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Ranking each game on the Bears’ schedule by intrigue

5 days agoChris Emma

It’s the dawn of a new day for the Bears, and now they know what’s next to come. 

The anticipated regular-season schedule is set for the Bears, who have undergone a significant offseason that included the selection of quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Chicago also added first-round pick Rome Odunze, future Hall of Fame wide receiver Keenan Allen and new running back D’Andre Swift.

[MORE: 5 Takeaways from Bears rookie minicamp: Caleb Williams’ arrival as starting quarterback was expected but significant] 

As the Bears look to leap into playoff contention this season, they will face a schedule that seems favorable – at least on paper. They have the third-lightest slate of any team in the NFL, both in 2023 opponents’ winning percentage (.467) and Sharp Football Analysis’ projections based on oddsmakers’ win totals for each 2024 foe. 

But the Bears will also have their opportunity in the spotlight, set to play four games on a national broadcast. Chicago will close out the year with all six of its NFC North games coming in November, December and January. 

With the schedule set, here is each of the Bears’ games ranked in order of intrigue. 

Week 1: vs. Titans  
Week 2: at Texans (SNF)  
Week 3: at Colts  
Week 4: vs. Rams  
Week 5: vs. Panthers  
Week 6: vs Jaguars (London)  
Week 7: BYE  
Week 8: at Commanders  
Week 9: at Cardinals 
Week 10: vs. Patriots  
Week 11: vs. Packers  
Week 12: vs. Vikings  
Week 13: at Lions (Thanksgiving)  
Week 14: at 49ers 
Week 15: at Vikings (MNF)  
Week 16: vs. Lions  
Week 17: vs. Seahawks (TNF)  
Week 18: at Packers

1. Bears vs. Lions, Week 16 (Soldier Field)

The Bears have set their goal to take the North and never give it back, as Ryan Poles proclaimed when he was hired two years ago. In order to do that, they must dethrone the Lions. 

The Lions come to Chicago in late December in a game that could feature significant NFC North stakes. Jared Goff leads a Detroit team that’s well positioned to stay as a contender for years to come. The atmosphere inside Soldier Field will be electric if there’s postseason consideration for this matchup.

2. Bears at Packers, Week 18 (Lambeau Field)

I’d like to predict that this game gets moved into primetime as the NFL’s season finale at Lambeau Field. The Packers have their new franchise quarterback in Jordan Love and pulled a surprising win in the wild-card round last January against the Cowboys.  

The Bears haven’t won in Lambeau Field since 2015, when Jay Cutler led a victory on Thanksgiving night in Green Bay. Chicago hopes to end that streak this season.

3. Bears vs. Titans, Week 1 (Soldier Field)

This matchup itself doesn’t generate much excitement, but the circumstances of this season opener certainly will. Williams will open his rookie season at home in Chicago as the Bears welcome in the Titans. 

The Bears hope it’s a day of firsts for Williams – his first roaring introduction at Soldier Field, his first touchdown passes and the first victory of this new season.

4. Bears at 49ers, Week 14 (Levi’s Stadium)

Midway through the season, the Bears will face quite a test as they travel out to San Francisco and meet the reigning NFC champion 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. 

This will be the toughest test on the schedule for the Bears, at least on paper. They will face an offense and defense that ranked third in their respective scoring columns last season.

5. Bears at Lions, Week 13 (Ford Field)

The first of two anticipated meetings with the Lions comes on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, a longstanding holiday tradition. It’s one of the loudest venues in the NFL, and especially so since the Lions have become a winner. 

The Bears will look to avenge a pair of painful losses at Ford Field over the past two seasons – including the unfathomable collapse in the final minutes of a game last November.

6. Bears vs. Packers, Week 11 (Soldier Field)

Late in the 2018 season, the Bears clinched the NFC North with a win over the Packers at Soldier Field. It seemed they had arrived as the team to beat in this division. Of course, that proved to be fleeting. 

The Bears have lost 10 straight games to the rival Packers and have failed to protect home field in the last five matchups. 

7. Bears at Texans, Week 2 (NRG Stadium)

The first road test of the season – and of Williams’ young career – comes in the national spotlight. The Bears will travel to Houston for an exciting early meeting with the Texans. 

The theme of this game will be how then-rookie C.J. Stroud led the Texans to a remarkable turnaround last season, the type of success that the Bears hope to find from Williams in 2024.

8. Bears vs. Seahawks, Week 17 (Soldier Field)

There just might be some playoff stakes on the line in late December as the Bears welcome the Seahawks to Soldier Field for a Thursday night tilt along the lakefront. 

The Seahawks finished 9-8 in each of the last two seasons while the Bears hope to post a winning record of their own. A short turnaround for the penultimate game leads to a longer layoff ahead of the season finale.

9. Bears vs. Rams, Week 4 (Soldier Field)

The Rams were a surprise last season as they finished at 10-7 and reached the divisional round. They travel to Chicago in late September for a meeting with the Bears. 

Matthew Stafford is 12-9 in his career against the Bears, including 1-0 as the Rams’ starting quarterback.

10. Bears at Vikings, Week 15 (U.S. Bank Stadium)

Late last November, the Bears earned a defensive-led 12-10 win over the Vikings in a Monday night matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium. They earned a victory despite not scoring a touchdown. 

These two division rivals will meet again in primetime from the Twin Cities. The Vikings hope to still be in contention by this point in the year.

11. Bears vs. Vikings, Week 12 (Soldier Field)

The Bears have a four-game home losing streak to the Vikings that they hope to snap in November at Soldier Field. 

Will it be Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy starting for the Vikings by this point in the season?

12. Bears at Colts, Week 3 (Lucas Oil Stadium)

The Colts just barely missed the playoffs last season, when they were led by veteran Gardner Minshew at quarterback. Indianapolis hopes for the first full season with Anthony Richardson at the helm. 

The Bears’ shortest road trip in proximity from Chicago comes in their first regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium since 2016.

13. Bears vs. Jaguars, Week 6 (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)

London is calling for the Bears, who will play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in October. This is a designated home game for the Bears and part of their nine-game home slate. 

The Jaguars face great pressure to respond this season after closing out the season with five losses in their last six games.

14. Bears at Cardinals, Week 9 (State Farm Stadium)

Every time the Bears travel down to the desert, it will conjure up memories of the game in 2006 – a magical 24-23 victory over the Cardinals in which Chicago battled back from down 23-3 in Monday Night Football. 

These Cardinals return Kyler Murray as the starter and boast No. 4 overall pick Marvin Harrison Jr. as their new top wide receiver.

15. Bears vs. Commanders, Week 8 (FedEx Field)

The top two selections in this year’s NFL Draft are slated to square off as Williams faces Jayden Daniels and the Commanders. It’s also a revenge game for Montz Sweat, who led both Chicago and Washington in sacks (12.5) last season. 

Last season, the Bears snapped an ugly losing streak with a thorough 40-20 win over the Commanders at FedEx Field.

16. Bears vs. Panthers, Week 5 (Soldier Field)

It could’ve very well been the Bears who selected Bryce Young with the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. But they instead traded out to the Panthers, who were underwhelmed by their young quarterback last season.  

The Bears can thank the Panthers in early October at Soldier Field as Williams leads them in this favorable matchup.

17. Bears vs. Patriots, Week 10 (Soldier Field)

This is not the Patriots of yesteryear coming to Chicago. New England is a rebuilding bunch under the watch of new coach Jerod Mayo and rookie arm Drake Maye. 

While this matchup was quite intriguing back in 2018, the Bears should be well set for a win in this game. 

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