The start of the 2013 NFL Season is upon us. While the regular does not start until the first week of September, the NFL announced on Thursday the league-wide regular season schedule. For the Chicago Bears, the team plays the NFC East and AFC South divisions this season to go along with their six games against the teams in their division as well as a game against the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints.
The Bears open the Marc Trestman era with back to back home games to begin the regular season. The Bears will host the Cincinnati Bengals on September 8 to open the regular season. The following week, on September 15, presents the Bears first divisional game as the team will host the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field.
Following the games against the Bengals and Vikings, the Bears will face their first road trip of the season. On September 22, the Bears will have their first prime-time game of the season as the team will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. The Bears then turnaround and travel to Detroit to play the Lions on September 29.
The Bears return home for two games beginning on October 6 in a game that will be played against the New Orleans Saints. The Bears will then have a short-week of preparation as they will host the New York Giants on October 10 as part of the Thursday Night Football broadcast of the NFL Network.
After their game against the Giants, the Bears will travel to Washington to play the Redskins on October 20. After the game, the Bears will be on bye during Week 8 of the NFL regular season.
The Bears will return from the bye with what will likely be among their most important games during the 2013 season. The Bears travel to Green Bay to play the Packers on November 4 as part of the Monday Night Football broadcast on ESPN.
After their game against the Packers, the Bears will return home on November 10 to play the Detroit Lions. The Bears will remain at home for the following week as the team will play the defending Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens on November 17.
After their game against the Ravens, the Bears will travel to St. Louis to play the Rams on November 24. The Bears will remain on the road for the following week to play a game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 1.
The Bears return home on December 9 to play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. The Bears won’t be home for long as after their game against the Cowboys, the team will go on the road to play the Cleveland Browns on December 15 and to play the Philadelphia Eagles on December 22.
In what could have playoff implications, the Bears will conclude the 2013 season at Soldier Field in a game against the Green Bay Packers.
The Bears 2013 schedule offers a stark-contrast from their 2012 schedule. In 2012, the Bears schedule was back-loaded. Meaning the team faced several playoff contenders during the second-half of the season and that is when the team’s struggles ensued. This season, the Bears’ schedule is front-loaded. Each of the teams that Bears play in the first half of the 2013 season have the chance to be playoff teams. If the Bears can make it past the first-half with a record of .500 or better, then that could bode well for the team in the second half. The early prediction here is that Bears will go 8-8 in 2013.