The 2014 schedule for the Chicago Bears has finally been unveiled, and from the looks of things, the team will have their work cut out for them. Here is their list of games for the entire regular season:
Week 1: vs Bills, September 7
Week 2: @ 49ers, September 14 (Sunday night)
Week 3: @ Jets, September 22 (Monday night)
Week 4: vs Packers, September 28
Week 5: @ Panthers, October 5
Week 6: @ Falcons, October 12
Week 7: vs Dolphins, October 19
Week 8: @ Patiots, October 26
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: @ Packers, November 9 (Sunday night)
Week 11: vs Vikings, November 16
Week 12: vs Buccaneers, November 23
Week 13: @ Lions, November 27, (Thanksgiving)
Week 14: vs Cowboys, December 4 (Thursday night)
Week 15: vs Saints, December 15 (Monday night)
Week 16: vs Lions, December 21
Week 17: @ Vikings, December 28
Looking at the first half of 2014, five of the first eight games for the Bears will be on the road, three of which are against teams that made the postseason in 2013. Chicago should start the season off with a win over the Buffalo Bills, but will have to follow that up by traveling to the West Coast to face the San Francisco 49ers in their first game in a brand new stadium in front of a nationally televised audience, and a very hostile group of Niners fans.
The Bears will then have to trek to the East Coast in Week 3 to face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. They will then face quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Tom Brady to cap off their first eight games of the year.
Fortunately, Chicago has its bye week smack dab in the middle of the regular season. It is at that point where it will continue to get a bit difficult. Following their week off, the Bears will continue the oldest rivalry in league history when they travel to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers in their third of six nationally televised games.
Another good thing for Chicago in the back end of their season is that five of their last eight games are at home. However, all three road games during that stretch are against division foes. Furthermore, Weeks 13-15 for the Bears will be three consecutive nationally televised games.
It starts first with facing the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, followed by two home games against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, and then the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The season wraps up with two NFC North games that could possibly make or break the Bears’ chances of winning a divisional crown.
All in all, the constant traveling Chicago has in store for the first half of the season could take its toll on the team, along with half of those games being against playoff-contending teams. Those first eight games will primarily tell whether the Bears will be in the thick of things in 2014.
The abundance of national exposure will definitely put Chicago under a microscope throughout the entire year. Head coach Marc Trestman and the rest of the Bears will have their hands full in 2014.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.
The Bears’ schedule features the AFC East and NFC South in addition to their division and intra-conference games with the 49ers and Cowboys. For the best deals all preseason and regular season long on Bears tickets, make sure to visit TiqIQ.com.