Before we get into the Bears Essentials, let’s first touch on the possibility of the team playing another game in London next season.
The NFL announced Tuesday that the Atlanta Falcons are one of three teams set to host 2014 games in the United Kingdom. Based on the league’s schedule rotation, Chicago faces the Falcons on the road in 2014, meaning there’s a chance the Bears could play another matchup at Wembley Stadium. Teams have eight home games, with three coming against divisional opponents, so it appears there’s a 1-in-5 chance the Bears could be picked as the visitor for Atlanta’s game in London.
Since the NFL started playing regular-season games in London in 2007, it has never scheduled teams from the same division to face one another at Wembley. The NFL plans to announce opponents for the 2013 games in London sometime during this season.
The Bears last played in London on Oct. 23, 2011, and defeated Tampa Bay 24-18.
Here’s hoping the NFL picks the Bears to head back to London. We all know how well Bears fans travel, and the last time the team made the trip, there certainly was no shortage of supporters in the stands at Wembley and walking the streets of London during the week leading up to the game.
Besides that, for ESPNChicago.com colleague Jeff Dickerson and I, the trip was an absolute blast. On the night before the game, I attended a "tweetup" with several local NFL fans (I even met a Jaguars fan) who knew tons about the game and love it just as much as we do.
On the day of the game, I met a Bears fan who had hopped a train from Edinburgh, Scotland, for the six-hour ride to London to watch the game. A Bears fan for more than 20 years, he actually named his daughter Devin after kick returner Devin Hester. I wrote about him while trying to set the scene for what turned out to be an exciting day. His story was just one in seemingly dozens of interesting ones that I’d definitely like to experience again.
Let’s get into some links.
-- ESPNChicago.com Doug Padilla writes about Brandon Marshall’s plan to wear green shoes against the Giants on Thursday night, a move the receiver knows will draw a fine for violating the NFL’s uniform policy.
-- Giants running back David Wilson has been ruled out for Thursday’s game, writes ESPN.com colleague Dan Graziano. Veteran Brandon Jacobs will start in Wilson’s place. So my guess is New York’s already anemic rushing attack will be in even worse shape against the Bears.
-- Adam Jahns writes that defensive tackle Stephen Paea is hoping to return “as soon as possible to help my team and boys out.”
-- John “Moon” Mullin says the Bears need to get back to winning the turnover battle this week.