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Windy City Gridiron picks Bears-Packers

Barring a helping hand, it’s all or nothing for the Bears against their long-time rivals. The playoffs start now.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL’s oldest rivalry, one might be surprised at what they find when they actually look at the ledger of significant head to head games. So many names. So many legends. So many championships. But often little incentive for both sides when the time to put up or shut up arrives.

For as much as history and tradition as there is between the Bears and Packers, it’s been a long time since these two teams played a late-season game against each other where both had something to gain from a win. Aside from moments like the 2011 NFC Championship Game, the Bears and Packers have simply not been relevant enough, simultaneously, to routinely have anything meaningful on the line in a December, or even January game. (Draft order and positioning doesn’t count. We’re talking playoff implications.)

This Sunday, that changes. While the Bears can technically clinch a playoff spot with an Arizona defeat, it’s win and you’re in for Matt Nagy’s bunch. Meanwhile, after another stellar season at the helm for Matt LaFleur’s crew, Green Bay can clinch the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a win of their own. More importantly, they can clinch the only playoff bye under the tournament’s new format.

All of the makings of a de facto playoff game without the special trimmings of January. This is relatively unprecedented territory for pro football’s two greatest mainstays. Oh what fun the New Year shall bring.

Windy City Gridiron’s staff picks Bears-Packers and every other NFL game this weekend.

Windy City Gridiron Podcast Channel which includes Bear With Me from Robert Schmitz, Bears Over Beers featuring Jeff Berckes & EJ Snyder, Bears Banter hosted by Bill Zimmerman, and T Formation Conversation from Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.; EJ also co-hosts The Bootleg Football Podcast with Brett Kollmann; R. Schmitz has a film breakdown show on YouTube titled Run Pass Opinion; and Steven’s Streaming Twitch Channel from Steven Schweickert.

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