NFL Schedule release: Assessing the Bears’ 2023 slate
Truth be told, the opponents for the Bears and each of the NFL’s 32 teams have been set since the end of the regular-season finale in early January. But there’s just something sweet about seeing a schedule.
The release of the NFL’s schedule means it’s time to plan road trips, book flights and hotels, and truly get excited for football season. For Chicago, the 2023 regular-season schedule being revealed means it’s time to start envisioning the breakthrough this team hopes to find – the pivotal third season for quarterback Justin Fields, Year 2 led by general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus and the belief of better days ahead.
Here is the Bears’ full 17-game schedule for this new season.
Note: All scheduled times are CT.
Week 1: vs. Packers – Sunday, Sept. 10 (3:25 p.m., Soldier Field)
Right from the start, there’s great intrigue. The Bears and the Packers will renew the NFL’s longest-standing rivalry on the first NFL Sunday of the season from Soldier Field. The Bears can look to establish themselves well against Jordan Love – not Aaron Rodgers – and the rival Packers.
Week 2: at Buccaneers – Sunday, Sept. 17 (Noon, Raymond James Stadium)
The Buccaneers will have a new look this season without future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. The Bears should be favored heading into this game against a depleted Tampa Bay roster that’s in a rebuilding mode.
Week 3: at Chiefs – Sunday, Sept. 24 (3:25 p.m., GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium)
It’s quite an early test for the Bears as they travel to Kansas City to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, who should once again be the title favorite led by Patrick Mahomes. Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams will match schemes against the great coach Andy Reid and new Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy.
Week 4: vs. Broncos – Sunday, Oct. 1 (Noon, Soldier Field)
The Broncos are on their third head coach in as many years in Sean Payton, who hopes to maximize the ladder years of quarterback Russell Wilson’s career. This will be a fun early-season contest in Chicago.
Week 5: at Commanders – Thursday, Oct. 5 (7:15 p.m., FedEx Field)
Remember that ugly Thursday night game last season between the Bears and the Commanders? Here’s hoping this rematch isn’t a repeat of that performance, one in which Washington earned a 12-7 victory at Soldier Field. The Bears last played at FedEx Field in early 2019, earning a 31-15 victory in Monday night primetime.
Week 6: vs. Vikings – Sunday, Oct. 15 (Noon, Soldier Field)
Coming off the mini-bye break, the Bears will play their second NFC North tilt as they host the Vikings in Chicago. Minnesota will be fascinating to follow after finishing last season 13-4 but with a negative point differential.
Week 7: vs. Raiders – Sunday, Oct. 22 (Noon, Soldier Field)
The first set of back-to-back home games for the Bears come in late October as the Raiders arrive to Soldier Field for a noon contest – an early kickoff for a team from the west coast.
Week 8: at Chargers – Sunday, Oct. 29 (7:15 p.m, SoFi Stadium)
Former Bears star pass rusher Khalil Mack (and four-time Pro Bowler Joey Bosa) will be coming for Fields and Chicago’s offense in a primetime date from Los Angeles.
Week 9: at Saints – Sunday, Nov. 5 (Noon, Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
The Bears last played at the Superdome in January of 2021 during their wild-card round loss. The Saints are a vastly different team than from the past, now with Derek Carr taking over at quarterback.
Week 10: vs. Panthers – Thursday, Nov. 9 (7:15 p.m., Soldier Field)
There’s increased incentive for the Bears to beat the Panthers in this game. Not only would Chicago help its place in the standings, it can strengthen the position of that 2024 first-round pick Carolina sent in the trade for the No. 1 overall pick back in March.
Week 11: at Lions – Sunday, Nov. 19 (Noon, Ford Field)
It’s the second mini-bye break of the season for the Bears as they take on the upstart Lions for the first time this season in Detroit.
Week 12: at Vikings – Monday, Nov. 27 (7:15 p.m., U.S. Bank Stadium)
The Bears will play their fourth primetime game in the first dozen weeks as they battle the Vikings for the second time this season. Where will these two teams be in the standings as they meet again?
Week 13: Bye
For the second straight year, the Bears will have a December bye week.
Week 14: vs. Lions — Sunday, Dec. 10 (Noon, Soldier Field)
Fresh off the bye week break, the Bears will host the Lions in what could be an important game in the NFC North.
Week 15: at Browns – DATE, TIME TBD (FirstEnergy Stadium)
This could be a game moved into a Saturday slot as Fields returns to the site of his worst day in the NFL. Cleveland represents where Fields made his first start in 2021, a game in which the Bears simply failed him.
Week 16: vs. Cardinals – Sunday, Dec. 24 (3:25 p.m., Soldier Field)
It’ll be consecutive years of the Bears hosting a Christmas Eve game in Chicago as they welcome the Cardinals to Soldier Field.
Week 17: vs. Falcons – Sunday, Dec. 31 (Noon, Soldier Field)
The home finale at Soldier Field brings in an interesting Falcons team, who selected prized running back prospect Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick in the draft.
Week 18: at Packers – DATE, TIME TBD (Lambeau Field)
The Bears will bookend their season with games against the Packers, closing out this campaign in Green Bay on what should be a frigid day at Lambeau Field.