The 2012 NFL Schedule has been released. The Chicago Bears are going to be tested right off the bat with 2 games in five nights. They host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, which will more than likely be Andrew Luck’s debut in the NFL. Than 4 days later, they will clash against their division rival, the Green Bay Packers. The Bears have a total of 5 prime-time games this season, and they will all come before their 11th game. Chicago went 2-2 in primetime during the 2011 regular season on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (1-1) and ESPN’s Monday Night Football (1-1). Here’s a look at the full schedule:
Week 1 – Sunday, September 9th vs. Indianapolis Colts 12:00pm
Week 2 – Thursday, September 13th @ Green Bay Packers 7:20pm
Week 3 – Sunday, September 23rd vs. St. Louis Rams 12:00pm
Week 4 – Monday, October 1st @ Dallas Cowboys 7:30pm
Week 5 – Sunday, October 7th @ Jacksonville Jaguars 3:05pm
Week 6 – BYE
Week 7 – Monday, October 22nd vs. Detroit Lions 7:30pm
Week 8 – Sunday, October 28th vs. Carolina Panthers 12:00pm
Week 9 – Sunday, November 4th @ Tennessee Titans 12:00pm
Week 10 – Sunday, November 11th vs. Houston Texans 7:20pm
Week 11 – Monday, November 19th @ San Francisco 49ers 7:30pm
Week 12 – Sunday, November 25th vs. Minnesota Vikings 12:00pm
Week 13 – Sunday, December 2nd vs. Seattle Seahawks 12:00pm
Week 14 – Sunday, December 9th @ Minnesota Vikings 12:00pm
Week 15 – Sunday, December 16th vs. Green Bay Packers 12:00pm
Week 16 – Sunday, December 23rd @ Arizona Cardinals 3:15pm
Week 17 – Sunday, Decemeber 30th @ Detroit Lions 12:00pm
When asked about opening the 2012 season at home, coach Lovie Smith had this to say: “We started our offseason program yesterday and received our schedule today, so our 2012 season is officially underway,” said coach Lovie Smith. “I love starting the season at home in front of our fans. I don’t think there is a better place to kick off the season than playing at Soldier Field on the lakefront.
“Playing five of our first 10 games in prime time also stands out. Each week brings its own challenge and we are excited to begin our pursuit of a world championship.”
Here are a few more interesting tidbits about the schedule, which was released by the NFL Tuesday:
— The Bears own 51 opening-day victories overall (52-35-5, .592), tied with Green Bay (52-36-3, .588) for the most by any NFL franchise. Chicago has won three of its last four opening-day contests.
— The last time the Bears opened the season against the Colts was in 2008 when Chicago beat Indianapolis 29-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium. This will mark the second time in team history that the Bears open the regular season at home against the Colts, with the first coming in 1975, a 35-7 victory for the Baltimore Colts at Soldier Field. The Bears also opened the regular season against the Colts franchise in Baltimore on three occasions (1953, 1955 and 1956).
— This marks the first time since the 1940 championship season where the Bears will play their first two regular season contests of the year within five days of each other. In 1940, the Bears played their first two regular season contests within four days: a 41-0 victory at Green Bay on September 22 and a 21-7 loss to the Chicago Cardinals on September 25 at Comiskey Park.
— The Bears’ first primetime contest of the 2012 season is Week 2 at Green Bay on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football. Chicago plays three contests on ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Week 4 at Dallas, Week 7 vs. Detroit and Week 11 at San Francisco. Chicago will also host one contest on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in Week 10 vs. Houston.
— This is the first time since the 2002 season that the Bears will play three contests on Monday Night Football. Under Smith, Chicago is 7-2 on Monday Night Football, 8-8 on Sunday Night Football and 2-2 on Thursday Night Football.
— The Bears will travel 14,258 miles during the 2012 season. Chicago’s longest trip during the season is to San Francisco (3,692 miles round-trip).
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