Packers-Bears Series History: Games in Green Bay (Part 1 of 3)

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 25: James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers catches a touchdown pass between Craig Steltz #20 and Zack Bowman #35 of the Chicago Bears during the first half on December 25, 2011 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

I know what you're thinking, the Packers used to play games in Milwaukee, so why am I only focusing on the games in Green Bay for this series history report? The reason for this is because the Packers and Bears only played once in Milwaukee, in 1974 (a game the Packers won 20-3) so I see very little reason to distinguish between where the games were played as all the other home games against the Bears have been played in Green Bay.

This series will be split up much the same way my writeups about series against divisional rivals were split up last year. Part 1 is Green Bay's home history against the Bears, while Part 2 will cover Green Bay's history against the Bears in Chicago and Part 3 will be a general series overview.

Currently, the Packers and Bears have faced each other 87 times in Green Bay. The Packers have the head-to-head series lead in games played in Green Bay, with 42 wins to Chicago's 40 with 5 ties (although there has not been a tie between the teams in Green Bay since 1943).

More after the jump.

The very first game between the teams in Wisconsin was a 3-0 Bears victory. The Packers were a good team throughout the 1920s, but Chicago was among the NFL's elite in those days. Green Bay generally lost to or tied the Bears up until the 1929 season, when the Packers went on the rampage. The Packers won the 1929 matchup 23-0 (which would be at least 49-0 in today's NFL) and they won the next two home games.

In 1933, the Bears and Packers began a long pattern of dueling for the division championship, with individual games often deciding who would win the Western Division title. The Packers tied the 1932 game and then lost eight of the next ten home games against Chicago despite winning two NFL championships during that span. In the mid-1940s, the teams traded wins in Green Bay, with neither team able to establish much dominance over the other.

By the late 1940s, the Packers were in the NFL cellar, and their 3-8 mark at home against the Bears from 1948-1958 reflected this. However, there was a bright spot. In 1957, the Packers moved into the new City Stadium, but this building's name was later changed to Lambeau Field. Their first game in the stadium was a 21-17 Packers win over the Bears, one of just three Green Bay wins all season.

With the arrival of Vince Lombardi in 1959, Green Bay's fortunes changed. The Packers went from the cellar to the pinnacle of the NFL, winning five championships. Green Bay then, not surprisingly, established home dominance over the Bears which lasted after Lombardi's retirement from coaching. From 1959-1975, the Packers won 13 of 17 home games against the Bears, never once having consecutive home losses to Chicago during that span. In 1962, the Packers set a record for largest margin of victory over the Bears by beating Chicago 49-0 (they would later defeat the Eagles by the same score that year). It is worth noting that by 1975, the Packers' win over the Bears was one of only four Packers wins all season as Green Bay once again fell into the NFL cellar.

Up until the early 1980s, the teams traded wins in Green Bay, with the Packers winning four of seven games from 1976-1983 in Green Bay (both 1982 games between the teams were cancelled due to the NFL strike that year). A memorable game occurred in 1980 when the Packers, in overtime, drove to attempt a game-winning Chester Marcol field goal. The Bears blocked the attempt, but the ball went straight to Marcol, who then ran around left end for the game-winning touchdown.

In 1984, Mike Ditka became the head coach of the Bears, and they won eight of the next nine Green Bay games against the Packers. In 1985, the Bears sent William Perry, a defensive tackle, barreling in for a touchdown from one yard out. Four years later, the Packers got some revenge. In 1989, a late game-winning touchdown which was overturned by a call on the field was reversed on instant replay, and the Packers beat the Bears 14-13 in Green Bay. The Bears refused to acknowledge this result and have indicated this game in their media guides with an asterisk ever since.

In 1993, the Packers finally beat the Bears in Green Bay, beginning a six-game home win streak against Chicago. The Bears won in 1999 and 2000 (that 2000 game is the only regular season Packers game I have ever attended), but the Packers came back by winning in 2001-2003.

Lovie Smith became the Bears' coach in 2004, and his first goal as coach was to beat Green Bay. The added motivation for beating the Bears did not work as the Bears gave Smith his first win as coach by beating the Packers 21-10 in Green Bay. Chicago would win the next three home games as well, beating the Packers in Lambeau four times in the last four years with Favre as Green Bay's quarterback.

In 2008, Aaron Rodgers took over as Packers quarterback. His first start against the Bears was midway through the 2008 season, a 37-3 Packers win in Lambeau Field. The 2009 and 2010 games were memorable as Green Bay needed a last-second comeback to win the 2009 home opener and then needed to beat the Bears in 2010 to make the playoffs that season. The Packers won both games by thin margins. In 2011, the teams met for the second time in their history on Christmas Day (the previous game was the 2005 game at Lambeau Field, a 24-17 Bears win). Rodgers threw five touchdown passes to lead the Packers to a 35-21 win which clinched home-field advantage for the Packers and eliminated the Bears from postseason contention.

What are your memories of Green Bay hosting the Bears?

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