Packers-Bears: Only 2nd Postseason Battle
Norm Standlee (22) of the Chicago Bears running the ball with the Packers' Clarke Hinkle (30) chasing him during the 1941 NFL Western Division playoff game. | File Photo: Milwaukee Sentinel
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MILWAUKEE - The Packers-Bears rivalry has the most history of any rivalry in pro football.
The two teams have played 181 times in their nearly century-long war, but there isn't much postseason history between the teams.
Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Chicaog will be only the second playoff contest between the squads.
Green Bay and Chicago have only met in the postseason once, in 1941.
The teams were tied with 10-1 records at the end of that season, and seven days after Pearl Harbor, they played a tiebreaking playoff game in Chicago.
A Milwaukee Sentinel review of the game says that Packers receivers, including hall-of-famer Don Hutson, dropped three touchdown passes, which turned out to be the difference in a 33-14 Bears win.
So why haven't the two most storied franchises in NFL history played more often in the postseason?
Before 1970, the only way teams in the same division could play in the playoffs was if they were tied for the title, like they were in 1941.
That was the only time that happened.
After 1970, two teams from the same division could make the playoffs if one of them was a wildcard team, and the Packers and Bears have only made the playoffs twice in the same season: 1994 and 2001.
Both teams got knocked out of the playoffs before they could play each other.