It's the most storied rivalry in the National Football League, pitting the small-market Packers against the big-city Bears.
Since 1921, these rivals—and their ardent fans—have battled for bragging rights in their annual gridiron clashes.
In the 185th meeting at Lambeau Field Thursday night, before a national television audience, the Green Bay defense and a trick play ignited the Packers to a 23-10 victory.
Linebacker Clay Matthews was virtually unstoppable, recording 3.5 of Green Bay's seven sacks of Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. Cornerback Tramon Williams, who negated the Bears top receiver, Brandon Marshall, snared two of the Packers' four interceptions.
Four days after a sound defeat by San Francisco, football fans in Wisconsin can breathe a sigh of relief: the Packers are 1-1 and now have a welcome break before facing the Seahawks in Seattle on Monday, Sept. 24th.
Packer Nation can also feel good about four consecutive regular-season victories over Chicago—five straight if you include the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
The vaunted Green Bay offense sputtered in the first half, but a gutsy special teams call on 4th-down-and-27 by head coach Mike McCarthy turned the momentum of the game.
Leading 3-0 in the second quarter, the Packers were attempting a field goal after a drive stalled at the Bears' 27.
In a play that will go down in Green Bay-Chicago lore, the Packers flawlessly executed a fake field goal that caught the Bears defenders totally by surprise.
Holder Tim Masthay flipped a short pass to a circling Tom Crabtree who then rumbled untouched to the end zone.
"I have a perfect quarterback rating," quipped Masthay in the victor's locker room. "The call was made at the sideline (to run the play) and it worked perfectly."
Green Bay went into halftime with a 13-0 lead and the momentum. The Bears mustered just four first downs and 47 net yards, and Cutler posted a 16.7 passer rating.
Williams, Charles Woodson and Jerron McMillian intercepted Cutler in the second half, as the Packers opened up a 23-3 lead on Rodgers' 26-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver, who showcased his Western dance moves in an end-zone celebration.
The Bears scored their lone touchdown with 6:49 remaining when Cutler threw a 21-yard touchdown strike to Kellen Davis. Marshall had dropped a perfect throw in the end zone on an earlier drive, one of the few plays Cutler wasn't under pressure.
While the Green Bay offense and Rodgers was far from perfect, they were efficient enough to roll up 19 first downs and 321 yards against a solid Chicago defense.
Cedric Benson was a workhorse, rushing 20 times for 81 yards and catching four passes for 35 more against his former employer. Rodgers was 22 of 32 for 219 yards, despite several drops by his receiving corps throughout the game. He threw one touchdown pass and was intercepted one for a pedestrian 85.2 quarterback rating.
"We needed this," said reserve running back Alex Green. "This is a great rivalry game and we wanted to get the win at home after losing our opener."