The 2011 NFL schedule has been released and the defending NFC North champion Chicago Bears will get plenty of national exposure with four prime time dates on top of the previously announced trip to London. Let’s get right to it and look at the schedule:
Week 1 ATLANTA
Week 2 at New Orleans
Week 3 GREEN BAY
Week 4 CAROLINA
Week 5 at Detroit (Monday Night Football)
Week 6 MINNESOTA (Sunday Night Football)
Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay at London
Week 8 OFF
Week 9 at Philadelphia (Monday Night Football)
Week 10 Detroit
Week 11 SAN DIEGO
Week 12 at Oakland
Week 13 KANSAS CITY
Week 14 at Denver
Week 15 SEATTLE
Week 16 at Green Bay (Sunday Night Football)
Week 17 at Minnesota
The Bears will visit Detroit for a Monday Night Football game and the first prime time game in Detroit since the days of the Model T. The next week, they’ll host division rival Vikings on Sunday Night Football before heading out to London to face the Bucs.
The Bears close out their prime time dates with a Christmas night game in Green Bay. Who else is hoping Santa leaves a big lump of coal in Aaron Rodgers’ stocking???
Other highlights include Jay Cutler’s first regular season trip back to Denver, former Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera coming back to Soldier Field as Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers and a trip to the Black Hole to visit the Oakland Raiders.
All of this hinges on the players and owners reaching an agreement and ending this foolish lockout. No word from league officials as to a contingency plan if games are lost due to a work stoppage, although Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated that the Super Bowl could be pushed back a week if needed.