Bears open 2018 home schedule on Monday Night Football
CHICAGO – The first narrative that America formed about this new era of the franchise is that of “Jekyll and Hyde.”
Such a dominant first half, then a dud in the second. The tale of two halves, two polar opposites, is the story that represents the Matt Nagy era of Bears football. Losing such a contest to a rival left a bitter taste to the first impression of the group, especially to those who root for the Orange and Blue.
But there is good news. Just eight days later, the Bears get to immediately add a new chapter to their national story.
In their second week of play, the Bears take the Monday Night Football stage to open up their home schedule, taking on the Seattle Seahawks around 7:15 PM. It comes a week and a day after the Bears dropped a 20-point lead to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a 24-23 loss and are in need of a positive boost.
Nothing does so like a home opener, which the Bears have won an NFL-record 65 times. They’re looking for their first win, however, since the 2013 season, having lost their last four first games at Soldier Field to start the season.
Video: Fans prepare for the Bears to play on Monday Night Football
It's the second time in the last three years that the team has opened the home slate with a Monday Night game, having done so against the Eagles in 2016. The last time the Bears won an early week night home opener came in 1996, when they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys 22-6.
"Everyone loves playing under the lights. The only thing that sucks is that treatments are early in the morning the next day. No real opportunity to catch up on sleep," said offensive guard Kyle Long of playing on Monday night. "But we love being under the lights. It's something you dream about as a kid. I remember in middle school and high school watching those games, staying up late Monday night watching.
"Being a little sleepy in history class at 9 AM."
Many in Chicago know that feeling, since the Bears have appeared on Monday Night Football 68 times prior to this year's game. The team is 30-38 overall in those games, but they do have a 16-14 record as the home team, having played 29 games at Soldier Field and one during the 2002 season at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. Last season the Bears lost their only appearance on Monday Night Football to the Vikings on October 9th 20-17 in Mitchell Trubisky's first NFL game.
The last victory came against the same Minnesota team on Halloween night 2016 - a 20-10 win that would end up being Jay Cutler's last in a Bears' uniform.
Here in 2018, the Bears are facing the Seahawks on Monday Night for the first time in franchise history, having last played them in Seattle during the 2015 season. Unlike that year, when the Seahawks were the defending NFC Champions, the Bears are facing a team in a bit of flux after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011 last year.
After an opening day loss to the Broncos, Pete Carroll brings his team into Chicago without the services of receiver Doug Baldwin along with linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.
They, like the Bears, have something to prove on the national stage this Monday night. For the home team, it's a chance to show they're going to be more than just a 30 minute team for the rest of the 2018 season.