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Friday, November 1, 2013
The new master of the Bears

By Rob Demovsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There was a time when no one dominated the Chicago Bears like Brett Favre.

From 1994 to 2003, Favre went 18-2 against the Bears, including season sweeps the first five years and last three years of that stretch.

After the 1998 season, the Bears fired coach Dave Wannstedt in part because he couldn’t beat Favre. Wannstedt lost his last 10 games to Favre and the Packers.

In 16 seasons with the Packers, Favre went 22-10 against the Bears.

As good as Favre was against the Bears, Aaron Rodgers has been even better.

Since taking over for Favre as the starting quarterback in 2008, Rodgers has an 8-2 regular-season record against the Bears heading into Monday night's game at Lambeau Field. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 80 percent success rate is the best winning percentage by any quarterback with at least 10 starts in the Packers-Bears rivalry.

Even better than Favre’s (.688).

“It’s a special game,” said Rodgers, who also has a playoff victory against the Bears in the NFC Championship Game following the 2010 season. “The fans obviously really enjoy it. As players, we feel the intensity of the game. It’s the longest-running rivalry, I believe, in the NFL. A lot of history and tradition here. I think the teams of yesteryear maybe hated each other a little more than these two do, but I’m sure the fans feel the same way.”

Rodgers’ only two losses to the Bears both came on Monday Night Football -- in 2008 and 2010, both at Soldier Field.

That doesn’t mean Rodgers’ career numbers against the Bears are better than against other teams. In fact, Rodgers has fewer touchdown passes and a lower passer rating against the Bears than he does against either of the other two NFC North teams. His career passer rating against the Bears is 102.7 with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions, compared to 111.0 with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions against the Detroit Lions and 117.9 with 26 touchdowns and four interceptions against the Minnesota Vikings.

“Chicago, it’s a tough game every year,” Packers receiver Jordy Nelson said. “I think it’s a challenge for him and all of us on offense to go out there and play well against these guys, because their defense has always been so good and makes us go a long way. We know it’s going to be a grind, so I think maybe our focus is maybe a little bit more.”