Schedule release day!
Schedule release day!
Put the kids to bed early because the schedule hast been released! (I care about two significant elements of the schedule release: the national games and my fall bears-related travel schedule.)
Sunday, September 8th
Bears v. Bengals
NOTE: This is my favorite day of the year and I’m very happy the Bears are playing the early game. There is nothing worse than waking up at 5 AM from the excitement of a new season and having to wade through seven hours of other teams playing before the Bears kickoff.
Sunday, September 15th
Bears v. Vikings
NOTE: Two home games to start the season will be gold in Marc Trestman’s eyes. All he has to worry about from mid-August to mid-September is winning football games.
Sunday, September 22nd (Primetime)
Bears at Steelers
NOTE: You knew this game was going to draw an NBC slot and it’s wise of them to play this one early. Both these teams can just as easily win 7 games as win 11. Get them both in September when their seasons are in front of them.
Sunday, September 29th
Bears at Lions
NOTE: Am I the only one who found this game more frightening before the Lions replaced Jason Hanson with David Akers? It is a Bears/Lions game. It’ll be close.
Sunday, October 6th
Bears v. Saints
NOTE: This begins the most difficult stretch of the Bears season. I am sure the Bears were hoping to see Sean Payton and the Saints on the schedule once the weather flipped to frigid in late December. A beautiful early-October day was not what they had in mind.
Thursday, October 10th (Primetime)
Bears v. Giants
NOTE: Mel Tucker has to prepare for one of the most dynamic offenses in the sport – the Saints – the previous Sunday. He then has three days to prepare for another of the most dynamic offenses in the sport. Bears should be happy to split these games.
Sunday, October 20th
Bears at Redskins
NOTE: Impossible to evaluate a Redskins game until we find out the status of Robert Griffin. I Tweeted the other day that I believe many of us will throw the remote control at the TV at least once this summer and scream, “Just tell us when he’s ready to play football!” I think the entire league wanted to see the Redskins on their schedule inside the six-week PUP window.
Sunday, October 27th
Monday, November 4th (Primetime)
Bears at Packers
NOTE: Kudos to the NFL on seemingly altering their relationship with ESPN and Monday Night Football. ESPN has been sitting with some truly awful games the last few years and their slate in 2013 is solid. The Bears have two months to prepare for the Packers – essential for a new head coach.
Sunday, November 10th
Bears v. Lions
Sunday, November 17th
Bears v. Ravens
NOTE: I still think the NFL made an error not playing this game on the opening Thursday night but they also put the Raiders on the Thanksgiving slate so maybe I’m the crazy one. Sending the Ravens to Chicago would enable the league to send Peyton Manning back to Indianapolis on the opening Sunday night and create a really magical first weekend.
Sunday, November 24th
Bears at Rams
NOTE: I’ve never been to St. Louis…
Sunday, December 1st
Bears at Vikings
NOTE: I’ve never been to Minneapolis either but I’m sort of okay with that.
Monday, December 9th (Primetime)
Bears v. Cowboys
NOTE: One thing to watch here: the rating. If the Bears and Cowboys are both in fine form entering the game this will do the highest rating in the history of Monday Night Football on ESPN.
Sunday, December 15th
Bears at Browns
NOTE: If the Browns are struggling into December, expect this game to feel like a Bears home game. (It may not matter if the Browns are struggling or not.)
Sunday, December 22nd
Bears at Eagles
NOTE: Tough to win back-to-back road games in the NFL but if the Bears fancy themselves a playoff team in 2013 they are most likely going to need to win these two.
Sunday, December 29th
Bears at Packers
NOTE: What else needs to be said?
OVERALL THOUGHT ON THE SCHEDULE