NFL Schedule for 2019 Preview: New Season Opens With Old Rivals

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 4:55 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019 4:55 PM UTC

It’s the centenary season of the NFL and in honor of this momentous landmark, it seems the powers that be at the NFL have been changing up a few scheduling regulars.

In recent years, the NFL schedule has featured the defending Super Bowl champions in the opening game of the season. The upcoming season will be different because of its symbolic nature. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots will not be the marquee act in the first game. They’ll instead herald in the first installment of Sunday Night Football – against a yet undetermined team. Meanwhile, the honors for Thursday Night Football (Sept. 5 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC) – the very first game of the 2019 NFL season – will go to… drumroll…..wait for it…….the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

Chicago will host Green Bay at Soldier Field, marking the 199th collision between the NFC North rivals. Green Bay leads the all-time head-to-head record, which began in 1921, by a 97-95-6 margin.

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The @NFL will open its 100th season with the league’s oldest rivalry.

Packers 🆚 Bears on Thursday, Sept. 5, at Soldier Field!

📰: https://t.co/82JeWgP2q9 #NFL100 #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/F6TvxUqVem

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) March 25, 2019
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Naturally, it is only fitting that one of the oldest rivalries in the league kicks off the 100th season of the NFL. And there is no better rivalry really. Who doesn’t want to see the Hail Mary King Aaron Rodgers and the young up-and-coming Chicago quarterback Mitch Trubisky go toe-to-toe?

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The NFL’s 100th season will kick off with @packers at @ChicagoBears on Thursday September 5th, 2019! #NFL100 pic.twitter.com/aGvs22AvNe

— NFL (@NFL) March 25, 2019
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Last season the Bears and Packers split the series 1-1, with the Bears winning their last meeting 24-17 at Soldier Field. The victory marked the first in eight meetings at Soldier Field between the pair (Rodgers and the Packers had won seven in a row prior on the road).

In 2018, the Packers hosted the Bears in week 1 and Rodgers, true to form, led the Packers in an incredible come-from-behind 24-23 victory, all the while hobbled by injury. Chicago finished the season atop the NFC North with a 12-5-0 record for the first time since 2006. The Packers had one of their worst seasons in forever, parting with their long-time coach and finishing with a 6-9-1 record, only just escaping the bottom of the pile that went to the Detroit Lions (6-10-0).

The Bears closed as the +6.5 road underdogs but covered in week 1’s 24-23 loss to the Packers at Lambeau. The scoreline cracked the closing total of O/U 45. In the pairs’ second meeting of the season, the Bears closed as the -6.0 home favorites and covered in the 24-17 victory over the Packers. The scoreline didn’t crack the closing O/U total of 46.5.

Westgate has rolled out opening NFL lines for the NFC North with the Bears favored to repeat as champions. Currently, the Bears are still the top faves with prices hovering around the +170 mark, while the Packers emerge as the second faves, just marginally trailing the Bears at +180 or thereabouts depending on your choice top-rated sportsbook. The Vikings follow at around +200 while the Lions round out the NFC North as the far-flung, four-digit longshots at +1000.

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