Breakdown: Chicago Bears record vs. NFC North
|Friday, July 10, 2020, 10:27 AM- -|
Known as the Black and Blue division for a reason, the NFC North is where the Bears call home as they have some fierce rivals in this division. From the Packers to the Vikings to the Lions, Chicago knows that every NFL season, they will see these teams six times a year and will be in for some great battles. Two of these teams, they have been facing since the 1930s with the Vikings joining forces in the 1960s. For the most part, Chicago has held their own against the North.
DETROIT LIONS: Not only have the Lions never won a Superbowl, but they are just one of a handful of teams who have yet to play in a Superbowl despite being in existence for now 90 years. Add in the fact that this team hasn't won a postseason game since the Barry Sanders era and has only made the playoffs twice since 2000, and you can see why the Lions franchise has been one of the worst for quite some time.
Detroit also has futility next to their name as they were the first NFL franchise ever to go 0-16, which is not something to be proud of. Dating back to the team's first meeting in 1930 in which the Lions, then known as the Portsmouth Spartans, came out on top 7-6, Chicago has drastically owned this overall series as they post a 101-74-5 record heading into the 2020 season.
Going through the course of history between the two sides, Chicago ultimately owned the series in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s in which they had multiple seven-game winning streaks, including an 11 game winning streak that covered six seasons. Detroit started to have a bit more success against the Bears in the 1960s and 1970s, but once again, the Bears dominated in the 1980s, winning ten straight over five years.
The last time the Lions had any real success was from 2014-2016 when Detroit won six consecutive meetings, but lately, it has been all Bears once again as they have won four straight and five of the last six. Chicago endured two challenging games from Detroit last season in which the Bears emerged victorious 20-13 at home, and then 24-20 three weeks later the road.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: The youngest of the NFC North Franchises, the Vikings were one of the most successful teams in the 1970s getting to four Superbowls with Bud Grant as their coach. Not only did Minnesota come away empty-handed in all four tries, but they have not been back to the big game since despite having several solid teams.
While this isn't the premier rivalry in the division, it certainly has gotten more heated as of late with the Bears having the upper hand recently to close the series gap to 56-60-2. Minnesota made their presence felt in the team's first meeting in 1961 when they dismantled the Bears 37-13 before failing to win until 1964 against the same team. During that stretch, the Bears ripped off five wins to go with one tie.
The latter part of the 1960s is when the Bears controlled the series, but as mentioned above the Vikings had their most success as a franchise in the 1970s and imposed their will on Chicago winning eight straight meetings at one point, and 15 of 17 overall as the Bears seemed overmatched at times. Once we got to the 1980s, and 90's the Bears started to have a bit more success overall but never could put a run together like the Vikings did as Minnesota continued to lead the overall series.
Since the 2000s and really the 2010 decade, Chicago has had Minnesota's number more and more, especially at Soldier Field, where the Vikings have lost 15 of 18 games since the start of the 2000 season. Along with those struggles at Soldier field, the Bears have also managed to win four straight games against the Vikings overall, including two-straight at US Bank Stadium in which their 2018 victory knocked Minnesota out of the playoffs that season.
The Bears saw Minnesota early in the year last season in which Chase Daniel came on in relief of an injured Mitch Trubisky and helped the Bears win 16-6. Then in week 17, Chicago doubled up for the second straight year as they made life miserable for Sean Mannion and the Minnesota backups using a late-game score to win 21-19 on the road to finish 8-8.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: We have reached the greatest rivalry in the NFL as these two teams have met over 200 times in their existence. Although the Packers have dominated the series over the past two decades with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers as their QB, the teams have nearly played to a series split with the Packers holding a 99-95-6 edge.
Say what you want about this rivalry, but these two teams also have the most all-time wins among NFL franchises, and the most NFL championships. That is what you call a model of consistent success. You have to go back to 1920 when the Bears were called the Chicago Staleys for their first meeting as Chicago not only won that game 20-0 but won the first three matchups between the two. The Bears ended up going 9-1-1 over the first 11 meetings between the two before the Packers went on to win seven straight and nine of 10.
This was a rivalry that was filled with domination for three decades as the Bears certainly had the Packers number from the 1930s and into the 1950s. Once the 1960s arrived, it was Green Bay starting to get the upper hand as Vince Lombardi helped paved the way for a solid franchise that went on to win the first two Super bowls.
The dark days in Green Bay were during the Bears prime as a franchise as Chicago won 10 of 11 meetings during the 1980s, before winning six more in the early 1990s. Once Favre took over for the Packers in 1992, things went south in a hurry for Chicago as the Packers won 10 consecutive games from 1993 to 1998 before the Bears tasted victory again.
After a win in 2000, Chicago once again struggled to knock off Favre as he guided the Packers to seven more wins through 2003 before the Bears answered by winning six of the next 10. Just when you thought things would get better once Favre left, a guy named Rodgers stepped in and has had equal success.
Not only did Rodgers win six straight at one point and 13 of 15, but he knocked off the Bears at home in the 2011 NFC championship game in 2011, which led Green Bay to the Superbowl title that season. Two years later, in a winner take all game for the division, Rodgers returned from a busted collar bone to haunt the Bears again as his fourth-down bomb to Randall Cobb lifted the Packers 33-28 and gave Green Bay the North title. The nightmares of the past 30 years against Green Bay continue for Chicago.
Even though the Bears have lost seven of the last eight meetings dating back to 2016, the encouraging sign is that Chicago has been in a lot of those games, including both their 10-3 and 21-13 losses last season. That shows that Chicago is on the cusp of figuring out GB. The last time the Bears were able to pick up a win came in 2018 when Chicago was able to intercept Rodgers late in the game to secure a 24-17 win at home.
Overall division record: 252-233-13: This record shouldn't surprise all that much given how much the Bears have dominated the Lions and how close the other two series are. The fact is, no matter how good or bad the Bears and the rest of the division are from season to season, you can expect nothing but good competitive division matchups. This is the kind of division NFL fans love to see as anyone can beat anyone on a given day.