March 25 (UPI) -- The 2019 NFL season will kick off with the oldest rivalry in the game Sept. 5 in Chicago.
The Green Bay Packers will travel to play the defending NFC North champion Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, celebrating the renewal with the 199th meeting between the two teams the league announced Monday.
Normally, the Super Bowl champions host the first game of the new NFL season, but the league decided instead to go with the two NFC North rivals instead of a game with the champion New England Patriots at home.
The league did say that New England will host a to-be-determined team in the first week of the season on Sunday night football. It will be the first time since 2003 that the Super Bowl winner has not played in the season opener.
The Packers and Bears have the most historic rivalry in the game, dating to Nov. 27, 1921, when the Bears and Packers series started with a Chicago 20-0 shutout.
Currently, the Packers lead the all-time series 97-95-6.
The two teams split the two meetings last season, with Green Bay winning the Sunday night opener last year at home with a memorable 24-23 comeback win led by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Green Bay will have a new look for the first game of 2019, as Matt LaFleur will roam the sidelines as the new coach of the Packers.