Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 12/11/12
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- So many aspects of the NFL are changing. Defensive players are being penalized and fined for what only a couple years ago would have been considered clean and legal hits, rookie quarterbacks are transitioning seamlessly from college without needing any years of learning on the bench and its possible that kickoffs could soon be eliminated from the league entirely. But regardless of how much changes, one constant has been the classic 91-year rivalry between the Green Bay and Chicago: When the Packers (9-4) and Bears (8-5) meet for the 186th time Sunday afternoon in Chicago, as has so often been the case, the game will have a significant impact on both teams playoff situation. For Green Bay, its simple: Beat the Bears and the NFC North title belongs to the Packers. It would be Green Bays second head-to-head win of the season over its longest-standing rival, which, combined with other tiebreakers, would officially send Chicago out of contention in the division. "The bigger picture, in my view, is really that it's the Packers and the Bears," coach Mike McCarthy said. "Any time we play, it's significant. To have that division championship on the line even makes it better." As if McCarthy needed any reminders of the enormity of this rivalry, that point was hammered home when Packers legends such as Willie Davis began leaving voicemails for him early this week. "We're focused on beating the Bears down there (in Chicago)," McCarthy said. "It's a tough place to play. We'd love to wrap up the division and hopefully be playing for more the next two weeks. But this is about the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears." Though the Bears hold an edge in the all-time series at 92-87-6, its been all Packers in recent years. Green Bay has won five straight and seven of the last eight games. At the moment, the Packers and Bears are heading in opposing directions. Green Bay, after beginning the season with a disappointing 2-3 record, has won seven of its last eight games. Unlike last seasons 15-1 Packers, this years team hasnt put together many dominant performances. But, in the NFL, sometimes a win is all that matters. Chicago is finding that out the hard way right now, having lost four of its last five games and letting its firm grasp on the NFC North lead slip away. "Its going to be ugly at times, but the main thing is the wins," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. A win Sunday -- ugly or not -- for the Packers not only means another division title but also, at worst, a home playoff game to kick off the postseason. If Green Bay finishes as the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the NFC, it would host a game on wild-card weekend. However, a Packers win over the Bears also will give Green Bay a legitimate shot at a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed if the San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) falter at all down the stretch. "(Winning the) division is the first goal and getting to 10 wins, and then we can start talking about the p-word, " Rodgers said of the playoffs. "We can wrap things up (in Chicago); tough opponent, tough place to play, a lot on the line." Rodgers wont say "the p-word" until its official, but beating a tough opponent (Bears) in a tough place (Soldier Field) with a lot on the line (division title) will give the NFLs reigning Most Valuable Player all the clearance he needs to begin saying "playoffs" freely. Obtaining that vocabulary freedom against the Bears would give Rodgers word choice even more impact. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for contact with official

Report: Rockets fear Chris Paul could miss a month with knee injury

15 key questions for NFL Week 7

Vin Scully will not make appearance during World Series

Leonard Fournette still not practicing ahead of Week 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dusty Baker calls Nationals dismissal ‘hard to understand’

Draymond Green feels ‘big relief’ that knee injury was minor

Bradford ruled out of Week 7, expected to play again in 2017

NFL on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘We’re not looking to make a deal’

Brad Stevens: Hayward 'pretty positive' following surgery

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly ruled out for Week 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker