The Bears 2015 regular season schedule was released Tuesday, a 17 week itinerary that will push the organization into a new era under new head coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace.
So just how difficult is the Bears road? What are the most intriguing pockets on the schedule? What early conclusions can be drawn? Four members of the Tribune Bears coverage team weigh in on just what they think about the schedule.
David Haugh: By the time the Bears reach their off week Oct. 25 after six games, new coach John Fox might wonder why he bought instead of rented in Lake Forest. Opening with the Packers, Cardinals and Seahawks at any venue in any month hardly sound like ideal opponents for a team in transition.cheap jerseys The Raiders offer a nice respite before road challenges and playoff caliber rosters in Kansas City and Detroit await.
By the time the Broncos arrive at Soldier Field Nov. 22 in Week 11, Fox might want to sneak on the team plane and return to his previous home in Denver. Away games with the Chargers and Rams no vacations precede Peyton Manning visit to Soldier Field.
By the time the Packers retire Brett Favre jersey before their game at Lambeau Field a few days later against the Bears on Thanksgiving, the only thing Fox might be thankful for is the end of the night.
With December comes some winnable games, depending on the Bears physical and mental health. In a rebuilding season like the one that awaits Fox and the Bears, only one thing is certain: Uncertainty.
Looks like 6 10.
Brad Biggs: Sustained mediocrity finally outweighed the Bears position in the No. 2 television market in the country when the NFL put together its 2015 schedule.
Bears to open 2015 season vs. Packers, Cardinals, Seahawks Dan Wiederer
John Fox’s regular season debut as the Bears coach will come Sept. 13 in a rivalry showdown at Soldier Field against the Packers. That’s the table setter for the Bears’ 2015 season and a somewhat theatrical opening for another era in Bears football. But that’s far from the only intriguing contest.
John Fox’s regular season debut as the Bears coach will come Sept. 13 in a rivalry showdown at Soldier Field against the Packers. That’s the table setter for the Bears’ 2015 season and a somewhat theatrical opening for another era in Bears football. The first is a visit with the Chargers on ESPN Night Football in Week 9 on Nov. 9 and then they are at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night when the Packers will induct Brett Favre into their ring of fame Nov. 26.
Of course, if the Bears rebound under new coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace, they always could be flexed into an additional prime time spot late in the season. To do that, they will have to weather what projects to be a challenging start with the Packers and Cardinals, two playoff teams from 2014, coming to Soldier Field in the first two weeks. Next, the Bears visit the Seahawks in Week 3 before returning home to face the Raiders, another team with a new head coach.
It difficult to circle any game or pair of games this far out and call them significant but road trips to Kansas City, where the Bears have not played since 2003, and Detroit in Weeks 5 and 6, respectively, look pivotal. The Chiefs should be competitive and the Lions are coming off a playoff appearance. If Fox bunch can find some success here before being idle in Week 7, that could bode well for the second half.
The Bears host the Redskins and then visit the Vikings and Buccaneers before concluding with the Lions at Soldier Field in the final quarter of the season. No four game stretch will be easy for a club coming off a 5 11 season, but if things set up right and the team is in playoff contention, you have to like that finish.
Rich Campbell: Who did John Fox tick off on Park Avenue? The NFL sure didn allow the veteran coach to ease into his new club. The Bears first three opponents made the playoffs last season, including the two NFC finalists. Barring injury, the Bears new defense will face Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer and Russell Wilson out of the gate. And overall, four of their first six games are against playoff teams from a year ago. That a tough beginning for a team learning new schemes on both sides of the ball.
The league overcorrected after misevaluating the Bears prime time value a year ago. Remember, the country had a front row seat for the team implosion thanks to five night games and the Thanksgiving game. This year, the NFL appears to be taking a wait and see approach, despite the fact the Bears have a coach with a national profile. There are only two prime time games, including the Thanksgiving visit with the Green Bay Packers. Maybe the country is as bored with the Jay Cutler storylines as people around here. But, hey, if the Bears play well, they will be flexed into some prime time slots.
Speaking of that Thanksgiving game, what a fantastic showcase for Brett Favre jersey retirement ceremony. The energy at Lambeau should be off the charts, and you would expect the Bears to be more comfortable in their new schemes by then.
It be interesting to see where Broncos are when they visit Soldier Field in Week 11 for a reunion with Fox. Will Peyton Manning be leading the Broncos to another division title, not missing Fox or offensive coordinator Adam Gase? www.cheapjerseys13.com Or will Manning be limping to the end of his career? That also Cutler first game against the Broncos since being traded from them in 2009. Too bad it not in Denver.
The Bears didn catch a break by having to wait until Week 16 to play the Buccaneers and whichever rookie quarterback will be getting acclimated to the league. At least it should be a welcome winter getaway.
Dan Wiederer: Welcome to the NFC North, Mr. Fox. Your first mission, should you choose to accept it: finding a way to slow Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It a chore that has caused migraines for more than a few coaches and defensive coordinators over the years. And it won be any easier with a reshuffling Bears defense still searching for its identity right out of the gate in 2015.
Until further notice, and until the Packers loosen their four year grip on the division crown, Fox meetings with Rodgers will remain the most important benchmark of the team progress. And it not only the season opener that will present that major test this fall. A Thanksgiving night trip north of the border awaits too.
(For the record, Fox has split his two previous meetings against Rodgers a victory while coaching the Panthers in 2008 and a loss with the Broncos in 2011.)
The Bears were 1 5 against the division last year and that will have to change. Furthermore, a Week 3 trip to Seattle, where the Seahawks have won 26 of their last 28 games over the last three seasons could prove humbling.