CHICAGO – At least they released a schedule.
You can debate whether that’s a good thing or not considering the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a chance that some of the games will have to be moved and perhaps a shortened season played this fall.
But for the moment, the NFL has a full schedule, and each team has been assigned the dates and times for those contests.
The Bears’ slate includes four primetime contests and one scheduled late afternoon start against the Saints on Sunday, November 1st at Soldier Field.
Here are a few interesting tidbits about the upcoming slate.
The Bears will open the season against the Lions for the 10th time in franchise history on September 13th. It will only be the third time they’ve done so in Detroit, with the last coming in 1982.
In the process, the Bears will be trying to win their first road opener against the Lions, having lost in the Silverdome 38 years ago and at Tiger Stadium in 1954, 1966.
Speaking of beating a team for the first time, that’s what the Bears have the opportunity to do when the Texans visit town for the first time since 2012 on Sunday, December 13th.
Since the franchise was formed in 2002, the Bears have lost all four match-ups to the Texans. Their last loss was the opening week of the 2016 season, when the dropped a 24-13 decision in Houston.
The Colts return to Chicago on Sunday, October 4th for the first time in eight years, and a connection with that game to the current Bears comes from Chuck Pagano.
On that day in 2012, the current Bears’ defensive coordinator made his NFL head coaching debut with Indianapolis with that year’s top draft pick, quarterback Andrew Luck. A veteran Chicago team under head coach Lovie Smith beat the Colts 41-21.
Four days after that game against the Colts come another intreguing match-up for the Bears and the newest quarterback to join the NFC.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers visit Chicago on Thursday, October 8th, and the Bears will look to defeat him for the first time in the NFL. While with the Patriots, they lost all five games against the quarterback in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018.
For the fourth time in five years, the Bears will face the Vikings at Soldier Field in primetime, doing so on Monday, November 16th. The previous three games have featured some major storylines or moments for quarterbacks.
In 2016, Jay Cutler helped the Bears beat Minnesota for the final win of his career in Chicago. The next season, Mitchell Trubisky made his NFL debut on Monday night, and in 2018, the quarterback suffered his first major injury (shoulder) in a win over the Vikings.
For the first time since 2013, the Bears will finish up the season with a home game against the Packers. This likely brings back terrible memories for fans, because in that season finale, a 48-yard, 4th down touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb on a blown coverage cost the Bears an NFC North title.
The Bears will also visit two venues for the first time in 2020: Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta to face the Falcons on Sunday, September 27th and SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA to race the Rams on Monday, October 26th.