#8: Rejected (2008)
It was and remains the coldest game in Bears-Packers history. One might call it a changing of the guard as Aaron Rodgers was just starting to establish himself as the Packers starter. Green Bay had already walloped the Bears earlier in the year 37-3. This game would decide whether or not Chicago had a shot at the playoffs. A Matt Forte touchdown in the fourth quarter made it 17-17 all.
However it looked like the Packers were set to win it on a 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. Then Bears defensive end Alex Brown swatted away their hopes, blocking the kick. This forced overtime and Chicago won with a field goal of their own shortly later.
#7: Toss to the Fridge (1985)
There was no hotter celebrity in the NFL back in 1985 than William Perry. “The Fridge” was becoming a modern day folk hero for fans, doing things a giant defensive tackle shouldn’t be able to do. It helped he had a head coach who was willing to try just about anything. His coming out party was a few weeks earlier when he scored his first touchdown in primetime against Green Bay.
His most memorable highlight though came at Lambeau Field. With Walter Payton killing them on the ground, the Packers bit hard on a play action fake at the goal line. Perry was in as an eligible receiver and actually went in motion. The defense never accounted for him and Jim McMahon lofted him a short touchdown pass. Chicago won 16-10, that play being the difference.
#6: Stealing the champs’ thunder (1963)
George Halas made his message clear to the Bears in 1963. He felt they could win a championship. The problem? In order to do that they would have to beat the Packers twice. This was the Vince Lombardi Packers who had reached three-straight NFL championship games and won the last two. Sure enough Chicago had to go up to City Stadium (later Lambeau Field) for the opener.
Most people didn’t give them a chance. It didn’t take long to discover that the Bears had something special brewing on defense. They intercepted Bart Starr four times and the offense did just enough with that to eek out a 10-3 victory, stunning the defending champs. Later that season the Bears won again at Wrigley Field. Halas was proven correct. Green Bay finished the year 11-2-1, Chicago 11-1-2. Those two victories were the difference in helping them win the title.
#5: Shutout at Lambeau (2006)
Brett Favre had a long, Hall of Fame career for the Packers. During that time he was practically invincible at Lambeau Field. So much in fact that out of 128 games played in that build, he was shutout only twice. That first time was opening day of the 2006 season. The team to do it? None other than the one he’d tortured for so many years in the Bears.
It was a perfectly executed game. The Bears defense harassed and frustrated Favre all day, holding him under 200 yards passing and intercepting him twice. A 49-yard bomb from Rex Grossman opened the scoring and an 84-yard punt return from little-known rookie Devin Hester put the nail in the coffin for a 26-0 victory.
#4: The Chicago steamroller (1980)
It was and remains the most lopsided victory by either team in the entire rivalry. The 1980 season was one of frustration for the Bears. They felt like they should’ve gone to the playoffs but a sputtering offense early in the year cost them in a number of key games. So on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, they decided to rain bombs down on the Packers to vent their anger.
Green Bay had no idea what hit them that day. Their own offense could do nothing against the Bears defense. Meanwhile the Chicago offense stampeded over the Packers all game long. Walter Payton and the rest of the running backs scored five touchdowns. Vince Evan, of all people, threw three more and the defense added an interception return for good measure in a 61-7 bludgeoning.
#3: The Walter Payton Game (1999)
The 1990s were a dark time for the Bears when it came to the Packers. From 1994 through 1998 they’d lost 10-straight games to Green Bay. Favre was at the peak of his powers, winning three MVPs and a Super Bowl. Few expected it to be any different in early November of 1999. The Bears were 3-5 and fresh off getting crushed 48-22 the previous week by Washington. The Packers were 4-3 and expected to get rolling in the second half of the season per usual.
Chicago didn’t have a prayer, but they may have had a guardian angel. Just six days prior franchise legend Walter Payton died from liver disease. The entire city was in a state of mourning. That game became a tribute to his memory. Somehow the Bears cobbled together a strong performance and sealed a 14-13 upset by blocking the winning field with seconds remaining. That loss led the Packers to missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
#2: Ruining Brett Favre night (2015)
The most recent entry on the list. Two years later and fans are still savoring the sweet nectar from that win. Another of those that most didn’t see coming. By 2015 the Bears were in transition. They had one of the oldest rosters in the NFL and an entirely new coaching staff. It was a cold, rainy night and the Packers were celebrating the career of Favre by placing them in their ring of honor.
Then a strange thing happened. The Bears came out tough. After falling behind 7-0, they tied the game up. Both teams went back and forth most of the game. In the end it was the Packers committing two uncharacteristic turnovers that enable Chicago to go ahead 17-13. Then the defense slammed the door shut at the goal line with time winding down. It was truly a day for giving thanks.
#1: First playoff meeting (1941)
Across decades of play against each, it’s incredible to think the Bears and Packers have only met twice in the playoffs. Fans these days of course remember the classic in the 2010 NFC championship at Soldier Field. They might not remember the first meeting way back in 1941. Rest assured though. That game would’ve been infinitely more hyped had it been played with modern media attention.
It was a class of the two best teams in the league. Chicago was 10-1, their only loss being to the Packers. Green Bay was 10-1, their only loss being to the Bears. A true clash of the titans, and also competing philosophies. Green Bay was a pass-first team led by Hall of Fame receiver Don Hutson. Chicago was ground-and-pound.
That day there was no doubt as to which was better. The Bears racked up 277 rushing yards and three touchdowns. They also intercepted the Packers twice and held Hutson to just one catch for 19 yards. The game was basically over by halftime, Chicago holding a 30-7 lead. By the final whistle they were victorious 33-14, going on to win their second of what would be four NFL championships in the decade.