The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will continue their rivalry and will determine if the NFC North will become a logjam at the top at the season’s midway point on Monday Night Football (8 ET/ESPN). A Bears win turns the race into a three-way tie. A Packers win would keep them in sole possession of first place.
Here are five stats to know heading into tonight’s game.
1. The Packers have won five straight games against the Bears and 10 straight home games overall. They also haven’t lost a regular-season home game in November or later since 2009.
This is the 11th time these teams have met on Monday Night Football, having split the first 10 meetings, but the first time the Bears and Packers have played a Monday night game in Green Bay since 1997. The Bears have won the last two Monday Night Football meetings between the teams, each by a score of 20-17.
2. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Aaron Rodgers' .800 win percentage (8-2) against the Bears is the best by any quarterback with at least 10 starts in the Bears-Packers rivalry (Brett Favre ranks second, .688 win percentage).
3. A potential key to this game could be how effective the Packers are at throwing the deep ball. Rodgers has completed 50 percent of his throws that went at least 20 yards downfield in 2013 (16-of-32). That rate is tied with Russell Wilson for the best mark in the NFL (min. 15 attempts).
The Bears are allowing opponents to complete 57 percent of their throws of that distance, the second-worst mark in the NFL entering Week 9. Last season, opponents completed only 29 percent of their throws of at least 20 yards downfield against the Bears defense.
4. The Packers’ running game has come alive this season and has become a major threat. Three of Green Bay's top four rushing performances over the last five seasons have come in the last five games. Green Bay has had an 80-yard rusher in each of the last six games, the longest streak in a single season in franchise history.
5. The Bears will be without starting QB Jay Cutler who injured his groin Week 7 against the Redskins. Since the Bears acquired him in 2009, they are 2-6 in games started by other QBs, while averaging nearly 10 points fewer than when Cutler is in the lineup. Chicago quarterbacks not named Jay Cutler have combined to throw eight touchdowns and 21 interceptions over that span.