Packers-Bears Kicking Off the 2019 NFL Season?
On Thursday night in the first game of the NFL season, it is usually the Super Bowl winner hosting that game. It appears that the league could be changing that policy next season. It will be their 100th year as an establishment. My guess is there will be some tentpole events around it. Rumors are leaking out that the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will be the first matchup of the year on Thursday night. That makes a great deal of sense considering it is the 100th year, it’s the longest rivalry and kicking it off in Chicago where the NFL can do a bunch of things leading up to the game.
Hearing the Packers at Bears game will likely be the 2019 season’s Thursday Kickoff Game to recognize the NFL’s 100th anniversary.
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) February 3, 2019
Couple thoughts on this potential matchup. One, it sucks Green Bay has to start the season again versus a division rival. It would be nice to play a below-average team to start the season for once in my lifetime, but it comes with the territory of being a popular team. Two, I believe they will not have to play a Thursday game the rest of the season. I could be wrong about that, but the Packers get an advantage there. If not, they still get a couple extra days early in the season for Week 2. Three, it puts a ton of pressure on Matt LaFleur in his first game. National spotlight, biggest rival and on the road. That’s very tough.
We’ll see if the NFL goes forward with this plan. If they do go forward with this plan, NFL will likely pass up on potential matchups like New England playing Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Cleveland at home. If the Rams were to win, the NFL misses out on them playing New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago or Seattle.
We’ll see what happens when the schedule comes out in April.