The Chicago Bears schedule has been released. Even though we’ve known the opponents, now that we have the dates and order of the opponents, it just makes football season feel a lot more real. Let’s make some absurdly early predictions for the upcoming season.
Week 1: Cincinnati Bengals vs Chicago Bears
Andy Dalton and the Bengals will visit Soldier Field to open the Marc Trestman era of Chicago Bears football. The Bears start the season at home yet again, and they’ve had really good success starting the season at home. Trestman’s high octane offense surprises Marvin Lewis’ Bengals and the Bears send the Soldier Field faithful home happy.
Bears 34, Bengals 24
Week 2: Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears
The Bears get back to back home games for the first time since 1999. The Vikings bowled over their opponents in 2012 behind the miraculous season by Adrian Peterson, coming off an ACL injury to within yards of the NFL record. Can the Bears bounce back and push the Vikings back down the standings in 2013? The Bears find a way to slow down Adrian Peterson long enough to pull out a victory.
Bears 19 – Vikings 16
Week 3: Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers (SNF)
The Bears open the road porion of their schedule in Pittsburgh under the lights for Sunday Night Football. The Steelers are coming off a rare missed postseason appearance in 2012 and I expect the Steelers to bounce back big time in 2013. Big Ben and the Steelers offense adjust to life without Mike Wallace and put up enough points and while their defense holds down the Jay Cutler led offense.
Steelers 20 – Bears 16
Week 4: Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
This series has been back and forth the last couple of years and is really starting to become a hotly contested rivalry in the NFC North. The Lions took a step back in 2012 and I expect Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to be up to their old tricks once again. New offense or not, Ndamukong Suh gets to Cutler and the Lions get the best of the Bears in a shootout.
Lions 37 – Bears 34
Week 5: New Orleans Saints vs Chicago Bears
It will be a reunion of sorts, as Aaron Kromer and Jermon Bushrod make the acquaintance of their former team at Soldier Field. Don’t think the Bears new OC and O-line coach doesn’t want to win this one but Sean Payton and Drew Brees prove to be too much for the Beloved.
Saints 34 – Bears 21
Week 6: New York Giants vs Chicago Bears (TNF)
There’s a quick turnaround for the Bears, who play the mandatory Thursday night game, but at least they get it at home following a home game the week before. The Giants started out 2012 on fire with a 6-2 record but suffered a Lovie Smith-ian 3-5 collapse in the second half to miss the postseason. Will they bounce back in 2013 or has Tom Coughlin finally worn out his welcome? Martellus Bennett will get to pal around with some former teammates and he shows his old team what they were missing. Thursday night game favor the home teams, so the Bears pull this one out.
Bears 28 – Giants 26
Week 7: Chicago Bears @ Washington Redskins
The Bears head to DC to face RGIII and his surgically repaired knee. Unless he’s on the Derrick Rose recovery plan, Griffin will be back at full speed to challenge Mel Tucker’s version of the Cover-2 defense. Hopefully he has an answer for the read-option that I’m sure we’ll see. I wonder if Obama will be at this game to watch his favorite NFL team? Unless the prez has an answer for the read-option, Griffin will run wild on the aging Bears defense.
Redskins 27 – Bears 23