 2010 NFC Championship Game was the first postseason game in this rivalry since 1941. Green Bay took a 14-0 lead while the Bears got down to third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie after Jay Cutler was injured and Todd Collins struggled. Hanie led a touchdown drive to make it 14-7, only to throw a pick-six to give Green Bay a 21-7 lead.
The Bears answered again to pull within a touchdown but Hanie’s second interception proved decisive. Green Bay held on to win and then beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl.
Bears 12, Packers 10 (1986)
While a close and competitive game, the score in this game doesn’t mean much. This meeting is most remembered for Green Bay’s Charles Martin having an apparent hit list of five Chicago players on a towel, including Walter Payton and quarterback Jim McMahon. After McMahon threw an interception, Martin body-slammed him to the ground, separating McMahon’s shoulder and ending his season.
Martin was ejected and suspended for two more games, which at the time was the harshest punishment in NFL history. While the Bears won the game, without McMahon, they had little hope of repeating as Super Bowl champs. In a way, the Packers got what they wanted but did it in an unsportsmanlike way.