Chicago Bears schedule analysis

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
7:41
PM ET
Breakdown: The NFL gave the Chicago Bears the maximum allowable number of prime-time games. Amazingly, all five will come in the first 10 games of the season. (Full schedule here.)

They include a Week 2 trip to the Green Bay Packers (Thursday night), a Week 4 trip to the Dallas Cowboys (Monday night), a Week 6 game hosting the Detroit Lions (Monday night), a Week 10 game hosting the Houston Texans (Sunday night) and another the following week, at the San Francisco 49ers (Monday night).

That should leave no doubt about the entertainment value, if not competitiveness, the NFL is expecting from the Bears after the reunion of receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler, along with other offseason improvements.

Complaint department: Soldier Field is a great advantage in the second half of the season, but the Bears will play three of their final four games on the road. They'll no doubt appreciate hosting the Packers in Week 14, but they'll conclude the season with a long trip to the Arizona Cardinals followed by a season finale at the Lions, a game that figures to carry heavy playoff implications.

For openers: Like the Packers, the Bears play their first two games in five days. Unlike the Packers, however, the Bears don't get both of them at home. After hosting the Indianapolis Colts in the Sept. 9 opener, they'll travel to Lambeau Field on Sept. 13. But as quick road turnarounds go, it doesn't get any easier than the quick trip trip between Chicago and Green Bay.

Bears Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, Indianapolis, 1:00 PM
Week 2: Thursday, Sept. 13, at Green Bay, 8:20 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, St. Louis, 1:00 PM
Week 4: Monday, Oct. 1, at Dallas, 8:30 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Jacksonville, 4:05 PM
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 22, Detroit, 8:30 PM
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, Carolina, 1:00 PM
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, at Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, Houston, 8:20 PM
Week 11: Monday, Nov. 19, at San Francisco, 8:30 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, Minnesota, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, Seattle, 1:00 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Minnesota, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, Green Bay, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Arizona, 4:15 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, at Detroit, 1:00 PM

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