Rule changes soon ensued, but if the Packers had beaten the Bears the previous week, the Spartans would have been crowned champions without the indoor game and who knows when the passing game might have evolved?

6. On the way to 73-0, Nov. 3, 1940, Wrigley Field: Bears 14-7.

The Bears opened their season with a 41-10 victory in Green Bay and were 5-1 when they met the 4-2 Packers for the second time.

The Bears won 14-7 when Gary Famiglietti scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter. With Hutson the league's foremost receiver, the Packers got to the 20-yard line three times in the fourth quarter but the Bears' defense held.

The Bears ended up 8-3, which gave them the right to play the Washington Redskins in their most famous title game. The Packers finished second in the West at 6-4-1. If they had won that second encounter, they would have placed ahead of the Bears and might have beaten the Redskins 74-0.

7. War games, Nov. 7, 1943, Wrigley Field: Bears 21-7.

With the league reduced to eight teams because of the war, the Bears and Packers tied in the season opener and met in the second game knowing it probably would decide the Western title.

The Bears still had Hall of Famers Sid Luckman, Danny Fortmann, George Musso, and Bulldog Turner and lured Nagurski back to play tackle five years after his retirement. The Packers had Tony Canadeo and Hutson.

The 5-0-1 Bears beat the 4-1-1 Packers when Luckman threw a 38-yard pass to Harry Clarke in the third quarter.

After the Bears lost to the Redskins two weeks later, they had to beat the crosstown Cardinals in the season finale to stay ahead of the Packers. Behind 24-14 entering the fourth quarter, coach Hunk Anderson (Halas was in the Navy) moved the 34-year-old Nagurski to fullback and he carried 16 times for 84 yards in the final quarter to lead a 35-24 comeback that clinched the West ahead of the Packers and set up the Bears' 41-21 title victory over Washington.

8. Farewell, Halas and Lombardi, Nov. 26, 1967, Wrigley Field: Packers 17-13.

This was the final game between coaching giants Halas and Lombardi, who both moved upstairs after the season.

The Packers were on their way to a three-peat and Super Bowl II. They clinched the NFC Central title against the Bears with three games to go by going ahead in the second quarter on a Donny Anderson touchdown run.

They lost their final two games to finish an uninspiring 9-4-1, two games ahead of the 7-6-1 Bears. If the Bears had split with the Packers, both teams would have tied at 8-5-1 with point differential deciding the division winner at the time. But nobody was using 1967 Bears and Super Bowl in the same sentence.

9. Bart Starr fades, Dec. 18, 1983, Soldier Field: Bears 23-21.

Ahead 21-20 with 90 seconds to go in the season finale, all the 8-7 Packers had to do was hold on to make the playoffs.

Walter Payton, who had gained 148 yards, was on the bench with a rib injury, but the 7-8 Bears drove behind quarterback Jim McMahon to set up Bob Thomas for a game-winning 22-yard field goal with 10 seconds left.

Packers' coach Starr was criticized for allowing the clock to run during the Bears' winning drive and later admitted he should have used his timeouts. He was fired the next day after nine long years and Forrest Gregg replaced him.

Both teams finished 8-8, but that marked the start of the Bears' dominance in the '80s.

10. What if, Sept. 16, 1984, Lambeau Field: Bears 9-7.

In their next game the following year, the first Gregg-Ditka clash, the Bears won on three Thomas field goals. The Bears finished 10-6 and got to their first NFC title game since the merger.

The Packers finished 8-8 and beat the Bears in their second game in Soldier Field. If they had won that first game, their 9-7 record would have won the tiebreaker over the Bears' 9-7. Who knows? Maybe the Bears wouldn't have entered 1985 so confident.

11. Don Horn's in, Dec. 15, 1968, Wrigley Field: Packers 28-27.

In the season finale, the 7-6 Bears had to beat the 5-7-1 Packers to win the Central. The playoffs had been expanded to divisions in 1967. Quarterback Bart Starr was out with a rib injury and backup Zeke Bratkowski went out in the first quarter with a rib injury, so the Packers had to turn to third-stringer Don Horn.

Horn completed 10 of 16 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown and Ray Nitschke intercepted Jack Concannon at the 35-yard line with 1:07 left to ruin coach Jim Dooley's hard-luck initial season.

The Bears got to the brink despite a broken collarbone to Concannon early in the season, a shoulder injury to Rudy Bukich, a desperate move to Larry Rakestraw, some promising starts by rookie Virgil Carter and a devastating knee injury to superstar Gale Sayers, only to have the Packers dash their playoff hopes.

12. Packers get revenge, Nov. 1, 1936, Wrigley Field: Packers 21-10.

Arnie Herber to Hutson became the league's most potent passing combination. Clarke Hinkle was a Hall of Fame running back.

When Hutson was a rookie in 1935, his first reception went for an 83-yard touchdown against the Bears in a 7-0 victory that ended a Bears' streak of 17 straight regular-season triumphs. In their next meeting, the Packers overcame a 14-3 deficit in the final 2 1/2 minutes when Herber threw two touchdown passes to Hutson in an improbable 17-14 victory. The Packers and Bears finished behind the Lions that year.

In 1936, the Bears won the season opener 30-3 and went into their second Packer game with a 6-0 record. The Packers were 5-1. The Packers won when Hinkle rushed for 109 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter on a 59-yard run. The Packers went on to beat the Boston Redskins for the NFL title after beating out the Bears in the West with a 10-1-1 record to the Bears' 9-3.

Longtime Bears and NFL reporter Don Pierson retired from the Tribune in 2007 after 40 years.