The hundredth season of the NFL will open with the 199th meeting between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
The championship announced on Monday that they would give up the traditional opening-night game in which the Super Bowl winner hosts the first game of the year on Thursday of week 1.
Instead, one of the classic NFL rivalries will open the season Thursday 5 September from Chicago's Soldier field in prime time (8:20 pm ET on NBC). The championship has also announced that Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will open its season on Sunday Night Football at home against an opponent to be determined.
"As an organization, we're excited to kick off the 100th season of football in the NFL," Bears president George H. McCaskey said in a statement. "As a charter franchise, we can't think of a better way to start our centenary season than to host our longtime rival in the early evening at Soldier Field."
The announcement was made during the annual NFL meetings in Phoenix.
Last year, the Packers hosted Bears at Lambeau Field to open the historic hundredth football season in Green Bay (the Packers were founded before the NFL came to light).
The Packers won that game but lost week 15 in Chicago, where the Bears won the NFC North title.
The Packers have an advantage of the 97-95-6 series, including the playoffs, but they did not regain the advantage of the series until they beat the Bears in the fourth week of the 2017 season. That marked the first time they held the command of the series since 1933. The NFL opener will mark the first game for the new Packers trainer Matt LaFleur, who was hired in January.
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