Bears’ season starts easy, but there are definitely bumps in the road
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org April 19, 2013 4:05PM
CHICAGO, IL- OCTOBER 22: Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears reacts after the Bears recovered a fumble against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter on October 22, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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Updated: April 19, 2013 4:22PM
Sept. 8 vs. Cincinnati, noon, Ch. 2: The Bears have a stiff test to kick off the new season with the playoff-worthy Bengals, led by quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green, coming to town.
Sept. 15 vs. Minnesota, noon, Fox-32: Trestman and Co. have to like back-to-back home games to open their first season. It hasn’t happened since 1999. But in comes Adrian Peterson.
Sept. 22 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 5: The Steelers have undergone changes — saying goodbye to linebacker James Harrison and receiver Mike Wallace — and their defense isn’t what it was.
Sept. 29 at Detroit, noon, Fox-32: The hated Lions, with quarterback Matthew Stafford, have plenty of weapons to test the Bears’ defense, which could be missing Brian Urlacher’s experience at this point.
Oct. 6 vs. New Orleans, noon, Fox-32: Drew Brees and the Saints still have a high-powered attack, but their defensive changes could make them a Super Bowl contender again.
Oct. 10 vs. New York Giants, 7:25 p.m., NFLN: Four days after Brees, the Bears get Eli Manning on a Thursday night. This looks to be toughest point in the team’s season.
Oct. 20 at Washington, noon, Fox-32: The Bears get their first taste of Robert Griffin III. Will they know how to stop the read option by the time this game comes around?
Week 8: BYE
Nov. 4 at Green Bay, 7:40 p.m., ESPN: It’s Monday night and the Packers. The Bears couldn’t have asked for a better game and opponent after their bye week. But the Bears have lost six in a row to Green Bay.
Nov. 10 vs. Detroit, noon, Fox-32: Round 2 with the Lions should be a testy one, as always. It’s possible Jay Cutler secures himself a long-term deal with his play under Trestman by this point.
Nov. 17 vs. Baltimore, noon, Ch. 2:* The Super Bowl champion Ravens have plenty of new players, but this is quarterback Joe Flacco’s team now, so watch out.
Nov. 24 at St. Louis, noon, Fox-32:* Is this the year Sam Bradford plays like a first overall pick? He still needs some weapons to help him succeed.
Dec. 1 at Minnesota, noon, Fox-32:* Round 2 with the Vikings could have playoff implications, as in 2012.
Dec. 9 vs. Dallas, 7:40 p.m., ESPN: The Bears head back to prime time to face Tony Romo. The Cowboys’ collapse could be complete at this point.
Dec. 5 at Cleveland, noon, Fox-32:* It’s on the road, but this should be a winnable game for the Bears. And it comes at a great time.
Dec. 22 at Philadelphia, noon, Fox-32:* This game caps a tough stretch — four of five games on the road late in the season. The Eagles should be moving very fast under new coach Chip Kelly by this game.
Dec. 29 vs. Green Bay, noon, Fox-32:* If the Bears’ playoff lives are on the line in the final week, there’s not a better opponent ... to ruin their dreams. Cutler has to find success against the Packers.
* Subject to flexible scheduling.