Confirmed: Packers to open 2019 season in Chicago against Bears

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The Chicago Bears will host rivals the Green Bay Packers in the first game of the 2019 National Football League season on September 5.

The Patriots, who are the defending Super Bowl champions, will open on Sunday night instead. A healthy upswing in local viewership of Bears games helped push overall NFL ratings up as the league moved past the issues that had dogged the 2016 and 2017 seasons, including anthem protests and concerns about a prime-time glut. The Packers are coming off of their 100th season celebration past year, failing to reach the playoffs and culminating with a 6-9-1 record.

The Packers hold a 97-95-6 series advantage, including playoffs, but did not retake the series lead until they beat the Bears in Week 4 of the 2017 season.

It will be the 200th meeting between the NFC North rivals since 1921, when the Bears were the Chicago Staleys. They won both games. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, New England will learn the details of their Sunday Night matchup later this spring when the full 2019 regular season schedule is revealed.

The Browns, Cowboys, and Chiefs are good candidates to be the Patriots' opponent in Week 1, but that's just guesswork.

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