It is officially Packers week Bears fans.

On Thursday afternoon the NFL announced that the 2019-2020 season will kick off with a Thursday night primetime showdown between two of the most iconic teams in sports, who together make up the greatest rivalry the game has to offer. And if that isn’t enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, get this… it’s at Soldier Field.

(May 9, 2014 – Source: Jeff Schear/Getty Images North America)

Of course, the two teams met in week one of last season at Lambeau, where Aaron Rodgers orchestrated yet another one of his signature second half comebacks leaving Bears fans utterly stunned. Just a week earlier, in a move that shocked football fans everywhere, the Bears traded for All-Pro outside linebacker and defensive end Khalil Mack, a move that endowed fans with legitimate hope for the first time in nearly a decade. And after a first half that saw Mack dominate like few defensive players ever have, Matt Nagy line up for his first play in the T formation, and second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky take command of the offense, the young Bears stumbled and gave up a heartbreaking twenty-one point fourth quarter lead to Rodgers and Co. Suddenly, expectations were tempered, and the season moved forward with the understanding that the Bears were a talented team who still had a ways to go.

The rest of the 2018-2019 season saw this young Bears team mature and evolve like few in the past. A week two win against the Seahawks ushered in the debut of the iconic Club Dub, which was opened for business another eleven times before a wayward Cody Parkey kick unceremoniously ended what was the winningest Bears season since their 2006 Super Bowl birth. Now, as last season fades into the history books, and a new one sits on the not so distant horizon, Bears fans and players alike have been given a gift. The gift of payback. The people of Chicago and fans around the world expect nothing less than excellence, and this team that is filled with talent and youth is ready to take the step from a group that exceeded expectations a year ago, to one that will live up to undoubtedly high ones now. And this important next step on the road to the Lombardi begins on September 5th at 8:20 pm EST when the Bears have a chance to exercise the demons of last year’s bittersweet season by starting their run the way they should have a year ago: by thoroughly trouncing an inferior Packers team on National television.

This matchup will also feature a compelling reunion of sorts as Adrian Amos will return to Soldier Field where his replacement and former Packer Pro Bowler HaHa Clinton-Dix will make his Bears debut alongside All Pro and fellow Alabama alum Eddie Jackson. Third year quarterback Mitch Trubisky will look to build off of a strong sophomore campaign that saw him post an average rating of 102.4 over his last four games on his way to a first Pro Bowl appearance. Meanwhile, the Monsters of the Midway will make their return to primetime as the league’s best defense will look to stamp out a Packers team led by new head coach Matt LaFleur, and simultaneously end the horrifying Aaron Rodgers era once and for all. The matchup will mark the 199th game played between two of league’s oldest franchises, and the 100th year of its most iconic rivalry. But above all else, a Bears win represents a changing of the guard in the NFC North, and a solidifying of Chicago as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. I for one can’t wait to get Club Dub rocking again. Bear Down!