NFL to kick off 100th season with Bears-Packers

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The NFL will kick off its 100th season by honoring its oldest rivalry.

The league on Monday announced the Bears are scheduled to host the Packers on Sept. 5 in the opening game of the 2019 season.

Chicago and Green Bay first played in 1921 and have faced each other 198 times since, with the Packers holding a 97-95-6 edge. The NFC North showdown confirms a February report that had hinted at a tentative Thanksgiving Day slate that is rumored to include the Bears, Dolphins, Lions and Cowboys.

“As an organization, we are thrilled to be kicking off the 100th season of football in the NFL,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey said in a release. “As a charter franchise, we cannot think of a better way to begin our centennial season by hosting our longtime rival in prime time at Soldier Field.”

It marks just the second time since 2006 that the Super Bowl champion will not appear in the league’s opening game. Instead, the defending champion Patriots will host the season’s first “Sunday Night Football” matchup on Sept. 8 against an opponent to be announced at a later date. New England will also host a ceremony to raise its Super Bowl 53 banner.

The full NFL schedule is set to be released in April.