Being such an old franchise, the Green Bay Packers have been involved in some of professional sports’ longest rivalries.
Since 1919, they have met their match against the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings—mainly the NFC North. And yet, the Packers also count the Dallas Cowboys among their rivals. Here is an accounting of those rivalries and some insight into what to expect in the season/s ahead.
The Green Bay Packers’ 4 biggest rivals:
1. Detroit Lions
The fans of Detroit are seething with envy for the city of Green Bay.
The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers rivalry has been running for 80 years straight, as they are the only teams to have played against each other in every season since 1932.
However, the rivalry is dependent on its longevity more than its overall competitiveness. The Packers maintain a 93–65–7 advantage over the Lions in the all-time series, and a 2-0 record in the postseason.
Because the rivalry is so lopsided in the Packers favor, most Packers fans would probably consider this to be a mini-rivalry when compared to other NFC North foes. Nevertheless, the improving Lions fully intend to make this a real neck-and-neck battle.
2. Dallas Cowboys
The rivalry originates from the NFC Championship meetings of the 1960’s.
The Packers first two Super Bowl victories, leading to the “Lombardi Trophy,” both featured NFC Championship match-ups between the two franchises, including the famous “Ice Bowl”. The Packers won in the deciding half-minute of each game. Had the Cowboys prevailed, it could have been the “Landry Trophy.”
The rivalry went on hiatus for nearly thirty years, but heated up again in the 1990’s, when the Cowboys got their payback. Their dynasty team was the biggest obstacle for the Packers Super Bowl aspirations during those years.
When the Cowboys began to fade, the Packers capitalized with two consecutive Super Bowl appearances and one championship. Still, the Packers could never outgun the Cowboys with Brett Favre playing at Cowboys Stadium.
The regular season match-ups have always been critical because of home-field implications. The Packers couldn’t win in Dallas, and the Cowboys never want to play at Lambeau Field in January.
Nowadays, both teams find themselves among the top contenders in the NFC, and they will continue to battle not only for superiority, but for bragging rights as well.
*Fact: The current starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys (Tony Romo) happened to grow up in Burlington, Wisconsin.
3. Minnesota Vikings
The Packers and the Vikings formed what was considered to be one of the most intense rivalries in the NFL and due to many close games and the fact that both teams have often fought for the NFC North title.
This rivalry is fueled by success. The Vikings have won the most division titles with 18, but the Packers have more Super Bowls with four—that’s compared to the Vikes’ zero.
The first time the two teams met in the postseason was at Lambeau Field in a 2004 NFC Wild Card game when the Vikes shocked the Pack, 31-17. That game saw Vikings’ wide receiver Randy Moss score two touchdowns.
On Moss’ last score, he infamously pretended to moon the crowd at Lambeau.
The Vikings are known for luring players away from the Pack. Ryan Longwell, Darren Sharper, Robert Ferguson and of course, Brett Favre, Green Bay’s beloved son, all signed with the Vikings after playing in Green Bay. Now, Greg Jennings and Desmond Bishop, who both won a Super Bowl with the Packers, will wear purple next season.
Last year, both teams competed for the NFC North title, which the Packers won. Expect this rivalry to reach new levels with the match-up between last two seasons’ MVPs: Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.
4. Chicago Bears
The NFL’s longest and most storied rivalry, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have played in 182 games, with the Bears holding a 92–88–6 advantage. Ejections, playoff match-ups, coaching hires, and explicit hits are just a few of the highlights from this rivalry.
Combined, these two teams have a staggering 21 NFL championships.
It started as a friendly relationship in 1921 when “Papa Bear” George Halas, founder of the Chicago Bears, opted for the Packers to remain a part of the league when they were almost kicked out for using three college players in 1921. During the 60’s, Halas was suspected to have spied on the Packers to the point that Vince Lombardi had to change his players’ uniforms and line-ups during their games.[sc:Other240banner ]
In all the years that Halas and Lombardi coached against each other, they never once shook hands after a game.
The Packers and Bears rivalry may have peaked during the 2011 NFC Championship game. They had previously collided in the playoffs on one occasion following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Bears won that match-up en route to a championship. Similarly, the Packers won the 2011 NFC Championship match-up 21-14, eventually winning the Super Bowl.
Now, both teams are ready to make a run in the very competitive NFC North thanks to their star quarterbacks, the Packers’ Rodgers and the Bears’ Jay Cutler. Plus, we can’t forget how much Bears’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall dislikes the Packers.
Rivalries have and will always play a vital role in why this sport is so special. Green Bay will surely have their hands full against these teams this 2013.
Tune in to Top Bet for updates and to view the NFL odds for the rivalry games this NFL season.[sc:PackersArticles ]
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