1941 Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers Simulation from Whatifsports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

Time Warp: 1941 Bears vs. Packers Simulation

2010 Bears, Packers take on 1941 franchise

By Ryan Fowler - Whatifsports.com
January 21st, 2011

The last time the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers met in the playoffs, the United States had just entered World War II following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The Chicago Tribune painted a picture of pessimism by mentioning in the game recap "it may have been the last time these two titans of the gridiron will meet for a long, long time." Fast-forward 70 years with the Bears set to play the Packers for the NFC Championship, the main conflict surrounding the NFL is a war over finances between the owners and players with a possible lockout looming down the road. So, while the rivalry between the two "titans" remains heated, the extracurricular activities outside the lines have turned selfish.

Regardless, Whatifsports.com's NFL simulation database just so happens to date back to 1941 for both the Bears and the Packers and has presented us with an opportunity to create some historical match-ups.

2010 Bears vs. 1941 Bears - 101 Simulations
MatchupWin%Avg ScoreWIS Interactive
2010 Chicago Bears14.920Sample Box Score
@ 1941 Chicago Bears85.135Simulate Game

Sid Luckman and George McAfee were the fantasy football studs of the 1941 Bears. In eleven regular season starts at quarterback, Luckman recorded 1181 passing yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions with a 57.1 completion percentage. Luckman was named 1st Team All-Pro that season. McAfee, also 1st Team All-Pro, rushed for 474 yards and five touchdowns, but added three more scores via reception. Fellow halfback, Hugh Gallarneau led the team in touchdowns with ten.

2010 Packers vs. 1941 Packers - 101 Simulations
MatchupWin%Avg ScoreAvg Score
2010 Green Bay Packers67.325Sample Box Score
@ 1941 Green Bay Packers32.719Simulate Game

After they lost to the Bears in Week 3, the 1941 Packers won their next eight games with a defense that ranked second in the league in scoring defense (10.9 points allowed per game). Quarterback Cecil Isbell joined Luckman on the 1st Team All-Pro roster posting 15 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 56.8 completion percentage in eleven games (three different quarterbacks started at QB for the Packers). Don Hutson pulled triple-duty playing both ways and on special teams for Green Bay as a wide-out, defensive back and kicker. He tallied over 700 yards receiving, 12 total touchdowns, an interception and 20 extra points in 1941.

1941 Packers vs. 1941 Bears - 101 Simulations
MatchupWin%Avg ScoreAvg Score
1941 Green Bay Packers9.917Sample Box Score
@ 1941 Chicago Bears90.133Simulate Game

Before Northwestern and Illinois football learned last minute that extra seating and stadium reconfiguration had altered its former state, Wrigley Field was the Bears' home from 1921-1970. Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Wrigley was scheduled to install permanent light fixtures that off-season. However, it was decided to scrap the plan and donate the steel to the war effort. The postponement lasted 46 years until Wrigley added lights in 1988.

In their 1941 meeting, the Bears ripped off 30 unanswered points to control the game by halftime. Green Bay's Hal Van Every managed to haul in a pass from Isbell to stop the bleeding in the third quarter, but the Pack could only muster two touchdowns in the 33-14 loss. Chicago would advance and beat the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game.

Coincidentally, Whatifsports.com's replay of the 1941 Division Title game was bizarrely similar. If you click on the sample box score above, you will see Chicago opened up a 30-3 lead early in the fourth quarter following a 57-yard run by Gallarneau. The halfback got hosed on "Player of the Game" honors after finishing with the touchdown and 118 yards on the ground. Green Bay's Clark Hinkle was awarded the POG for two meaningless fourth quarter touchdowns receptions.

You too, can generate a complete box score with play-by-play by simulating any game using our NFL SimMatchup tool.


Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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