What to watch for in Packers-Bears opener – NFL.com

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Football is here. Real, competitive professional football with stakes is back in our lives, starting this Thursday night.
And what a way to start.
Kicking off the National Football League’s 100th season is not the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots but two of the league’s oldest franchises engaging in an age-old rivalry: the 199th edition of Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers.
The two NFC stalwarts opened last season on Sunday Night Football, when Green Bay came back to defeat Chicago at Lambeau Field in a 24-23 instant classic. This year, the Packers will take on the Bears at Soldier Field on Thursday night to kick-start their campaigns. Green Bay enters with a 97-95-6 advantage in their all-time series.

Thursday’s events will either pull the Bears one game closer to tying the rivalry record and gaining one leg up in the division race or distance the Packers’ all-time lead and give Green Bay its first road victory of the year, matching last season’s total.
We’ve been looking forward to this opener for months, hashing out every matchup and detail to the extreme. But there’s still anticipation to build and one more preview to read.
Here’s what to watch for during Thursday evening’s season opener at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC:
1. How will Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense perform in their first game under Matt LaFleur?
On Thursday night, Rodgers will start a season opener for the very first time without Mike McCarthy calling shots from the sideline. Mike has been replaced with Matt. The first

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