Packers-Bears Battle for NFC North

One of the biggest rivalries in the NFL will take center stage this Sunday evening when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears.  The Packers sit at 5-3, a game behind division leader Detroit, while the Bears are currently 3-5 and have lost four of their last five games after opening the season 2-1.

The median price for Bears vs. Packers tickets is $262 currently, the most expensive game remaining on the Packers schedule.

This will be the first game of an upcoming home stretch for Green Bay. After hosting Chicago, the Philadelphia Eagles will visit Lambeau Field after which the Packers will play at Minnesota.  Then, they will host the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, capping four home games over a five week span.  All five games will be difficult tests for this Green Bay team that many thought was the class of the NFC until their 44-23 loss to New Orleans on October 26th.

Meanwhile, Chicago looked very impressive through three weeks of the season with road wins against the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets. In Week 4, they hosted Green Bay, who was coming off a disappointing 19-7 loss to Detroit and facing a potential 1-3 start to the season.  The game was never really competitive after the first half as Aaron Rodgers threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns and the Pack rolled to a 38-17 victory.

Since that loss, the Bears have looked poor on both sides of the football.  Their only other win was a 27-13 victory over the 2-6 Atlanta Falcons.  They’ve lost all three of their home games and have been outscored 78-37 in their latest two defeats to the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. In addition, there have been reports of a lack of leadership on the team with many believing head coach Marc Trestman’s job security is in doubt.

For Chicago to have a realistic opportunity at getting into the postseason, they’re going to need a win Sunday night in Green Bay. Chicago still has a relatively daunting schedule ahead of them with two games remaining against the Lions, as well as visits from the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.  If they can win this weekend and get to 4-5, they’ll be able to afford a loss or two in those games and still be able to get to 9-10 wins.

Green Bay’s schedule is no walkover either, with remaining dates with the aforementioned Eagles and Patriots as well as a road game against Buffalo and a Week 17 home matchup with Detroit. They’ve already dropped one game to the Lions so they will need to enter that final game with at least 1.) the same record as Detroit or 2.) a game behind and a better divisional record than the Lions.  A loss to Chicago would hurt their chances in both scenarios so a win would be a big step in getting Green Bay in position to take home the NFC North yet again.