Not only do the Bears have a chance to clinch the NFC North with a victory this weekend, they have a chance to revive their onetime rivalry with the Packers.
What's to revive? They play each other twice a season, you say. These two teams have played each other since 1921. It's a historic grudge match. The fans despise each other. The teams go along with it.
Well, a rivalry requires genuine give and take. For the last decade, the Packers have given the Bears a pounding and the Bears have only taken it.
A bug doesn't have a rivalry with your shoe. Resentment, anger and dread, probably. But rivalry? No. No matter how much history they share and tough talk about upholding some glorious tradition, the ending is usually the same.
They have met 20 times going back to 2009, and the Bears are 3-17. Their last victory over the Packers was Thanksgiving 2015.
Bears rookie guard James Daniels turned 13 just two weeks before the Packers' last loss at Soldier Field in 2010.
Maybe the Packers consider that a rivalry. To the victor goes the thesaurus.
For the Bears, though, it's more like a pre-existing condition.
That can change Sunday.
The 5-7-1 Packers are vulnerable.
The 9-4 Bears are flexing their muscle.
As far as Bears fans are concerned, the stars should be aligned to restore order to the world and this series — and those stars would be the Bears' Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith getting a line on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Until the Bears manage a few victories, it's not really a rivalry. It's just an unhealthy relationship burnished with time so the dysfunction and imbalance of power come to seem normal.
It's not, no matter how times you hear the stories about the gamesmanship between George Halas and Curly Lambeau.
Or how the Packers loaned Halas cash to help keep him in business in the Great Depression.
Or how Halas campaigned in Green Bay in 1956 to gain passage of a stadium referendum that kept the NFL from uprooting the team.
It's customary to celebrate the legendary confrontations on the field — and some intense confrontations in the stands, parking lots and nearby bars over the years — like it's "The Iliad." But the recent one-sidedness ought to give pause.
When the Bears were ahead in the series 50-26-6 after downing the Packers in the 1960 season opener, that all was fine — at least on this side of the Illinois-Wisconsin border.
Maybe it still felt like a rivalry to Packers fans, with the little brother taking lumps from the bigger sibling. That it stretched over nearly 40 years, however, might lead a therapist to see something more sinister.
The balance has shifted since then with Packers going 71-44 in the interim to take the series lead at 97-94-6.
If that has the ring of parity, just know things have been utterly out of whack since Brett Favre led the Packers to a 33-6 victory in throwback uniforms and a horrific rainstorm that dumped more than two inches of rain with 40 mph winds gusting to 54 mph on Halloween 1994.
That muddy mess of a loss on the night the Bears retired the numbers of Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus kicked off a 38-12 run for the Packers, despite a brief 2004-08 return to competitiveness by the Bears in which they won seven of 10 meetings.
It's time for another stretch like that for the Bears, who already could have started it if they had held onto a 20-0 third-quarter lead in the season opener at Lambeau Field.
Since then, things have gone sideways for the Packers, who dumped coach Mike McCarthy after a Week 13 loss. Now coached by Joe Philbin, they beat the Falcons 34-20 on Sunday, the most points they've scored in a game all season.
But coach Matt Nagy's Bears and more specifically coordinator Vic Fangio's defensive unit of Week 1 are not the Bears and defense of Week 15.
There's an NFC North crown in sight, along with the gold and green of the Packers, a chance to restore glory and a rivalry all at once.