As part of the celebration of its 100th season, the NFL will have the Packers play at the Bears in the Thursday night kickoff game Sept. 5.
Traditionally, the Super Bowl champion is the home team for the prime-time opener, but the league wants to salute historic rivalries in 2019. No rivalry fits better than Chicago vs. Green Bay. The teams have met 200 times since 1921, when the Bears were the Chicago Staleys. Green Bay leads the series 97-95-6 in the regular season, with the clubs splitting two postseason meetings.
Staging the game at Soldier Field — even if it is a modernized version of the stadium — adds to the theme.
New England instead will open at home in the prime-time game Sunday night, Sept. 8. The opponent has not yet been determined.
The full schedule will be announced next month.