Week 1: at Packers — Sept. 9 (SNF)
Week 2: vs. Seahawks — Sept. 17 (MNF)
Week 3: at Cardinals — Sept. 23
Week 4: vs. Buccaneers — Sept. 30
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: at Dolphins — Oct. 14
Week 7: vs. Patriots — Oct. 21
Week 8: vs. Jets — Oct. 28
Week 9: at Bills — Nov. 4
Week 10: vs Lions — Nov. 11
Week 11: vs. Vikings — Nov. 18
Week 12: at Lions — Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving)
Week 13: at Giants — Dec. 2
Week 14: vs. Rams — Dec. 9
Week 15: vs. Packers — Dec. 16
Week 16: at 49ers — Dec. 23
Week 17: at Vikings — Dec. 30
As if the NFL realized the Bears are potentially in for big things this season, Chicago has been gifted with back to back prime time matchups against a couple of teams that missed the playoffs a season ago. The Matt Nagy era opener at Lambeau has massive season implications for both the Bears and the Packers and should be a refreshing contest as this looks to add up as a suitably competitive matchup. Against a relatively soft defense, Mitchell Trubisky in the Nagy era could start off hot. Same goes against the crumbling Seahawks.
Realistically, the Bears have their (outside) chances to start the year 6-0, as only the Seahawks, the only team to go about .500 last season, or the plucky Buccaneers stand in their way. That is until they run into the sledgehammer known as the Patriots. A perfect barometer game, the Bears will get their chance to show what they are capable against the elite of the league. The second half of the season, however, will be when the Bears see their first true challenges of the Nagy era.
Seeing the heavyweights of the division the Lions and the Vikings a combined four times on top of the all-in-for-a-Super-Bowl Rams and the mightily improved 49ers will allow for tried and true tests for the youthful Bears, not to mention the treat of captivating quarterback battles between fellow rising quarterbacks in Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Blessed with plenty of winnable games against rebuilding teams and weak divisions (*cough* AFC East *cough*) coupled with intriguing trials against the league’s elite, this schedule couldn’t be finer for a budding team with some question marks to smooth out. In a thinner division and with an unimpressive schedule, the Bears are very well dark horse playoff contenders for this upcoming season.
In Nagy we trust.